Holy cow. Who saw this coming? You’re supposed to dread every new decade of your life, right?
My angst over birthdays started at 16. Sixteen was TOO OLD. Why? Because I was graduating high school in June, and my closest friends were going away to college. I was going to be stuck at Brooklyn College, close to home. It worked out better than I could have hoped. And for the love of all that’s holy, I was done with college (having transferred to NYU and receiving my BA in Psychology) by the age of 20.
Twenty was good, because I was able to leave home. I needed to. I was on a mission. I went to work. I found a lot of crappy jobs. Then I found a really good one with a Japanese travel agency that enabled me to travel to England, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, all when I was 22. Eventually, I stumbled into the graphic arts and stayed put for a while. I got married (a souvenir from England) and divorced in that decade, but it built character.
Thirty was OK, because I was professionally stable, healthy and happy. I was a singer, songwriter and rhythm guitarist in a rock band. My boyfriend was diagnosed with cancer, but we beat it. I got married (again), bought a house, got into desktop publishing and kept developing professionally.
Forty was surprisingly good. I started feeling comfortable in my own skin. I started working for myself. I had opportunities to teach, which I really love. I got my Masters degree (29 years after my bachelor’s).
Fifty was interesting. I expected to feel older and didn’t, until my parents got sick. Dealing with caregiving and having to learn so much about aging was, well, aging. But once I got a handle on things and refocused on my own needs, I got some years back. Feeling old isn’t necessarily permanent.
In my 59th year, I survived another caregiving stint with my husband, who was disabled for 5 months, starting New Year’s Day 2017. I managed to get a publishing deal in July. My book, entitled “Dementia Sucks,” will be released by Post Hill in May of this year. My business, Grand Family Planning, is gaining traction and I’m saving people’s lives and legacies. My business is growing in ways I could never have imagined thirty years ago.
Today I am 60. If I don’t look in the mirror, I could still be 30. I feel good, with no aches or pains. I’m limber. I do yoga. I still sing. In fact, I have a gig coming up on Friday.
So, today, I celebrate thirty years of (mostly) feeling 30. I’m grateful. I’m here. And if I’m still around in another ten years, I’ll let you know how that feels. I’m predicting good news, but you know, it’s easy to be optimistic at 30!