Here is the question. Am I getting older or growing older? Not sure it matters although at my age I have to make sure. One sounds like a negative. “Getting” sounds like it is happening without any specific reason. Look it up. The Encarta dictionary defines it as “to enter or leave a particular state or condition”. So that would mean I am entering a condition. Sounds nasty to me. “Growing” sounds more positive. When we envision growth we envision something positive. At least I do. Perhaps I am only fooling myself, but that’s okay too.
My approaching birthday seemed to create a certain excitement in my wife. She kept mentioning it. I wanted to ignore it. Forget it was happening. She would not allow it. I suppose I am partly to blame. You see, I married an older woman. And, as you can well imagine, I don’t let her forget that. She really isn’t much older but older nonetheless. For 4 months and 1 day I get to give her a rough time about her being older. So she senses a certain relief when I finally catch up to her.
My birthday wishes started rolling in the night before. With modern communication methods there are no secrets. Facebook tells all, and in some cases too much. So with Facebook, emails, text messages and phone messages I have received many well wishes. It is actually heartwarming. Let me clarify. Most of them are heartwarming. Others are snide remarks, well wishes with not so hidden messages about age. However, again, I am probably deserving of those as well.
At 5:30 on the morning of the big day I checked emails. My son had sent me a picture where he had super imposed my face on the picture of a dog. Cute dog actually. It made me laugh. And anyone that knows me knows it is not an easy task to make me laugh that early in the morning. Particularly before I have had my coffee. By now, I suspect, that picture will be posted on Facebook for all to see. The good news is I do have lots of hair in that picture. I actually received birthday wishes from three dogs. Go figure. Even that warmed the cockles of my heart.
I don’t need birthdays to let me know I am getting older. Looking in the mirror is usually the first clue. Between the hair, or lack thereof, not being my original color, wrinkles appearing in far too many places, parts of my body sagging, the aches and pains I have when I get out of bed every morning, and a completely different set of aches and pains when I go to bed at night, watching what I eat and drink for all the right reasons, and needing my beauty sleep (that ship has sailed) are just a few of the clues that I am getting older. Some of my other dilemmas are best left unsaid. Perhaps this answers my first question. Sounds like a condition to me.
But as one well-wisher said, it is better than the alternative. Things could be worse. They sure could be. I am thankful for the people in my life. I am thankful for the life I can live. For the opportunities. Here is a heartfelt thank you to all who wished me a happy birthday. Whether on Facebook, by text message, email or telephone. It was appreciated. For those who forgot, and I am sure you have good reasons, there is always next year. At least I hope there is. Make it a good one.