PRE-SCRIPT: This was supposed to be posted on my birthday. It began as a lesson in fun and ends in the possibility and power of resilience. I hesitated since my sons read this blog. Was it too much information about my past? Some say we should hide it all from them but I don’t agree. My sons are dealing with a horrific loss in their life right now with AJ’s death. I can’t know how they are and will process it now and in the future. My perspective is from decades ahead of them. But I am posting it anyway so they see that I was no stranger to some of what they are feeling many, many years ago. I think that will do them more service than continuing to present myself as some mythic model of parental perfection. Two alliterations in one sentence. Now that’s happiness.
THE POST: Shakespeare once wrote, “Time marches forward at a backward pace”. Ok now that I think of it, I have no idea if he really did write that. I could be confusing it with Macbeth’s Tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow soliloquy but then again I could just have made it up. Honestly too tired and lazy to research it.
A few days ago a random comment by a sister, “You’re 59 not 22” got me thinking really about age and justly so as today I hit that magic number-59 not 22. What was it like to be 22 or 30 or 45? Better or worse really or filtered through a time soaked prism.
22? No thank you. A newlywed who buried her 24 year old brother in law and watched the grief send her husband to the depths of drug hell. I’ll pass.
30s? No thanks! A long deserved promotion denied due to ridiculous politics. The only job I never got in 37 years. The end of that 22 year old’s marriage from hell. A job redemption only 3000 miles away from home. A new marriage. Five years, eight miscarriages, zero children. I’ll take another pass.
40s? Well yes for only two of the days- the birth of Marco and the birth of Max. The rest? No thank you. I lost my Dad at 40 and Mom had her first bout with bile duct cancer. Another pass on those years.
50s? O hell no for most of them! Current husband gets liver cancer. I have my first other car involved accident in 33 years of driving. A taxicab in Torrance hits me and damages my hand. Mom dies. Current husband gets a liver transplant. Former husband dies of liver failure. Pass!!
57? O hell yes!! The magical year. The year everything changed. Chronological age replaced by spirit age. Fun, more fun. Music, new and old. Friends, new and old. Writerly rediscovery. Teenage sons. No more obsessive mothering or so I think, they may differ. No more compromises..for anyone. Two years in, happiness and joy rediscovered or discovered actually.
So tell me today and tell me often, you are not 22 anymore or 30 or 40. Thank you I say and Thank God I’m not!
I leave you with David Bowie’s thoughts on the subject as well: “Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.”