Sunday, August 21, 2011

Age and birthdays

I turned fifty years old yesterday. Woohoo! I had a fine celebration, with family and friends and plenty of pie. It was great to have my mother and four of my six siblings here (the other two had good reasons why they couldn't be here, and we did miss them).

Fifty. It gives me pause. I don't mind being fifty, just feel some surprise that I am.

Often I feel much the same age as in the next two pictures.

(around 3)

(around 14)

Age is a funny thing, isn't it? I've always felt that there's no sense in being upset about what age I am. It's something I have no control over. At schools, when kids ask questions at the end of a show, they often ask how old I am. I think I learned my response from my friend Judy Nichols. Here's the way it usually goes:

Audience: How old are you?
Me: I'm fifty! I never mind telling how old I am, but I want to tell you something important. What's the first question adults usually ask kids after they ask your name?
Audience: "How old are you?"
Me: Right. And guess what the one question is that you're not supposed to ask adults, especially women?
Audience: "How old are you?"
Me: That's right. It's weird, isn't it? I don't mind telling you my age, but you might not want to ask other grownups.
(I don't mention that we also don't ask about weight or income.)

Kids are very specific about their ages. Six and three quarters, eight and a half, those increments mean something. Remember how much older a kid two grades above you was? Unreachable. Even in high school, it was odd when a senior dated a sophomore or a freshman.

Back to my age. Fifty is one of those birthdays that prompts life evaluation. Am I doing what I want to do? Yes. I hope I'll be a storyteller until I'm an old lady. Are there ways to improve? Always. Is there anything else I'd like to do as a storyteller? Yes--thank goodness, because if there weren't, I'd be stagnant. Or dead.

Glad to be alive, glad to be fifty.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're alive, and I'm glad you're fifty, too. Love the photos, and especially, love you.

Anonymous said...

Oho! Good words from a wise woman! I am also proud of you, not because of your age, which is automatic, but because you've done with thoe 50 years. Keep telling1 Love, Muz

Anonymous said...

grr. "because of what you;ve done" was my meaning. Sorry!