Like most people, I watched Peter Pan as a child and dreamed of Neverland. I am particularly fond of the 1953 cartoon version. The idea of never growing up is one that is pure fantasy. I bring to mind Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch and the entire atmosphere. Unfortunately, it's an elusive dream and most people just get caught up in the idea of not wanting to get older. I don't mind it at all. Let me tell you why.
This year I finally reached a new milestone of reaching forty. Poor forty is often mocked and dreaded because it can potentially represent getting old, gray hair, wrinkles and old arthur (aka arthritis) to name a few. I have a few grays that popped up in my mid thirties and I've had my smile lines since my twenties and I am not ashamed of them. Arthur hasn't shown up yet, thankfully, but I have my fair share of aches and pains from my Fibromyalgia and Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction to keep me covered in liniment or lidocaine patches.
I recall teasing my sister constantly about the approaching of the dreaded forty. When she turned thirty-five I personified forty like a courier with the Post Office. On the day of her birthday they received a letter with her name on it from AARP and he set off on the long journey to deliver her application. Each year she aged forty came closer to delivering it's message until it finally knocked on the door and handed her the letter. Yes, I can be dramatic and we covered that in an earlier post and I am a visual person. However, I never really gave much thought to what forty would mean to me.
One thing I didn't have was a wise-cracking little sister to remind me that I was approaching forty. I am not convinced that forty is the new thirty either. I think it is plainly forty. I earned each year and each day and I don't want to short change what that means to me. I was born in the middle of a three day blizzard in New York City and my parents say that they had to walk part of the way to the hospital. Now that is what I call a beginning. I remember my first day of Nursery School but I don't remember if I cried or not. In 1984 I took a flight to New Orleans for the first time to attend my Aunt's wedding and I was the flower girl. I rode in a Rolls Royce Limo and she had singers that looked like Solid Gold dancers. The bonus for me was also attending the World's Fair while we were there. I was 6 so it looked better than Disney to me. I birthed two children, I survived 9/11, I've worked almost twenty years at the same job and a whole lot more. Getting older isn't bad at all, it is just how you look at it.
One day at a time.