Senior, Single and SeventySomething
This year, 2020, I’ll be alone, staying home and staying safe. But I’m still dancing to oldies via, online classes, my playlist and the oldies stations! And singing “Happy Birthday” to everybody as I wash my hands!
“So you’re a little
bit older and a lot less bolder than you used to be” sings Bob Seger; one
of my favorites from the 60’s! I’m proud to say I sang and danced to rock and
roll all through MY 60’s....just as Rock
and Roll Never Forgets; neither have
I! My family is used to rock songs blasting in my car; or being coaxed to dance
with me when it's played at a concert, theater or store aisles. But as I approach another Birthday, I wonder if it’s time to grow up and stop acting like a sixty-something
kid? I’ll be 76 this year…along with a
dozen of my high school girlfriends who’ve stayed close all these years.
Birthdays have always been a big deal in my life. I don’t
care how old I am, I’ll always want a cake, presents and fun celebration. Even
if it sounds like this: "Wow! You are
a very big number" as my youngest grandson exclaimed last year. I get as excited about mine as they do ...courtesy
of the 70 plus years of ‘birthday wisdom’ I’ve accumulated. My parents
made our birthdays a grand and festive occasion. My siblings and I would dress
in our Sunday best; and because we each shared our birth dates with a
grandparent.... it was even more special! As we grew older, our grandmothers
took us shopping for new clothes (as I now do with my older grand girls!) On my
13th, I had a party with both boys and girls…..and listened to rock and roll of
course! I was thrilled to receive gifts of single dollar bills; at the time it
seemed like a million bucks!
I find great joy in celebrating others' special day as
well! As soon as the first grandchild
came along, I started celebrating Half Birthdays! It worked out well with the
older two as their days are exactly six months apart. The three younger ones
have winter birthdays.......too long to wait till next one! So Grandma makes sure there's a spring time
celebration for them. When our kids were young, we posted signs around the
house with photos and proclamations of how awesome they were........a tradition
they carry on now with their children. While my folks were still living, they
called each grandchild and great-grandchild to sing Happy Birthday over the
phone! My Mom would send cards with money in the amount of how old they were.....something
I wish I still did. I love giving wrapped gifts!
I’m blessed that my
family supports my indulgences. They jumped on board for my 65th celebration at
the beach. We rode five miles on our bikes, counted 65 steps in the sand....six
times sliding down the ship's pulley rope, five times up and down the fire pole........you
get the idea! I received 65 balloons from Mom and 65 M&M's from the grandkids!
Yes, they’re catching birthday fever from me!
Sometimes it’s an even-bigger-than-usual-deal! One year I flew
over the snow on a dog sled in Alaska with my oldest granddaughter. I spent
another birthday in Australia climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge. I was totally
caught off guard when my sister invited me for dinner…..and I walked into a
room full of friends shouting "surprise" on my 50th! A few years ago my Mom sent me a special gift.....a
beautiful necklace with the birthstones of my five grandkids! Some years it's
just sweet and simple....like a yummy cake, cards and a few kiddos. I was an
educator for over 30 years, and even though my birthday often fell during
Spring Break, room moms and colleagues always made sure there was a gift,
student-made cards and a cake each year. No wonder I'm spoiled!
My gal pals and I will be meeting for our annual gathering
in Michigan again this summer. We’ve stayed in different places over the years;
places where we can shop, eat and talk……mostly talk! There’s nothing better
than catching up and sharing stories of our lives. This year we’ll be toasting
one another during our collective celebration at Greenfield Village. I can’t think of a better ‘big deal’ way to honor my birthday than
with these amazing women who’ve been together through it all!
The 1960’s gave me my start; I graduated college, got
married, began teaching, and had my first child. I taught aerobics, learned to
hook a rug, renovated our lake house and honed my gardening skills. By the time I reached age 60….I’d had another
child, moved cross-country three times, received my masters degree, became a
principal, worked as a fitness trainer, learned country line dancing and
welcomed three grandchildren!
My 60’s brought two more…twins! And
then…retirement, travel and discovering Zumba, paddle boarding and blogging! I
survived uprooting my kids, finding new jobs in new places, financial woes, illnesses,
graying hair and the loss of my parents. The sudden death of my husband brought
me to a standstill for awhile…..but I’m surviving. He helped grow me strong and
equipped me to carry on; to welcome this new chapter in my life.
Senior, single and seventy....wow! This is how I see it; instead of aging, I’m increasing in value!
I’ve got grandchildren, wisdom and energy. I've had 7 perfect decades of life and love; wonderful friends and
neighbors from all the places I’ve lived and worked and I'm ready to embrace whatever unfolds in the years to come! That’s very valuable
Seger closes Night Moves with this; “strange
how the night moves with autumn closing in.” Slowing down a bit maybe, but I’m not done
dancing. Autumn is also called Indian summer…..still
lots of time to grow older and bolder; to learn, laugh and love some more.