‘Cause it’s Your Birthday…

For the love of all that’s holy! Don’t blow those candles out!

I sit here this morning on the day that is officially the day I turn 54. For the past few years I’ve always shared the same status on the day of my birth.

‘So this is what it’s like to be (fill in age here). *puts finger out from under cover and makes pinching gesture* Feels the same.’

Well, I can’t do that this year. My 53rd year was so event filled that anything after that has got to feel different.

There is an old saying that goes something like this, “Life is what happens while you’re making plans for something else.’ [sic] I have discovered that is true. Everything that happened this year, happened while I was making plans for other things.

Life changing things.

Can you feel the irony in that statement? Probably not if you aren’t aware of how completely SNAFU or FUBAR (military acronyms, just Google the terms if you need a direct translation) my 53rd year has been.

Suffice to say, the only two constants in my life are my daughter and my blog. Of course including my blog also includes all the wonderful folks I’ve met through the WordPress site.

There will be some folks who read the above paragraph and grumble, “Hey ass-hole, why don’t I count as a constant in your life? Aren’t I a: colleague, friend, relative, twitter-pal, facebook friend, YouTube subscriber? I could go on listing the folks that I interact with on a daily and not so daily basis.

But the key word in both the statement and the question is ‘constant.’ “Do ye ken?” As they say in Scotland. Constant meaning that no matter what level of interaction, these two things remain the same. Got it? Right, time to move on then.

Because I am still in recovery mode from my latest gift bestowed upon me by the number 53  (sorry I just kind of slid into Sesame Street for a minute) I cannot really make plans apart from immediate ones.

Getting to where I can walk a bit further each day. Going to the many different medical appointments and the cardio exercise classes. Everything I am planning is on a ‘step by step’ basis. Some of these steps are just as ‘life changing’ as before, but, in a different sense.

Due to the nature of my last gift, everything has changed. The lady at the hospital did ask me if I was ready for my ‘new’ life. I really did not know how accurate that question was.

I have learned one very good lesson this past year. A lesson that you would think I had learned already being just a little over a half-century old. The lesson is actually two-fold.

The wise old sage takes a power nap before solving the world’s problems.

Don’t get angry. Not only is this a colossal waste of time, it show a side of your character that weakens you and detracts from who you really are. Don’t complain. This also falls into the ‘colossal waste of time’ category. I remember grumbling non-stop when I was recovering from my back injury earlier this year.

I was annoyed at how painful and slow my walking was and how long it took to walk to the Tesco’s Metro from my house. Behold a few months later (figuratively speaking) and now I can’t even walk to the bus stop just outside my house without stopping for a break. The Metro? Uh-uh, no way Jose, not happening.

I used to joke that while I was gimping around with the back injury I should have a sign on my back that said, ‘World’s easiest mugging victim here.’  Now I don’t think I even need a sign, my gait and snail-like pace says it all.

I have learned one thing though. It was re-enforced yesterday in my first visit to the cardiologist since my surgery, emergency and otherwise, I am a fast healer. The doctor repeatedly reminded me that all this had only happened three and a half weeks ago. My overall recovery rate is off the chart.

So my new catchphrase for my 54th year is look ahead. Just those two words and all their limited meaning will suffice, I think. If I don’t waste too much time worrying about the things that are ‘life changing’ or stressful, or time wasting. I can just look ahead to the next thing I need to do.

Sometimes looking ahead requires that we look back. Not too far though! That way lies madness my friend. A little introspection is good for the soul, a lot is not. Just trust me on this one. Okay? I have been around for well over a half-century you know.

So for the immediate future I will focus on the things that need to be done to move forward. The simple things, like getting my car sorted. I’m not sure what happened to it. I don’t know if it went into a decline because it missed me  while I was gone or if I left something on to drain the poor old girl dry. (personally I think the latter is more likely)

Once that is done, I’ll focus on getting me sorted. The process of taking a few steps more each day and eating properly. Doing the  limited sort of introspection necessary to insure I’m not repeating past mistakes. Most importantly though, I’ll be taking my time on the things that need ‘long-term’ changing.

I came face to face with my own mortality this year and that in itself is a life changing event. One that, if you’ll forgive me, I’m not in a hurry to repeat. I also found out that unlike a few short years ago, I did and do not fear the reaper.

He’ll come for me when he’s ready and I’ll react the same way.  I’ll fight to keep what I deem as mine and he will either win or not.

He’s gonna get mighty lonely up there…
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