Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – July 29, 2004
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – July 29, 2004 – This day – the celebration of my birth was no different from countless other birthdays. The way I spent it was unlike last year or the year before, but the actual feeling of turning another year older was the same. Other than my infrequent aches and pains – I don’t feel an age.
Fifty-five doesn’t frighten me or make me define myself any differently than I did at forty. I am not daunted by the number 55. I feel ageless. I know that my body is getting older, but I know my spirit is right where it’s supposed to be. I know I’m learning about my place in life. I am acquiring wisdom, albeit, slowly. Once I’ve processed an event or an experience, I’m learning to let it go. I wish the acquisition of wisdom came easier and more smoothly, but perhaps it wouldn’t then be wisdom!
I woke up to a bright, sunny morning. I watched a bird outside my window swoop through the morning sky and disappear. I said a silent “thank you” for my life and my health. I have a birthday to enjoy. My pets were eager for ear scratches and bickies. Augie and I roamed around the neighbourhood and then headed back home. A thirty minute Pilates workout (I’m not sure if this is the start of something beautiful or just an isolated burst of physical energy) and then time for breakfast.
I received calls and e-mails from friends and family acknowledging my birthday, then headed out to the west end of the city to meet my friend Jackie for lunch. We sat on the patio at Mitzi’s, our usual haunt, and talked about love, friends, gratitude, health – all the things that really matter in life. It was a great lunch and I’m so thankful that Jackie is my friend.
I drove back home along Lakeshore Blvd., enjoying the sunshine and the afternoon, and then sat and finished reading A Farewell To Arms for my upcoming Moby Dick Book Club meeting. Then it was off to Eric and Dorothy’s for a birthday dinner. Fabulous food, lively, humorous conversation and sharing my special day with people who care about me. So, this day of turning 55, was wonderful – filled with good friends, family, warm wishes and love. What does it mean to me? I thought about this tonight as I returned home from my brother’s place, and these are some of the things I know:
55 Years ago tonight my mother gave birth to my twin Stephen and me. Stephen died soon after he was born from respiratory complications. My parents gained a daughter and lost a son. I lost a brother. I still wonder sometimes what he would have been like – this twin of mine, and on this day I wish his spirit well.
I’m proud of myself and this commitment I’ve made to flex my creative writing muscle. I may not be doing so well with Howard the Treadmill, but I am honouring the pledge I made to myself last December to write.
I know that I’m responsible, careful and capable. I can look after myself. This knowledge is a powerful affirmation of the woman I am becoming.
I am constantly striving to learn about life. I’m not always initially successful, but I do my best. I recognize my weaknesses and understand, all to well, my darker side. I no longer attempt to deny its existence, rather I acknowledge it and try to shed light on the shadows.
I’m still feel the razor sharp blade of anxiety – but its’ not as powerful as it once was.
I’m judgmental. I’m not proud of it, but awareness is the first step on the road to change.
I can change my life. The key is to make different choices. I know this and I understand both the simplicity and complexity of this knowledge.
In spite of my faults – I’m a really, really good person. I know this in my soul.
The pieces of the puzzle that are my life are slowly coming together. I don’t get it all, but I get a lot of it. Today was a day to be grateful and thankful – a celebration of my life. I feel a calmness at my core. My soul is speaking to me all the time and I’ve learned enough now to listen to its subtle messages. A day for me – a day well spent – this becoming 55!