Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Same As It Ever Was

As I woke this morning, bleary-eyed and still unsure of my surroundings, the day didn't feel any different from others. Cool, rainy, a perfect day to sleep in while the rest of the family goes off to do their things, while I loll about, eating cake for breakfast and wishing I could work on the projects around the home for which I took off the entire week.  Because we just moved, I did NOT take the second week of May as vacation this year.

It's almost always cold and rainy this week in May, I know this because for many, many years I have taken this week off, in an attempt to ignore our culture of celebrating the aging process so blatantly. I didn't do that this year, this year I faced my aging head-on, and it went remarkably well, I suppose. There were no balloons and confetti in my office, no gibes about my creaking bones as today I achieve the near pinnacle of agedness, I 'turned' 39.
This is not my beautiful car...

It really didn't click over like a cheap odometer, or a 1974 clock radio with the flappy numbers, it just kind of happened. It arrived like so many other days, and as I've passed the years, the days seem less and less significant.

Most recently, I celebrated my 30th. I actually made a point to plan an outdoor picnic for family and friends, a day spent in the park playing volleyball and grilling red meat. Prior to that, I may have celebrated my 12th birthday, with some minor fanfare for the 15th and an impromptu cake-and-candling by my college roommate at 20. Otherwise, I have made every effort to ignore the day, letting it pass like 364 of its brethren.

Today, I found it difficult to tie my shoes. One might blame this on age, but I doubt it. More than likely, I can't tie my shoes due to my mass. Weight, like age, is just a number. A much larger number.

When I was young I set goals and dreams based on age. I thought that by 25, I'd have a job I loved, a career. I'd have a wife and kids, a home in the country. Twenty-five came and went. That subsequent year, time passed and I wasn't sure how to handle that goal lost. I hit 26. No big deal, but when 27 rolled around, I was devastated. No family. Every day going to work was a crushing weight. And while I'd been in my apartment for a few years, that hardly passed for a country estate.
This is my beautiful wife...

Not quite eleven years ago, I met Lori. Shortly thereafter, I met her daughters. Our relationship grew slowly, ever slowly, and since I'd given up my expiration-dated dreams, I fought the relationship for a while. But now, I have a beautiful wife. Beautiful daughters. A large luxury automobile. (Where does that highway go to? Under the water, carry the water.) Six weeks ago, I started a new job, one for which I'm so excited by the possibilities I can hardly contain myself. No home in the country, but it is a beautiful house.
This is me, barely containing myself...

So there you have it. Empirical evidence that 39 is the new 25.  Now I just need a giant suit.


MJenks said...

Your wife is quite lovely. She has enchanting eyes.

Happy 39th. It may just be a number, but the sentiment is real. Also, the red meat that must be grilled should be real, too.

Freaks floating in formaldehyde? I approve.

Mala said...

Your wife is beautiful.

And jeebus! Just once I'd like a number to go down (besides my bank account).

dogimo said...

You lucky son of a bitch.

dogimo said...

Sorry! Correction! I meant "You lucky somebody!" :-D :-D :-D

Frank Irwin said...

Where is Gurgaon, Haryana?

(All of my other comments were taken.)

Elliott said...

Frank, I'm pretty sure it's in India, I believe that's where my erstwhile spammer lives.

And thanks, everyone. What would a birthday post be without a pickled punk?

Mala, I worry some days that my brain cell count is the only number that's dropping, so the bank account doesn't bother me as much. Priorities, you know.

Nej said...

Happy birthday (one day late, sorry)!!!!!!

I used to avoid my birthday like the plague. It was the day I got food poisoning (18th), dumped (21st), fired (27th), and hospitalized (28th).

Mostly, it's pretty easy to ignore, since it's so close to Christmas and New Years.

Cake for breakfast.....yummmm!!!!! :-)

tracey said...

My life is better in my 40s than it's ever been. I haven't achieved all my dreams I had back in the day, but that isn't such a bad thing when you consider that one of them was to get backstage at a Depeche Mode concert & make out with my own personal Jesus.

Happy Birthday to you - you should be very proud of your beautiful life, your beautiful wife & your beautiful family. Cheers.

Sarah J. Bradley said...

Elliott! Happy belated! And Lori is lovely, OF COURSE!

Skip 39. come on to the 40's! It's just fine over here!

Here's hoping your new gig is as magical as you hope it will be!

Trooper Thorn said...

Congrats on all that. 39 is the new 25, however, to compensate, 41 is now the new 52.

Elliott said...

Nej, I'd give up birthdays altogether. No cake makes up for all that. Now TORTE, on the other hand...

Tracey, good things require patience, and it just took me a long time to acquire some of that.

Sarah, I'll take your word for it. I'm content being 39 and mistaken for 25.

Trooper, thanks for the chuckle. As long as 71 is the new 19, I'm there.

Daisy said...

Happy Belated birthday, Elliott! I'm 50 with 51 zooming at me very soon. Every time I approach one of those mile marker birthday, I think I'm going to feel differently about myself once I arrive there. It never happens. I still feel the same as if I were 25. It's just another day.

It sounds to me as if your life is going along quite well. :-) Goals are good to have, but they don't always fit into the time table we expect, and sometimes we never reach them at all. Life is still good even if we don't reach all our goals.

Bev said...

I'm sorry I missed this! Last night Mala informed me that you'd had a b-day and I was remiss in telling you Happy Birthday. I'm here to rectify that situation immediately!

Lori is lovely, and your life is just as it should be. Enjoy it!

Gwen said...

Happy belated birthday, my friend!

Be nice and share!

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