It’s My Birthday – Learning As A Lifestyle

3-1-2013 2-41-32 PM

I am about to celebrate my birthday. Normally I would not think too much about that. After all it is only another day. But, for some reason I can’t get out of my head how old I will be on my birthday.

Kurt Vonnegut is quoted as saying “True terror is to wake up and discover that your high school class is running the country.” Vonnegut is a 20th Century writer most famous for “Slaughter House Five,” published in 1969.

Wanda CampbellThis year I am wondering how everyone else got so old while I feel so young. My oldest daughter turned 40 last year – that was a surprise. In my mind she was still in her 20’s. Of course she can’t be in her 20’s, she has children in their 20’s.

Living in Athens, I get to see cousins and their children that I have not seen in quite a while. People I think are 12-14 are turning out to be 30-35. How in the world has this happened? It seemed like time stood still for me. After all just a couple of years ago I was in my forties.

But it is not just that. Last night at the dinner table, Ben and Brian were talking about how many changes happen in a generation. And they reminded me there were in a four generation picture with my in-laws. Then I realized there are four generations in my line right now.

Sometimes I feel like I live in a time warp. There are days when I feel so young (at least in my 30’s). Then the next day I am aching and bent and just worn out (I must be at least 100). I guess the old saying is right – you ARE as young/old as you feel.

Maybe after the actual day I am celebrating things will go back to normal. After all, it is not just about how you feel. It is about what you know. Of course some days I don’t even know what day it is. Funny how you get busy and time runs all together. And when you have so many things on your mind, there is no telling what day it is or what you should be doing now. How many times have you walked into a room and don’t know why you went there?

The point of all this rambling is – yes, I am getting older – but things are not awful. Bette Davis, a 20th century actress and star of more than 100 films says “Old age is not for sissies.” In taking stock, I realize I have a lot to be thankful for. I think I will follow the advice of Oliver Wendell Holmes, an American Jurist who served on the US Supreme Court from 1902 to 1932. Holmes says, “Old age is 15 years older than I am.”

I just have to get my head wrapped around this birthday.
By: Wanda Campbell

3-1-2013 2-42-21 PM

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