Thursday, September 14, 2006

Middle Aged

Today is my birthday. I am 35. Officially middle-aged, if I am not mistaken.

As my years pass, I have noticed a natural tendency to shift my perception of what old is. 60 is the new 30 as far as I'm concerned, since it is now becoming clear that someday I will likely actually be 60. When I am 50, I am guessing 80 will be the new 40. Self preservation, perhaps, but also familiarity and a higher comfort level that getting old isn't really all that bad. What the body loses, the mind (at least at this point) gains in comfort, wisdom and maturity. I would never go backwards in age for a youthful body--it's not worth it!

Faith, of course, plays a huge role in how comfortable I am with getting older. I am now absolutely positive that the really good part starts at the end of this life, so what is there to dread, really? This position sheds light on why we celebrate birthdays, a.k.a. aging, at all.

My kids (with help from grandma) baked me a cake this afternoon. All on their own, they planned a impromptu "party" for me that included homemade streamers cut out and strewn all over the floor and a game of musical chairs completely set up and administered by them. They jumped out and surprised me with a Happy Birthday song when I arrived home and gave me the best, most sincere hugs and kisses I can ever remember receiving from them. Could there be anything better?

This little party was a complete surprise to me (in fact, I had a doctor's appointment planned in the afternoon that I completely missed due to my delight). When the kids woke up, they did not know it was my birthday until Jay told them, and they figured out after school, on their own, what they wanted to do for me. I loved their spontaneity, creativity, and the way they gave of themselves so purely. I will never forget this, as it meant more than any planned party ever could have.

I went out to lunch with my parents at my favorite restaurant (Japanese, where they cook on the table in front of you), and had phone calls, well wishes and unexpected gifts from good friends and family alike. I have another celebration to look forward to with my in-laws tomorrow. But best of all, Joey had a really good school day. Few struggles, high accuracy the first time through everything, work completed in a timely manner. One of the best gifts of the day! How can I bottle this?!

I suppose it is exactly because every day is not like a good birthday that makes one so very special. But the very best elements of today--kids, husband, family, friends and faith--are part of my everyday life. Lucky, lucky me.


Michelle said...

Happy belated birthday. I turned 35 in April.

Were you married in 1995?

Is your husband 38?

Are you really me with a different name and on-line identity?

Am I pregnant?

nutmeg said...

Happy Birthday, Susanne!

What a special day! (esp the homeschooling success.....sigh)


Annie Bizzi said...

What blessings you have! I was going to wish you love on your birthday but it looks like that wish has already come true. Happy Birthday anyway-you know you and your family are always in my prayers!

P.S. I feel like such a spring chicken now that all of my friends are "middle aged"! Maybe I should take up base jumping or something before I get too old... Geronimoooooo.......

Suzanne Di Silvestri said...

Michelle, although it sometimes seems as if we might be the same person, I am certain I am not you because there is NO WAY I am running an army 10 miler, no matter what! But, keep asking yourself if you are pregnant, because I suspect that answer, one of these days soon, will be yes!

But, yes, I was married in July of 1995, born in 1971, my oldest is an 8 year old boy and I so far have 5 children. However, my husband is an old, old man at 42. (I love playing this card if you can't tell.)

Thanks, all, for the birthday wishes!

Tina said...

Sounds like your birthday was wonderful. Hopefully we can add to that celebration this weekend. And another thing - someone over 40 is old. Wow! I think I forgot to tell myself that I'm old. Especially since I started water polo practice yesterday. Old my foot at 41. Love you anyway, you spring chicken.