Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The big four-one Finding joy in the journey

Fifty is the new thirty is what I keep hearing so I guess that means 41 is the new 21. Yahoo, I am legal again. Oh right, I don't drink so I guess I should just be glad that I am finally old enough (again) to buy cough medicine without having to show my ID.
February 3 is a great day to have a birthday when you are a kid. Far enough from Christmas that you don't get lumped in to the Christmas gift pile, but close enough that you know exactly what you wanted that you did not get on December 25, and you can ask for it 5 weeks later.
Really, when I think about all the changes the past 20 years have brought me, I would not go back to being 21 for all the silver in Nevada, all the rice in China, all the Steelers fans in Pittsburgh. (Whichever is greatest.)
You know, I have never been one of those folks who is upset about aging or getting older. I really think I have a pretty good, healthy attitude about this. It is what it is. I have always found joy in the age that I am at the time. I guess, I must be honest here, when I was a young teen, 13, 14, I wanted to be older. I wanted so badly to be 'old enough'. For what, I don't really know. But I loved being 20 ,25 and 30, 35 and 38. 40 was actually rewarding, I felt like I was right about where I wanted to be in my life. Great husband , wonderful kids. So what if I took the long way , I got there. And even with all the curve balls that life throws us, I can still throw my hands in the air each day as I look at Doug and what we have built together and say, I WIN!
Now, I spend a lot of my time trying to convince my kids, the four that live with me and the 150 I teach, to enjoy the place they are in life. Just yesterday morning I spent 20 minutes talking to a young man at school about waiting on the whole 'girl thing'. He mentioned to me that he spent the whole Super Bowl on the phone with a young lady and I said, "You know, later in your life, and for most of your life, you will probably have some interruptions during the big game days. Maybe it will be a young wife who needs help with a little one during the Super Bowl of 2020. Maybe your mom or your dad will need help with a sibling who is moving away to school during the World Series of 2018. Maybe your own child will have a pee-wee soccer game during the NBA playoffs of 2024. And you know what, you will be a good man, I hope, and you will be there helping and doing what you should do then. Not doing then, what you should be doing now. Which is eating wings in front of the tube without a care in the world. Carrying around a stick or a ball or a bat like it is the most important thing in the universe. Hanging with your friends, doing your school work, enjoying your family and the activities of your youth." I told him, "What Doug wouldn't give to watch just one game with out me or one of the kids 'needing him'."
Of course the boy thought I was old, 41, and helplessly out of touch with it all.
The good news for me, is I don't think this advice falls on deaf ears when it comes to the 4 kids that mean the most to me, or a good many of their friends.
Back to 41. I had a great day yesterday. My lovely VT brought me a Brighton key chain, LOVE IT. Sunny and Dee went in on the most extravagant passing of a Peppermint Patty, story later. My kids showered me with yummy food and thoughtful gifts . I came home to find a white noise maker from little Miss T, I am guessing. I had numerous cards and calls, texts from all my YW and some of my more tech savvy friends, and Facebook, gotta love it. I was wished happy birthday on my 'wall' from many, many friends I have not seen since I really was 21. Glo Pat brought me shrimp and butter which is another story all together, but suffice to say, she knows my 'tastes'. Doug took me to dinner, and gave my flowers and ohhhhhh how clean my house was when I got home. A singing phone message from Joey's best pal's family and finally, just as I was heading in to get the kids ready for prayer, a knock on the door found me staring face to face with birthday carolers. I know, too cute. Tif, Banana and Bishop were singing away accompanied by my friends Ben and Jerry.
What a day.
Who said birthdays are just for kids!
In my favorite movie of all time, It's a Wonderful Life, Clarence George's gaurdian angel said, "Remember, no man is a failure who has friends."
I am blessed beyond measure, and if Clarence is right, I am wildly successful too!
Thanks to everyone who thought of me on my special day. I am the luckiest 21 year old girl I know!

8 comments:

theriosduo said...

I love your great attitude. Guess what!?! We are the same age, I still do get carded for buying medicine or spray paint though. Happy Belated Birthday! We love you!

Missy said...

Happy Birthday! You are great!

The VIPs said...

wait, wait, wait-- you have friends named Ben and Jerry? Do they make really delicious ice cream per chance?


Really, really great post, and good attitude. I'm glad your birthday was a good one.

Chuck said...

We are glad you are alive. We hope you live to be at least triple your age. Only if you want to of course. Otherwise fade away in sleep after reaching 100. Either way we are glad you are part of our lives. The Bennions

MK said...

Happy birthday!

I'm in your age group, and I don't get uptight about the passing years either. It's what you do with your time that counts.

Aging, they say, is better than the alternative and, so far at least, I agree.

Cheers!

Ritch in Love said...

Looks like I returned from blog vacation just in time! Happy Birthday!

jori-o said...

Oh, I'm so very sorry I missed it! Happy belated! I'm SOSOSO glad you were born! ;)

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