Another Year Older And Deeper In Debt
Oh, not the kind of debt that includes credit cards and mortgages.
Of course, I have that kind of debt.
But today is another birthday, and I’m deeper in debt because of all the people and things that help me cope – that help me be happy, when sometimes in this crazy year it would have been more natural to be miserable.
This has been a stressful year – natural disasters, divisive politics, senseless violence.
And yet, although I have moments of true sadness, I have not been unrelentingly sad.
More often, I’ve been happy.
So here is my Birthday Thank You List:
My Husband. He has always been able to keep me safe and build anything and fix everything and somehow even think I am pretty. But this year, I owe him an even more special thank-you. Because he showed me this year that there is no age limit on doing something crazy if it makes you happy. He’s 72. He bought a horse.
He also taught me once again that you can be as tough as you need to be when you need to be, all the while maintaining a soft heart. He taught me this because we still have all three kittens we were supposed to foster for just 10 days, six months ago.
My sisters. My sisters are just a few years older than I. And they are more than just funny as hell and understand everything about me – and so are the perfect friends. They are also a preview of my own future. In my current book-in-progress, the teenage girl watches everything her older sister does, and then watches the result to see if it’s something she might want to do too. I did that with my own sisters, but I didn’t have to worry about whether it would be wise to be like them – it always was. And since we are so alike, in them, I can see myself just a few years down the road… which is 70, OMG. But you know, thanks to my sisters, I think it looks pretty good.
And speaking of graceful aging, that’s my precious mother in the middle of her three girls. She’s 94 now. And in the past year (as in every year), she has given me her exquisite example of intelligence, independence, optimism, and a generosity of spirit.
This year I also say thank you to my good friend Chris – truly a bonus sister. This summer she invited me to her painting class. And oh my! I rediscovered my love for painting and it has given me satisfaction and pleasure every day since.
Theo. My best friend. (That’s his portrait above.) I know I wouldn’t be half as kind without him. Because he teaches me the simple happiness in living in the moment. And most of all, he’s taught me forgiveness. Not in how easily I forgive him, but in how readily and completely he forgives me. I lose my patience with him a dozen times a day. He never loses his patience with me. He loves me anyway.
And then there are all the friends – both personal and here on my writing space – that encourage me and always make me want to try just a little harder to do or say or write something that matters.
This is the first complete year that I have been retired from my career. And it is amazing how quickly the days go by. I enjoy being lazy – truly, there is no limit to the number candies I can crush. But thanks to my family and my friends, and all my blogging buddies here, it is also amazing how much I have accomplished. I have written 70 (!) blogs in the past year. AND – I can hardly believe it – published my second novel.
I am as proud of that book as anything I have done in my life. So thank you for your steadfast support and the joy of your friendship.
Some people can accomplish wonderful things in their youth. For me, it has taken a long time. It has taken a long time to become the writer I wanted to be. And it has taken me a long time to become the person I wanted to be. And less important (but still meaningful to me), it has taken me a long time to like my outsides as well as my insides.
Every year on my birthday, I publish an unretouched photo of myself. To tell the world – and myself – that Aging isn’t so bad.
So here I am – 67 today.
Hooray for Late Bloomers.