Part Two – Your Age Is Nobody’s Business

         

 

           If Age Is Only a Number – Why Does Everybody Want to Know Mine?

Getting older is inevitable, but how soon you allow it to make decisions for you is your choice. I know that I am not ready for it, and I live my life without thinking about how old I am. Except when my birthday is coming up-that’s always a reality check! Or when a friend says, “Isn’t it your birthday next week?”

“I don’t have birthdays anymore,” I say, “I stopped those years ago.”

I often get a reaction like, “What a good idea!” Over the years, I have heard other people reply, “I am always thirty-nine” or “I have started to count backward.”

As much as I would like to ignore my date of birth, the world will not. It is written on top of my driver’s license….and it makes me slightly nervous when someone asks, “May I see some identification?” I always hope that he or she does not pay attention to my age, and luckily they usually don’t

When I pick up my blood pressure medication, the pharmacist asks, “What is your date of birth?” I wonder if she couldn’t see it in my file or what knowing my age adds to my co-payment.

I answer in a low voice.

“Can you speak up, please?” she asks again

I repeat it once more an now everybody in the line behind me knows how old I am. Most likely, nobody cares-but I do. You might call me vain, and maybe I am, but hearing myself say my age again and again reminds me of how old I am. It confirms it. This is something I can’t allow, or it will settle in my brain and creep into my bones, killing the spring in my step . Maybe it is a small spring, not like someone who is twenty-five or even forty, but I still walk erect, and don’t drag my feet.

Yes, age is only a number. But, oh, how it influences us if we are not careful. My friend Angela, who is very vibrant, active, and looks years younger than her age, recently had a birthday. When I asked her how she wanted to celebrate, she said, “Oh my god, this is a big one. I really don’t feel like celebrating. Can you imagine? I will be X years old.” (No, I won’t tell on her?

“It happens to all of us.” I replied at the time, but she didn’t hear me.

I noticed that after her birthday, Angela started every sentence with, “Well now, at my age,” or “I don’t know how long I can still do this,” or “You never know, when one gets sick, seeing how old I am now……” She never had those thoughts before, but her last birthday gave her a terrible present —it robbed her of feeling not old.

“Please don’t speak about your age all the time; it is starting to depress me,” I said to her one day.

“But it is true, I am X years old now an who knows what will happen, or if I will see my grandchildren graduate.”

Getting a little impatient with her and not knowing what to say anymore, I quoted my grandmother, who all through my life was a beacon of wisdom for me: “You know if you don’t want to become old, you have to die young!”

But Angela was so caught up in her new image of being old, she did not understand what I was trying to tell her, and continued to list all the things she would have trouble doing from now on.

********

P.S. This is an excerpt from my book ‘Living Longer Living Well” (more on my next blog)

And Don’t Forget – A Smile Changes Everything!

Brigitte

 

 

Another Birthday? – Treat Yourself!

Birthdays come and go but we are still here – yes, it’s my birthday today and no, I don’t really need another one – but I can’t stop them from happening – so the only thing to do is to look on the bright side of things and celebrate yet another year that has passed and look forward to the year ahead.

For as long as I can remember I have bought myself a new dress for my birthday. After all it is a special occasion and I wanted to mark the moment. I know people who take the day off work, but I rather went to work wearing my new dress that day. But this year I did something different –  I bought a pair shoes – not any shoes – Red Shoes – and the effect is amazing. They make me feel very feminine, very sexy and daring – and that is the attitude I need for another year to come.

 

Maybe red shoes are not your thing, but I am sharing this with you to remind you to treat yourself with whatever makes you feel good and special. Another birthday needs to be celebrated with a gift you give yourself!

                                                     Happy Birthday to everybody who is also born on May 6!

And never forget – A Smile Changes Everything!

Brigitte

 

Do You Remember Turning 4O?

Image result for pictures of being 40

Stepping onto the balcony of my apartment on this sunny Monday morning I was wondering if Manhattan was still the same as yesterday, because I was not. I had just turned 40. Today is my birthday. Finally it had happened – I was 40 years old; far away from being young and far away from being old.

I remember as a child I heard adults speak about people in their 40’s, and for me it sounded like they were 100, and more importantly it seemed to be 100 years away. But today the 100 years have caught up with me. But I really don’t feel different, even though I have to admit I look a little different than 10 years ago.

Come to think of it age affects us throughout our life, but in very different ways. As children we hope for nothing more than to be older. When we reach 16 we can’t wait to be 20 because it seems that the world is waiting for us and we can’t wait to change the world. And yes, sometimes we do change the world, but the truth is the passing years change us – and suddenly there is that day when we turn 40.

                                                                       *******

I have written this reflection many year ago, and now, closer to being old, I have learned that it is not the number of our birthdays which is important, but our attitude to those numbers. Therefore, just remember they are only numbers – numbers which can’t change a positive attitude and the love of life!

And always remember – A Smile Changes Everything!

bn-small-imageBrigitte