Shelley Widhalm

Birthday Blues

In Aging, Birthday wishes, Wanting eternal youth on May 1, 2011 at 8:06 am

I’ve got the birthday blues.

Though I’m not sad or anything, I don’t want to think about how a large number of candles representing my new age could possibly fit on a cake.

I make the same two wishes every year: one I’m working hard to make come true and the other I will never give up hope about becoming reality. I plan to make those same two wishes this year.

What my problem is that I’m not in favor of my solid entry into a new decade.

Today, Saturday, April 30, the day I am writing my weekly blog, I am a year older.

I love the fact of birthdays, that friends and family wish you a happy one, take you to dinner and go out of their way because it’s your day – a personal holiday we all get to add to our calendars.

I don’t like the fact I’m getting older and losing my youth. I have a vibrant inner child, without which I don’t think I could be a writer. I get told I don’t look my age, but appear a decade younger. Did I start working in kindergarten two women I interviewed for a newspaper article asked me. I wanted to give them a big hug.

A not uncommon experience, I still think of myself as 25. I feel 25 except at mid-day when I want to take a nap. I don’t like seeing my face change, the etching of small wrinkles on my face and the puffiness under my eyes I get whenever I’m tired or stressed.

I just want to stay who I am, how I believe myself to me: youthful, vibrant and alive. But each year takes me further from 25, even though I cling to that number as if it was a permanent number in my life, like my social security number and birth date.

I guess I can’t have my birthday cake and eat it, too.

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