It is my birthday and I am 55. I’m not sure that I ever expected to be quite this old, but I am now old enough for the old people’s group at church, old enough for AARP, old enough for a senior discount at the fabric store. There is a list of benefits of being over 55, but I cannot relate to any of them. Don Marquis wrote a lovely essay on the subject.
I think that how you feel on a round-numbered birthday has to do with what you’ve accomplished since your last birthday and what you thought you’d have done by this birthday. I usually feel good on major birthdays, because I’ve usually done a lot.
Last year I wrote that I was expecting to have a fabulous year, and it has actually been pretty fabulous. The business has grown impressively, thanks to some excellent people and hard work. We have more problems than we used to have, no question, but we’ve equally definitely moved along the path toward our goals for the firm. I haven’t really accomplished any significant personal goals in the past year, but I’ve lost 16 pounds and am about to finish paying tuition, both of which are good things.
Still, I think that I expected to be serene at 55, if I did in fact every get that old, and possibly soignee. I planned on being a good role model to younger women, and on cooking lovely Sunday dinners in my clean and cozy home for my extended family, which I figured would be more extended by now, with grandchildren and such. I expect women of 55 to have their act together more than I actually do.
I didn’t plan on becoming an entrepreneur at 50.
So I woke up at 1:00 a.m. thinking how I have achieved this venerable age and am still enslaved by the Evil 6, agoraphobia, and a ridiculous work schedule, not to mention how much of my life is a continual response to crises.
By the time I actually got up around 6:00 I was feeling less appalled. #2 daugher is here for the weekend, #1 son and #1 daughter are joining us today for a trip to the museum, and there might very well be cake. I dn’t plan to work much today and I think it will be a fun day. I don’t feel any older today than I did yesterday, and I am sort of expecting to have a fabulous year.