When I turned nine years old, as I opened each birthday gift I said, “oh, just what I always wanted!” I said that over and over. “Just what I always wanted!” It seems like that year I got a Barbie and some Barbie clothes Mom had sewed along with a few other things I adored and gushed over.
Dad documented the day on 8mm film. A trip to the zoo was also part of the day’s celebration. I felt like a princess. That particular birthday along with other family event he recently transferred to CD for the family’s viewing pleasure. What a wonder-filled time of life that was.
I used to anticipate birthdays with pleasure and excitement. Not so much in the past few years. At a certain point getting older feels like less of a bonus and more of a deficit It’s better than the alternative though, right? I should probably change my attitude.
It embarrasses me when I’m the center of attention. At the same time being recognized, wished happiness, gifted or wined and dined has its perks. What a conundrum!
As a way to address my desire for a better birthday attitude I looked up a few of birthday jokes:
An old lady was being interviewed by reporters on the occasion of her 110th birthday. “What do you think is the reason for your long life?” they asked her. “Oh,” she replied, “I suppose it’s because I was born such a long time ago.”
Q: What do you always get on your birthday?A: Another year older!
Some employees bought their boss a gift for his birthday. Before opening the gift, the boss shook it slightly, and noticed that it was wet in the corner. Touching his finger to the wet spot and tasting it, he asked, “A bottle of wine?” His employees replied, “No.” Again, he touched his finger to the box and tasted the liquid. “A bottle of scotch?” His employees replied again, “No.” Finally the boss asked, “I give up. What is it?” His workers responded, “A puppy.”
I thought those were good for a few laughs!
Seriously, I think this quote best captures how I’m feeling this year on the anniversary of the day my mother labored to bring me into this world:
“Age has given me what I was looking for my entire life – it has given me me . It has provided time and experience and failures and triumphs and time-tested friends who have helped me step into the shape that was waiting for me. I fit into me now. I have an organic life, finally, not necessarily the one people imagined for me, or tried to get me to have. I have the life I longed for. I have become the woman I hardly dared imagine I would be.”― Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith
Time and Age have gifted me something rare and unique; they have made me into the woman who writes, laughs, loves, rolls with the punches, loses her temper occasionally, wonders about life, feels grateful, shares what she can and revels in living.
Although far from finished and perfected, the person I am today is “just what I always wanted!”