Today is my birthday.
Well, okay, today isn’t EXACTLY my birthday, because when you write something for publication, wherever it might be, there’s usually a delay between the time you write it, and the time you see it “in print,” or in this case “online.”
Unless of course you’re commenting on something like YouTube for example; when you hit send – presto! – there are your words captured on the Internet, instantaneously, for all and sundry to see.
Anyway, today, as I write this, it’s actually five days before my birthday, which is January 28. If you’re reading this on January 28, the day I posted it, drop everything immediately and start making my cake! I’ve always wanted to have my cake and eat it too. Perhaps this will be my lucky year.
If it’s after January 28, don’t worry; I’m fine with belated birthday wishes, just send stargazer lilies and Arabic perfume.
Alternatively, write your wishes in the comments section below (you have to register on the site to do that), or send me an email 🙂
Birthdays are a bag of mixed blessings for me. Getting older is too.
I’ve discovered that old cliché that says, “you’re not getting older, you’re getting wiser,” is true. I’m a hellluva’ lot wiser than I was say, hmmmm, 20 years ago. Or 20 weeks ago. Hell, probably even 20 minutes ago for that matter. I just keep on learning new stuff. It’s never ending.
The problem is, there’s a paradox (damn paradoxes are popping up everywhere these days…); while I know more than I’ve ever known, I’ve also come to realize that the more I know, the less I know – relatively, I mean.
Thus, as the volume of things I know increases, the volume of things there are to know also increases, and at a much faster rate, which means that the amount of stuff I know relative to the amount of stuff there is to know is declining in real terms.
In at nutshell: more is less.
I distinctly remember being quite confident with respect to the breadth and depth of my knowledge when I was in my twenties. That misplaced arrogance reached a peak just as I turned thirty.
Thankfully, the merits of humility began to manifest themselves as I matured, bringing me to a point where I now enjoy a more tempered estimate of my own self-worth, balanced with a healthy dose of self-assurance.
Say It Again Sam
Another aspect of the knowledge paradox is that as one gets older one’s memory begins to worsen, so I’ve probably forgotten a significant portion of what I’ve learned over the years.
The upside of the my reduced power of recall is that I can be told the same story repeatedly, and be as entertained by it the tenth time round as I was the first – a happy state of affairs on some dates and at most parties.
As I grow wiser, I believe, or at least I hope, that I’m also getting better.
“Better at what?” you may well ask. Well, better at practicing some of the virtues that were so elusive in my youth: patience, forgiveness, compassion, understanding, those kinds of things.
I don’t expect to achieve perfection in any of them, at least not in this lifetime. There’s always room for improvement.
The Arts of Love
As one gets longer in the tooth, one may also become more skilled in the arts of love, both platonic and romantic. That’s a good thing, because love is an excellent anti-aging agent.
Here’s what someone wrote me today:
Did you know, Susan, that whenever you feel love, you literally begin to glow? You probably did.
But did you know that the glowing is actually made up of zillions of minute sparkles? And that these sparkles receive as much energy as they create? And that because of this energy exchange you completely stop aging and look younger?
Abundance is immediately drawn to you? Healing powers fill you? Muscles are strengthened, pounds are shed, and your vision improves? Lingering questions are answered? New friends are summoned? Old friends are poked? Problems are solved? And maple syrup tastes more maple-y?
All of this when you feel love.
Loving is wonderfully energizing at an age. However, in my experience, opportunities to practice platonic love (with friends, family, children, those in need, etc.) are in greater abundance as life goes on.
Opportunities to practice romantic love, on the other hand, seem increasingly infrequent. (Being a 53-year-old divorcee, regardless of how youthful one might look and feel, is sometimes not all it’s cracked up to be lol. Still, I’m ever hopeful…)
Which reminds me, for an interesting perspective on the gender (male vs. female), thought processes associated with hooking up over drinks, take a peak here.
And that, dear readers, brings me to the close of these birthday musings. If I’ve piqued your interest and you’re wondering what it’s like to get old and grey (or in my case SILVER!), you can find some of the answers here.
It can be a lot more liberating than you might think…