I am offended. I opened Facebook this morning and saw this: “Phyllis, it’s almost your birthday. That did not offend me. But it was followed by links to pages for Alzheimer’s Association and 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline! That DID offend me.
I have always enjoyed birthdays — mine and other people’s. I thought they were a day to celebrate – my own entrance into this life and the fact that the world was graced with their presence. Apparently, I’ve been doing it wrong. And now I seem to have been warned that this upcoming birthday is the beginning of a major downward spiral. Either I am going to want to escape using drastic measures, or I’m just not going to remember it at all.
And here I thought I was starting a new chapter. I was planning on making the next 20 or so years the best ones ever. I have started writing a new book; I’ve begun laying the groundwork to seriously market the books I’ve already written; I’ve been daydreaming about spending springtimes in Europe. I wanted to take up hiking and maybe ride a horse again once in a while.
So, now what? Do I go into mourning for my lost youth and all the opportunities I allowed to pass me by? Do I cultivate a deep depression? (I’ve never been very good at staying depressed.) Or maybe I should take up heavy drinking and get a jump start on the forgetting. Or combine the two – get drunk and become absolutely maudlin, then forget why.
Then I looked outside. There were deer in the yard and cardinals at the bird feeder. The sun was shining and the air was cool. What do you know about anything, Facebook? I closed the app and put on my walking shoes (got to build up for hiking, just in case). Today, the only thing I will forget is that I am getting older. But maybe instead of my morning smoothie, I will put a martini in my Yeti cup. Gotta hedge my bets, after all.