Today is my 85th birthday, which is a nice sturdy, confident number don’t you think? Eighty-five has a certain panache to it. You have gone past the years of indecision, people credit you with a certain amount of wisdom whether it’s true or not. You have accumulated a lot of memories, and if you can’t remember them precisely, it doesn’t matter, because no one will ever know anyway because they weren’t there.
You no longer have to worry if you’re hair is ‘just right’, or if you are wearing the ‘right’ shoes. You can authentically be the person you really are. Shopkeepers know you and give you better service than when you were 35 or 50. You are likely one of the oldest people in your family, and if you don’t push your weight around, you collect a lot of respect. All in all, it is a comfortable time of life.
There are three places in the world in which I am most at home and invigorated; Paris,France, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Carmel, California. They are all “painters” cities, and I am quite comfortable in them. I celebrated this year’s birthday twice in Carmel, which is the closest to my home in Fremont. My two daughters wined and dined me, and we spent a fabulous girl’s weekend there, doing all the things girls love to do; shop, shop, shop, and eat!
This weekend Dr. Advice, my dear husband of 66 years, took me down again and we had a delightful and romantic “real” birthday (and repeated most of the fun we had last weekend, but with more art gallery visits and trips to the Carmel Bakery.) We drove around and smelled the pine trees and the ocean, and wondered why we don’t wake up each morning with the same view.
Birthdays are wonderful occasions for celebration. No matter what country you are from, they have a version of the “Happy Birthday” song. It doesn’t matter whose birthday it is, it is an affirmation that we are still here, and no matter where we come from, it’s nice to convey our good wishes to those who have achieved another milestone.