M. Twohy, from the New Yorker. If you can't make out the words, they say, "All of a sudden, everyone seems younger than I am."
For anyone not yet 50 who is reading this, during your 49th year you begin receiving literature from AARP, American Association of Retired People. You will also begin to receive their informative Bulletin and the AARP Magazine, both interesting resource publications on being older, and mounds of offers for health care and long-term care insurance. See what you have to look forward to? There's the Victoria's Secret catalog, somebody's Playboy Magazine--and the AARP Bulletin!
My friend Catherine at Loudgirl is turning 50 and on a list we belong to, people are offering suggestions for a caption on her baby picture for the 50th birthday party invitation. You can see this adorable photo at her blog. Ideas are from as simple as Fifty is Nifty to – no, I’ll leave this blank so you can offer some of your own ideas to Catherine.
But, serendipity once again visited when I flipped open my January 2006 AARP Bulletin to a funny article by a favorite person of mine, Garrison Keillor of the Prairie Home Companion. "You shouldn’t complain about aging," he says, "for the simple reason that nobody gives a hoot."
If you don’t actually hit the link above, let this paragraph about what to give up and what to welcome, warm your heart. "Put the past behind you. This is even easier to do at my age (63), but you can get a start at 50. Make a pile of your regrets and put a match to them and let them blow away—the lost loves, the estranged friends, the botched education, the unwritten novel, the neglected guitar, the ruinous investments, the dear friend who committed suicide, the opportunities that sailed away without you. Put that knapsack full of rocks on the ground and walk away and find something in the here-and-now that absorbs you and take up with that—a garden, a grandchild, a choir, yoga, knitting, amassing a collection of porcelain pigs, political agitation, learning the drop-thumb style of banjo."
The article also features tips from famous people, like fashion-designer Diane von Furstenberg's "Wear Comfortable Clothes." None of the tight minis or Manolo Blahnik stilettoes; Gloria Vanderbilt jeans and loose, button-up-the-front shirts and God bless Easy Spirit slip-on shoes.
So, maybe Catherine will use Garrison's article to help her fine-tune her invitation. I did not go to work today, but went to the doc instead to get antibiotics for an ongoing sinus infection that has exacerbated my chronic cough. I ache all over from coughing, but the antibiotics have already helped or the infection had already run its course as I can catch a few hours of unbroken sleep at a time now. Seems weird to lay in bed mid-day in my flannel nightie—reading and dozing. It actually is kind of scary.
I bought a replacement camera on eBay last night for the one I left in the Cathedral on Saturday night. I could still kick myself for being so careless in leaving it behind. Here I am at 68 and I can feel all those feelings I felt when I lost one of my galoshes walking home from kindergarten and caught holy hell at home. That was nothing compared to losing my birth certificate another time walking home from first grade.
What do you remember losing as a kid and being chided by your parents for being careless?