A fan one of my students dressed up as a birthday card for me. :-)
There's an episode of "Roseanne" in which her mother is celebrating her 62nd birthday and Roseanne asks her mother how old she feels. Her mother replies, "sixty-two, I'm sixty-two years old." Roseanne responds by asking her how she feels inside and her mother repeats her previous response. With a clear amount of exasperation, Roseanne tries to get her mother to admit that she must feel younger than her chronological age inside and later says that she (Roseanne) feels like she's 'stuck' at 16.
Recently, I also read a blog post by one of my favorite web cartoonists (Paul Southworth at Ugly Hill) and he expressed a similar sentiment on his 27th birthday. I often feel that my husband retains the ability to see things in the best light and has the unconditional love of an innocent child while still being as responsible in every way that matters for a man of his age. I sometimes think my husband is stuck at 12 in the most positive ways and in none of the negative ways.
Today is my 43rd birthday and I feel every year of it and more. This is actually the way I have felt since I was 17 years old. In fact, the awesome weight of my responsibilities since that time have always left me feeling about 72. Fortunately, associating with my young-at-heart-in-all-the-very-best-ways husband and having someone who has helped lift some of the weight of life from me has brought that number down to about 65. I'm pretty sure I felt older at 17 than I do now at 43. I figure that, one of these days, I'm going to celebrate a birthday and actually feel the same on the outside as I do on the inside. If I had to guess right now, I'm betting that will happen around 55 or so unless life gets a lot harder between now and then. I do wish, rather wistfully, that I would have had the chance to feel like an 18-year-old for awhile and I rather envy those who feel stuck in their teens. Their hearts must be freer than mine and their minds considerably lighter.
In something which may appear coincidental but is not, this blog is two days shy of its first birthday. The reason is that I waited to start it until after I had a digital camera and I got it last year as a birthday gift (originally planned as a gift to myself but my generous in-laws paid for it for me). I'm not really counting the time under my belt and I'm certainly not tracking the number of posts I do but it's rather hard not to remember its anniversaries when they come so close on the heels of the anniversary of my unceremonious entrance into this reality.