Happy 56th birthday to me

Today I’m 56 years old.

This is not me. This is Belvedere the kitten, who’s 4 days old

For you younger people out there — time just chugs along and you hardly notice it until you get to one of those milestone years — 40, 50, 55. You’re too fixated on things like careers and children to wake up and think, “wow, I’m getting older.” 

The grey hairs, the wrinkles, the thickening of the body come gradually, until you look in the mirror and see someone who looks older than you remember being. 

You don’t even notice that the cultural touchstones — the music stars, the memes and jokes — flow and change around you, and you wake up one morning to find that the younger people around you don’t get your jokes anymore. 

But you’ve survived so much!  Everyday events that would panic you before — a flat tire, sleeping through the alarm — you now handle with aplomb. Your fears that you can’t handle crises have been proven wrong time after time. 

And you have stories to tell. Middle age (late middle-age?) is a great time to start writing. Or find friends who like to tell stories and swap them. 

When you’re older, you have the perspective of years, and that is your gift to the world.

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