“It is my birthday today!” This phrase changes as we get older.As young children we wake up giddy on that special day. We tell everyone we see, “It’s my birthday today!” Being a July birthday I never got to wear a birthday crown in the classroom, or have my classmates sing to me. I envied those winter, spring and fall babies. The only bonus of a summer birthday was pool parties and cookouts. My birthday always fell at the end of swim team season when my involved family hosted a big party which included a cake for me.
This year I rung in my birthday at 12:30 am. While I’d like to say that I was up late from some kind of fun evening, that is not the case. Last night was enjoyable and mellow, dinner and a dvd, then I went to sleep at 10:30. I woke to crashing thunder and bright flashes of light. A very violent summer storm was moving through our area. It was one of those that dumps buckets of rain continuously as the darkness keeps lighting up. Whether it was the sound of the cracking thunder of the brightness of the lightning, the dogs were becoming unsettled and beginning to bark in their crates.
I did not want to imprint a negative association with storms onto these puppies. So I came down and let them out and sat with them calmly on the floor in the dark. If they had to potty, it was not going to be happening until the storm let up. So there I sat at 12:30 am, Koda on my right, Summer on my left. Both were calm and had fallen back asleep against the comfort of my legs, while outside the windows the storm continued to rage. “It’s my birthday,” the thought crossed my mind. I am 53 years old.
In many ways I feel these 53 years, in my joints, my lacking core strength, and my slow metabolism. 53 is not 35. It’s pilates and walking instead of high impact aerobics and triathlons for me these days. I do love playing tennis and want to keep that up as long as possible. I am inspired by my 78 year old mother who continues to do yoga.
Inside I feel my age, but in a strong way. I like the wisdom that comes with experience. I like the comfort I take in confidently choosing what what to do and who to surround myself with, and even just being alone and still with my thoughts. I enjoy sitting with my husband and just watching the pond, listening to the birds. Raising our four children was always, go, go, go. Constant tackling of one thing after another, preparing for the next thing, cleaning up after the last thing, rest and repeat. I loved all of those busy years, and reflecting on those crazy days. I remember going into a coffee shop with my four active kids in tow, desperate for a caffeine fix, and no drive thru Starbucks yet. There was an older woman (probably 53) sitting at a table with coffee, working on a 1000 piece puzzle. As my children yanked impatiently at my arm, and whined for treats, I stared over at the old puzzle lady and envied her peaceful morning. Some day, I thought. That seemed so long ago. I’m the old puzzle lady, well I was until a few weeks ago.
I have been re-energized, a bounce in my step, and a giddy happy feeling to start each day. How? Two puppies. Two energetic, happy, soft, sweet puppies. So at 12:30 am, then at 2:30 am, then this morning at their regular 6:15 wake up time, I was greeted by their eager wiggling bodies and wet kisses. Sure, I am tired right now. But the joy they bring to my heart fills my tank with youthful energy. And thankfully, puppies nap a lot. So this 53 year old is about to curl up under a blanket next to Koda and Summer for a morning nap on her birthday.