12 April 2010

Spring Chicken

This is the eve of the end of a curse. Not The Curse, as in: lady business, the pip, uterine jihad, the monthly statement, rejoicing in my womanhood, moon-time, flying Bravo, Miss Scarlett's comin' home to Tara, Aunt Flo's in town from Red River—no, not that. But The Curse certainly does have something to do with this other curse I'm thinking of. This curse, from my gram, wasn't likely something she knowingly put upon me; it was more like an inheritance. Maybe that's too strong a word. Did I win it at her estate auction? I don't know.

It's not my intention right here and right now to spell out the terms of the curse—I'm actually in the process of trying to write a screenplay, a fiction which is loosely based on this mysterious alleged hex, and so, muse willing, I will have that to share at some point. Might be good for a few laughs. We'll see.

But tomorrow is my birthday, and as it comes and goes, I will at last be beyond the cursed familial power of 45. That's right. My clock is about to strike 46. F-o-r-t-y-s-i-x. Gasp if you must. Today was the first day I have not gasped myself. In fact, today I actually warmed to the number, and warmed to concept of... are you sitting down? (I am.) MIDDLE AGE. I admit it. I'm there. And I feel it, but guess what? It feels lovely and alive, and not in the least decrepit. Today "middle age" did not seem like the bugaboo I have previously believed it to be. Hey, I've lived a long time! And I'm going to live a lot longer! Where's the problem in that? Would you rather I stayed 21 forever? Would I rather? No, surprisingly, I wouldn't. Or maybe not so surprisingly; I was kind of a dumbbell at 21, although I think a right lovable one.

Today I actually felt like an adult and enjoyed it—now, there's an oddity!—and I felt like a happy, productive one. A young one too; I believe and have seen ample proof in remarkable friends that youth and age/experience can and should coexist harmoniously in one person. (Somebody please remind me to talk about my 98-year-old role model Maureen Bullock later.) It requires effort to keep the two forces in balance, but I'm not opposed to work, and I do appreciate a challenge. All day today I worked on a happy home-fix-up project and dwelt on the question, "What could possibly be repugnant about living and enjoying every single age?" Every moment I am moving forward is a good moment. Who wants to stay in the same spot forever? Sounds repulsively stagnant, and boring on top of it. You should try to get over your 21 Forever fixation, people. It's not healthy. I don't care if you live in a college town or a military town or a hip young urban thing town. I am surrounded by perpetually 20something university students and it looks as though I am finally old enough to be everyone's mother. I like people of all ages, so that's okay. Sadly though, sometimes young friends weed themselves out when they don't enjoy befriending the "elderly." But the ones who stay? Solid gold grasshoppers.

Excuse me while I embrace my season. That's Mrs. Summer to you, spring chicken.

Two more items of business:

• My darling friend Erika (who is boldly unafraid of her elders) honored me with a special award which I will post about after my birthday. Meanwhile, why not visit her blog? Thank you, Erika! I think you are beautiful too. So very.

• I have a special request of you, in case you're interested. As I begin my birthday celebrations I'm trolling for presents. But the gift I would ask you for is to tell me a story about yourself. It can be birthday-related or not. One year I asked the people who love me to send me photos of themselves (and I'm still collecting these, if that heartfelt emotion applies to you), and this year's storytelling is just another way for me to enjoy a snapshot of you. Doesn't have to be long, though it certainly doesn't have to be short. If you want to email it to me my address is: pogofig at gmail dot com


      Natasha said...

      Um, I had no idea you were 45. You are the same age as my Jude. Looks good on both of you.

      anna said...

      happy happy birthday! i've got a wee parcel, almost ready for the mail...

      Melody said...

      Cluck, cluck. I love you.

      wendy said...

      You are a darling. And I love your words.

      Have a lovely day!

      Jenny said...

      You know, what you wrote here will stay with me for a long time. I know you believe what you say and it comforts me. Sometime shortly after I became a new mother, Lee B. told me she had "loved each age her children had become" and that she wasn't "sad for the small children(or other phase) they once were". Her words have really stuck with me over these past 8, as will yours, well into the future! Happy B day, love, Jenny

      Jessie said...

      Oh how I love you. Happy birthday! There are a million things I want to say, but I don't have the gift of words like you, so I will leave it at that. I hope to see you tonight at quilting! (though I will understand if I do not, as it is your special day).

      Elizabeth said...

      I am going to follow Becca's lead and post a story on my blog.

      Great idea! I'd love to share a story with you. I'll be thinking of something tonight as I go to sleep for a post tomorrow.


      And, happy birthday.

      And summer is a beautiful season.