Saturday was my birthday.
The day started out okay enough. I didn’t have to go into the pharmacy, so that’s something. I can remember my son trying to wake me up so that he could gain access to my phone (he’s an Angry Birds addict – we’re so pleased). I could tell I was in a bad mood from the moment he threw an ever-lovin’ fit when I told him he couldn’t have the phone. We lay in bed a little longer and all I could think about were all the things I needed to get up and accomplish. I have a hundred little projects I think about and never complete. I’m a year older and I’ve got to get busy before all these things devour me! I quickly ask hubby if he’s going to get up and help me (with these 100 tasks I need to complete). He proceeded to take a tone with me that I didn’t like. “It’s my freakin’ birthday!” I yelled in my head. “How dare he act slightly displeased with my tone and take on a tone of his own – on my BIRTHDAY!” So I cried, half Scarlett O’Hara and half actually crying. He doesn’t see me cry often and he doesn’t like the crying so I feel slightly better knowing he would regret taking that kind of tine with me when we clearly have all this stuff to do. We don’t really ever fight so tones and inflections are all we have, you see.
I get out of the bed, achy in my hips and the heels of my feet. Pharmacy can take its toll on your mental state and on your body. We aren’t allowed to sit down unless on a break. We hold the phone between our shoulder and our ear all day long while counting pills and juggling every other task imaginable. I do a lot of repetitive movements at work and I think this has contributed to my overall body pain, which was pretty much non-existent before this job. Every morning I almost have to push my legs forward when I take my first steps because my hips hurt so bad. This gets markedly better throughout the day, but the first time of the day you finally get to sit down, you are reminded of the pain when you get back up. I am feeling especially old now, my physical body betraying me already. Thirty-four sucks already.
I know, I know, those of you older than 34 are allowed to groan at my depression over growing older. “Just wait until you’re 50!” they’ll say. I certainly don’t relish turning that age either. I am, however, glad to not be 23 anymore. I was an idiot in those days and I am glad to have a bit of experience to guide me in my life travels. Some tell me I am an ‘old soul’ and I do feel that way sometimes, but on Saturday I was feeling a lot of things, none of which was gratefulness for my ‘old soul’ or my 34 year-old scars. I imagine my 50 year-old self will think that my 34 year-old self was an idiot too.
I took a lot of walks down Memory Lane. I could feel myself panicking at the thought of losing my girlishness. Maybe I am a fool who lost her girlishness a long time ago. I think it may have happened the first time with someone whom I was 99% sure was exactly my age called after me, “Ma’am!” I turned all around looking for this older person he was surely referring to. It takes me a minute to realize this man is talking to me. Upon further inspection he isn’t as old as I thought. He must be about 20 or 21. I was probably about 30. I can say without question that I can be delusional sometimes, imagining myself thinner and prettier with virtually no wrinkles and stretch marks. I figure as long as I’m rolling around thinking a certain way, who cares what others think?
I start to feel the world creeping closer to its position on the perch of my shoulders. How can I slow it all down? I don’t want to grow old and die! It seems like just yesterday I was hanging out with my friends during the summer, not a CARE in the world. It seems like just a short while ago my mom was telling me that one day I would understand what it was like for her to raise us kids. One day – blah, blah, blah. She was right and I’ll be damned if I don’t find myself saying the exact same things she would say when I was a kid, the things I swore I would never say. Three blinks and I will be her age; 56. How has it come to this? I can still remember her the way she was back then. It seems as if it were just yesterday. Life can be cruel and these memories sure can be bittersweet.
I find myself looking to a purpose for it all. I believe we must have all decided on this course we are living now. We knew there would be sadness and we did it anyway because we knew what we would gain from it all, but do we not want to be happy at some point? When does the status and the clothes and the Matrix not matter anymore? There are so many illusions we allow to run our lives. What good is all the money in the world if you work so hard – away from your happiness – to get it? Is complete and utter happiness not the goal? Maybe that’s Heaven I am thinking about. There is beauty in this world for sure, but not near what we want. Knowing there is more out there doesn’t make all the heartache go away, but it does help a little. I know I have been feeling sorry for myself but I am also upset too. I should be further in my spiritual growth by now! I know that some things come in due time, but how long can one use that excuse when they rest on their laurels all day? I go against what I know I need to do sometimes. I choose the Matrix when I should be seeing the truth. I continue to complain about a job that makes me unhappy. All I need is a little meditation and a few more grasshoppers to make me realize my dream in this life and I put it off. I think the reason that 34 has been so hard for me is that is feels way too much like 33 and 32 and 31. It’s time I did something about that.