My wife and I continue maturing on this Friday between our two birthdays. She began a new year on National Frankenstein Day last Friday, and I’ll be officially one year older on National Peanut Day next Friday.
During a recent consultation with an articulate health advisor, we learned we were “maturing.” That’s a softer way to say, “getting older.”
Between celebrations with gifts and cake, we’ve shared our reflections on getting old — uh – maturing. Whatever term is used, we can’t deny our situation.
It’s been a while now since we were too young for senior discounts. It’s been a while now since our hair was dark. So, you’d think we’d be used to this season of our lives.
She seems to be accepting her age better than I’m accepting mine this time. Perhaps it’s easier for her, being younger. For me, though, the birthday number I’m facing contains a zero, and I’m reluctantly embracing the inevitable decade.
I asked Alexa, who’s only celebrated a few birthdays in her Ecco device, to tell me today’s average lifespan for a man. The answer came as quickly as a second hand on an old wrist watch goes from one second to the next. I’d hoped the answer would be a more distant number than the one given in Alexa’s sobering report. “What does she know?” I thought. “She was invented only a few years ago.”
Then I recalled a famous passage from “As You Like It,” first studied in my high school days. I could still recite Shakespeare’s “The Seven Ages of Man” lines from that play. “The memory’s still keen,” I boasted to myself.
I mumbled through the monologue, “…world’s a stage…one man plays many parts…seven ages…” I stumbled a bit, but I had the gist of Shakespeare’s descriptions. Then I came to the last line: “Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste…”
Those words didn’t discourage me, though. “What did he know?” I thought. “After all, I’ve already lived 18 years more than he did.”
Just last week, I had my teeth checked by my dentist. All good. Recently, my eyes were examined by my optometrist. Good, also. As far as my ability to taste is concerned, I expect to enjoy my birthday cake next week as much as I enjoyed my wife’s cake last week.
I’ll be celebrating my birthday just as my wife celebrated hers—with family.
As daughter number two put it, “Birthdays should be celebrated big! I love birthday parties. I don’t get sad about getting older—it’s just part of life.”
Our college granddaughter said she never feels differently or another year older just after a birthday. “I feel older after smaller things like yesterday when I was scrubbing a textbook with peroxide to get sticker residue off and fixing the spine with packing tape. Seems like an adult thing to do.”
My wife’s mom simply said, “You either have one or you don’t. Soon I’m going to have a very big one. I always enjoy having birthdays.”
I couldn’t argue with what they said about having birthdays. Their comments somewhat lifted my spirit.
Might as well experience these “maturing” years with continued happiness.