Turning 80: quite a landmark birthday, I reckon. Mine happens in four days, on the 24th February.
I’ve always liked my birth date because of a story my mother told me. She was worried I’d be born on 29th February, the extra day in a leap year. She felt that would be unfair, because I would have a birthday only once every four years. So she did her best to hasten my arrival by walking up and down the vicarage hallway, holding on to her ankles. Imagine…
Who knows whether her contortions made a difference, but I was a breech birth (bottom first) and rather small at (I think) 5 lb 6 oz. Every years since then I have had my very own birthday, and I do appreciate my mother’s contribution to this privilege.
Every birthday is a privilege, never more so than in old age
A friend told me she had declared a Jubilee Year, as for a queen, and so had been celebrating her 80th birthday all year long. Great idea. She added, “It helps to make up for—” I spotted a sad little phrase like “being so old” perched on her tongue so I interrupted saying: “—for being alive?”
We agreed that being alive is a very fine thing indeed.
This year, first up, I have a mystery sistery celebration. I’m not comfortable with big parties, so my five sisters have arranged a very long weekend’s fun for just us (and maybe other family members).
I’ve been told, “There will be walking but no tramping.” I’ll take my walking shoes and sunhat and swimming togs but I have no idea how we’ll spend those days. Perfect. I can’t stop smiling.
And 2020 looks like being a jubilee year for me. In April my children have arranged for us to walk the beautiful Abel Tasman Track and have a weekend at Kaiteriteri, surely one of the most perfect beaches in the world. Other little mini-events are sneaking in. What’s more, I shall choose to believe that every event this year is in honour of my continued existence, alive at 80 and beyond. Let the wild rumpus start!
If you’ve got it, flaunt it.