Last night my son James and his girlfriend Tara had me over for a very nice dinner and an ice cream birthday cake and a few games of Wii. They gave me a guitar stand for my birthday. Interestingly, it was not their first choice.
It seems my son had been bidding on a certain highly coveted auction item which he intended to give me as a birthday gift. But in the 11th hour he got distracted by TV and forgot to return to the computer in time for the hot & heavy last-minute bidding action, which is how I ended up with this lovely guitar stand instead.
This is me, Wii bowling.
And this is Tara and me, Wii boxing. (She knocked me out in the third round.)
A couple months ago it occurred to me that I’m about to turn 49 and 49 is almost 50, therefore I’m almost 50, and wow. That’s a big number. Fifty’s, you know, kind of OLD. So I’ve been freaking out in a low-level sort of way for months, about 50 looming on the horizon and the inexorable momentum of time and how it’s easy to think you’ll grow old gracefully when you’re young, but it’s a whole different matter when you’re almost freakin’ fifty. And, you know, I got a new wrinkle last week and maybe I should start dying my hair or at least get highlights and I should probably start doing crossword puzzles and brain twisters because I’ve lost a lot of IQ points and attention span and vocabulary in the last year or so and it’s probably just going to keep on getting worse after 50 unless I take Immediate Steps and Drastic Action.
The good news is that I got myself so worked up over fifty, I actually felt relieved this morning when I woke up and realized I’m only 49 and 50′s still a whole year away. Woohoo. I’m still young!
I also cheered myself up by reminding myself that age, like most things, is relative: my friend Roy still thinks I’m young and he will still think I’m young when I’m 50 because he’ll be 87. I think I will spend this year cultivating a whole bunch of really old friends.
So now that we’re firmly entrenched in the internet age, have you noticed that you get more birthday gifts and greetings from people you don’t know than from people you do know? I got eight emails this morning from companies wanting to wish me a happy birthday and give me a present – everything from a Tarot card reading to 10% off anything I want. Yahoo Health sent me something called How to Slow Down Your Body’s Aging. I’ll share it with you, in case you’re aging too.
1. Change your perception of time. Don’t be in a hurry.
2. Get restful sleep.
3. Eat fresh, nutritious food.
4. Take at least two multivitamins with minerals every day.
5. Practice a mind body technique such as yoga or tai chi.
6. Exercise regularly.
7. Don’t put toxins in your life, including toxic food, toxic
emotions, toxic relationships, and avoid toxic environments or toxic relationships.
8. Have a flexible attitude to minor hassles.
9. Look at so-called problems as opportunities.
10. Nurture loving relationships.
11. Always have an attitude of curiosity, learning, and wonder and spend time with children.
I’m pretty good at most of this stuff, but I refuse to look at problems as opportunities and I have a bit of a toxic relationship with yoga. I don’t intend to change these things either, because at my age you tend to get a little stuck in your ways.
Enjoy National Grouch Day! I can’t think of anyone I’d rather share my birthday with than Oscar!