Marilyn Monroe died in her thirties and for some reason I thought that would be a good age for me to die.. before you got too old. (ok.. so I was sixteen then)
When you are that young anyone over twenty is suspect. At the ripe age of eighteen I hit it off with a new friend, asking her how old she was one day, I was shocked when she answered, twenty five! I remember thinking, omg… she is sooooo OLD !
Turning 21 was awesome. I could finally drink legally in a bar! We all remember our coming of legal age. I dated, got married and settled down. As thirty came closer for me so did motherhood, and once you have a child, the most important birthdays will become theirs.
Well meaning older people warned me to enjoy them because they will grow up too fast, why didn’t I pay attention? They didn’t tell me about regretting time lost or frittered away. If I had it to do again I would work less and play more with my kids.
To make up for our birthdays becoming less significant, we now have a day all to ourselves, its called Mother’s Day. That’s a ‘timeout’ day from whatever crisis is happening, looming or just passing. Enjoy it.. milk it.. savour it, it’s only one day, make it count dammit!
Marilyns age came and went (36 yrs) and I couldn’t even imagine that I once thought that this would be a good age to die! The thirties were a blur of working, raising kids, running my own business. I do remember getting close to forty and for some reason I thought I was a year older than what I actually was.. now how did that happen??
I was somewhat put out about that, but then again, I got to live that year again.. at the same age. Then came my forties.. omg, it was official. Once into my forties, my life was half over. Why were the forties a blur as well? Work and raising teens, now there’s a job that will age you faster as well as take years off your life.. all at the same time!
I actually went through a mini ‘change of life’ mid forties and painted the whole inside of my house. Dark green here, a russet colour there, bright yellow in the kitchen and orange downstairs. I didn’t quit until I had done the whole dam house, no wall was safe from my paint brush!
Whew that felt soooo good.. I would have knocked down a wall or two had I known how too. It still feels good when I relive that crazy painting spree. I guess because if I couldn’t change my life, I could at least change my surroundings. (oh.. and dark green became the rage three years later)
The big 5-0 was the most traumatic birthday of my life, the tears and the melancholy were almost unbearable. How did I get to be sooo old.. so fast? Where had the time gone? Those older people were right, my kids were grown up already.. and when did that happen?
Another strange thing was happening.. along the way my parents were getting younger. Oh yes.. we were catching up with them! My fifties passed while I was in a holding pattern. Life happened around me and I felt the best part of it was gone and something was missing.
I was very unhappy with my life but lacked the courage to change it. Always working.. not working was not even an option. Being self employed, running a business, is the hardest work of all.. your job is never done.
Oh sweet sixty.. I actually celebrated this birthday with a sense of relief.
I was finally free of perceived hang ups and protocols and there are NO RULES when you turn SIXTY ! I am SIXTY, officially an old person, free to express my opinion about anything and everything. I felt free to be myself, I really didn’t care what anyone thought and I started to make changes in my life.
The changes started off small.. my outlook on life started to change as well. Before I knew it, I was out of my holding pattern and charting my own course.
I said goodbye to my marriage of forty years. Sold the family business to the kids, moved into a condo and started to explore the world. Today is the anniversary of my freedom, it is also my birthday. Now how was I to know, in my younger years, that sixty would set me free? I was about to embark on the best adventures yet..
“MY THIRD LIFE”
I am soooo excited for the year ahead…. happy birthday to me!