They Say It’s My Birthday!

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Yep, it’s my birthday. The big 42. I remember when 42 sounded ancient. Now that I’ve reach that age I can’t say it’s much different from the other years. I would like to think I have a bit more sense than I did at 20!

I always like my birthday–well, maybe not so much the aging part! I have always felt that my birthday is the one day that is mine. I came into the world on this day. And, I can do whatever I want (within the law). If I want to be a bum I can. If I want to have a celebration I can do that too. Mostly I find small ways to celebrate my life. I buy myself a book I’ve wanted to read, watch a movie I’ve wanted to see, go for a walk, work on a genealogy problem, learn something new, eat something special…whatever I want that day to be.

At the beginning of the week I was thinking about how old I was and I realized I was a year off! Well, I was never that good with math. My age isn’t something I think of every day. I don’t get asked like when I was in kindergarten. And, then I was very happy to answer “5 and a half years old”!!! Now when I give my age, I counter with “I’m the youngest of five”. That’s important. People need to know there are four others older than me. I do get some enjoyment out of knowing they will always be older than me.

As I hear my siblings complain about their aging bodies, I can’t help but be a little irritated. I’ve had arthritis throughout my body for over 10 years. My feet have been ravaged, my neck and shoulders have had their days, and some times I can’t bend my fingers (or straighten them depending on where I get stuck). So, when I hear them complain I want to counter “Quite your whining!” At least they got into their late forties before they started feeling creaky. I’ve dealt with this since my early thirties.

Which brings me to another thought…mentally I feel great. My genealogy and my website give me challenges to work through every day. My imagination is intact. I can sit with a 3 year old and come up with something entertaining. I can argue politics and mock politicians.

But, what of my body? If this is what arthritis has done to me by 42, what will I feel like at 52 or 62 or 72? Will I be smart enough to continue exercising so I don’t lose my mobility? Will I hit more speed bumps? How will I respond to my diminishing abilities? I guess I won’t know until I’m there. I could worry about it until those ages arrive. I think it’s better to take it one day at a time. Who knows? Maybe they will find the miracle cure for ankylosing spondylitis or they’ll figure out a way to replace the cartilage I lost in my feet. I won’t waste time waiting for those days, but I hope that I can find enjoyment in each day as it comes




  1. EvaD

    Happy Birthday, Mel!

    I’m one year and a bit older than you, and feel the same way when I have my birthday. I think you shouldn’t wonder about how you’ll going to ache in 10 years but get help from alternative methods that have worked for others.
    Wishing you good health,

    Btw. I love the Harry Potter books, too 🙂

  2. Howard

    It will be much harder just to get to the gym when you are as old as I am now..But, I still get there 3 days a week..I,m not in too bad shape..Happy Birthday, I just had mine on 27th January..

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