Life is all about enthusiasm. It bubbles up from within and comes from the very soul and spirit of a person. Loving life and being grateful for every breath keeps the energy sizzling in the veins, regardless of age. Ha, dear August, with blessings from Him, I celebrate my fiftieth birthday.
Being a woman, I cherish my privacy and the right to keep my age a secret. I’m so glad it wasn’t fan-fared around the globe. Only my immediate family members are aware of the milestone I’ve reached; old school friends and college pals have been sworn to secrecy. No matter what, they will never tell.
However, the family doctor knows my age. I don’t worry too much about that since dear old doc is only interested in my blood pressure and blood count. Nothing romantic there. Besides, his hippocratic oath forbids him to divulge patient’s history to anyone unless it’s a matter of life and death. So, thankfully, the info is safe…..for now.
True, I am no spring chicken (ouch!) but then I don’t admit to being an old hen either. They say that one is as old as one feels. And I certainly don’t feel fifty. I don’t even look fifty. I look much younger, or so I am told (tut, tut, vanity taking over, you note with disapproval).
Talking of vanity, I detest wearing my reading glasses. I don’t want to be seen in them. Don’t want them. Loathe them. Period. But, alas, without them, I’m just a fish out of water. To top it all, I forget where I put them and so end up going from room to room, on a perpetual hunt. As I am fond of reading, this “lost ‘em, found ‘em” bit proves cumbersome to the extreme. Well, why not attach the glasses to that stringy thing, you ask? Ugh! Thanks, but no. And what, let the whole world see me with those things dangling from my neck – no way!
My far sighted vision is great, by His grace, so I can manage rather well most of the time. It is only when I am invited out for a meal to a fancy restaurant that I begin to panic. As reading glasses are a definite no-no in public, I am as blind as a bat when it comes to peruse the menu card. With my bonny, brown eyes twinkling wide, I flutter my long, thick lashes as I look at the horrid thing, and try to decipher the squiggly patterns. No success. I turn to the waiter, who, it seems, has been ogling me all the time (typical, huh?) with that certain sly glint in his sneaky, slitty eyes (yes, I can be quite mean).
I politely decline the a la carte and decide on the buffet instead. And woes betide, if there is no buffet, I am forced to leave myself at the mercy of my hosts and, request them to do the honours. With fingers crossed, and a magnanimous smile on my face, I wait for whatever my hosts have chosen pour moi. Bon appetit!
Speaking of fingers, and at the risk of sounding overly pompous (hmm, a definite attitude problem here, you decide), I just love my nicely-shaped, well-manicured nails. Some people, I guess, would pucker up their brows at a woman of fifty sporting long, painted nails. But heck, I toss caution to the wind. And in perfect harmony, my toenails, similarly polished, peek through the delicate bands of my not-so-high-heeled strappy sandals, as I gently skip through life, ever minding my own business. To each his or her own, is my motto.
Wrinkles? Well……yes. I wasn’t even looking and lo and behold, one day there they were – boldly staring back at me in the mirror. They are everywhere, around the eyes, the mouth, the nose, and to top it all, my chin has formed a football team of its own. Cosmetic surgery? Heaven forbid! I wouldn’t even toy with the thought. I am pretty proud of the wrinkles – my worry lines as I prefer to call them. I’ve earned them. They bear witness to the ups and downs I’ve had in life and are proof of the many challenging miles I’ve trudged.
Admittedly, with age, the intensity of energy has sapped. I must confess that my get-up-and-go got up and went quite a while ago. And, though I go for my daily walks and swim regularly, I don’t have the vim and vigour of yesteryears (ah, a whisper of regret, you detect with a smug). Regret? No, I say, not at all.
In fact, I have had a good life. I was indeed fortunate to accomplish much with His blessings. Life is all about learning. I lived in three continents, studied three different cultures. I learnt to ice-skate, roller-skate, ride a bike, read, write, cook, bake, knit, paint and travel half the world.
I’ve enjoyed hiking in the Lake District, sailing on the Loch Ness, and camping in Wales. I’ve driven through the continent of Europe, climbed the Eiffel Tower, and run up the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I’ve roamed the streets of Istanbul, visited Sri Lanka, and after a long African safari, I scaled the Great Wall of China. I am truly thankful to Him for the experience of life.
My journey of fifty years has taken many twists and turns but for the most part, it has been straight. The joys and sorrows, after all, come along with the package. Enjoy life. One must have patience to endure, and the will and determination to go forth. Let the passion and desire drive you to become an even better person, no matter the circumstances.
Face the future with courage and fortitude, don’t ever quit! And, in case you didn’t know, this old girl is no quitter. So with my head held high and chin up (albeit double), I will carry on, as long as He wills, for I have hope yet and the enthusiasm to make all my dreams come true.
James A. Garfield once said: “If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon our heart. The spirit should never grow old.”