Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Time passages...

When we are first born, our time here on this earth is measured in days, then weeks, then months, and finally years.  I think we make a solid switch to years when we reach the age of two.  That is when we also focus on those half years.  This usually carries on to about twelve.   Once we hit that magic number, we say we are twelve....until we cross whatever point in the twelve month cycle that represents itself as "almost 13". This goes on until we are 29.  Then we are 29 until the VERY DAY we turn 30.

When I was young(er), I looked with great anticipation to arrive at those signature years; 18, 21, 25 (for car insurance purposes) and even 29 (the first time).  I don't know what I thought my life would look like, or even who I would be, but those were earmarked as important years.

As a teenager, I think I thought 25 was surely old and mature.  I used to believe I would be able to handle things better..."when I was older".  Specifically I thought this when I was 16 and my grandma died.  She was the only grandparent I really knew, as my dad's mother died when he was a toddler and his dad (who lived in Norway) died when I was around 5.  My mom's dad died when I was 6 or 7; I have vague memories of him but remember him more from pictures.  My specific memory is of him saying to my brother, "I'm going to thump you".  So now I know where I get that specific talent.

Grammy was my first significant loss.  At the funeral, I was appalled to see people visiting, laughing, eating, etc. at the meal after the service.  That is when I thought - maybe we handle things better when we are "adults".

My dad died when I was 28, followed by my son when I was 29.  That was when I understood that age has NOTHING to do with preparing for loss.

The only birthday I ever really dreaded was 35.  At that point I realized I was closer to 40 than I ever would be to 30 again.  I thought it would all be "downhill" from there....

But what a blessing 40 turned out to be.  By then I had met, dated and married my "gift" and he threw a surprise party for me.  What a great night with friends and family.  And did I mention that our "yours and mine family" was soon to include an "ours"?  We moved to Kansas City and settled into a new home and a new normal.   I really didn't think life could get any better.

Yet it did.  By the time I turned 50, I was ready to throw my own party.  After a couple of health scares, my appreciation for life helped me embrace my birthdays.  The prior decade represented so many accomplishments -not only graduating from college, but I had also completed my Masters in Counseling Psychology.  My career path had taken an unexpected turn and I was on a new path that I truly enjoyed.

Then came 55.  Notice, this is the year when I began recognizing birthdays in five year increments, rather than decades.  Along the way there were many more losses.  Now I had an even  greater appreciation for life.

This is the year of sixty.  I am days away from leaving 59 (which for me is the new 29).  I wonder what it will hold?  I still think I will count by 5 year increments (unless something changes).  I will gladly say "I am 60" when asked.  I will embrace this birthday  and any others I am blessed to have.

We will be celebrating in Mexico which means I will turn 60 an hour earlier than I would here.  I used to wonder what 60 would feel like?   Now I know that it feels like every other year.   With the exception of my knees.  They truly feel sixty years old.

Until next time,

your pal,

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