I’m 64

When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now…
Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?

John Lennon and Paul McCartney
On October 31, I turned 64. Life snuck up on me and I cried “Boo Hoo!” My birthday suit has certainly aged in 64 years; lots of wrinkles, drooping, sagging body parts and salt and pepper hair (more salt than pepper). Me,and my vanity, are horrified by the city maps of spider veins on my legs. My legs were one of my best features in my 20’s and 30’s, but the years of standing on hard floors selling books finally caught up with me. Now I am grateful my legs hold me up, and I can move my legs for exercise and take my doggies out for a spin. We don’t say or write the word “walk”, because Roscoe and Mia get too excited, race to the front door and whine until they rule the sidewalks. If I ruled the world, I would be at the front door whining to get out too!

It is now a week since my birthday, and I have not been able to cure cancer or bring world peace. And of course, I am still bitterly disappointed in my attempts to right all the wrongs my HOA board has caused. I have decided to dial my intentions way down. I will get out of bed everyday, drink lots of coffee and then? Well the “world is my oyster” and if I get irritated enough I will become a pearl. Guaranteed, because we all know that life offers lots of irritations. So I will scratch when I itch, and grow through the pain. The pressures and pains of my life are forming diamonds too, so at 64 my jewelry box is getting full. I do like bling.

I must have learned something in 64 years, right? Or did I just get old? If I continually ask myself “How important is it?”, I can prune a lot of dead wood from my life. My grief counselor talks about the gifts of grief in between the tears. Recognizing that there are a zillion things that aren’t important, means I can devote my time and energy to the few things that are important, like love of self, family and Mother Earth. I have learned that we are all family, although I can’t see Donald Trump as my brother, and I still disown him. The “pursuit of happiness” is not a gun in every toddlers hand. Kindness is quiet and soft and does not need ammunition to be effective. I think I am finished warming up in the bullpen and ready to replace my old self who has given up too many joys. If you see me crying (and you will) I am washing and shining my pearls and diamonds.

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