Is it time for another birthday already?

     Despite having seen so many, I still look forward to them. Yes, they tend to be uneventful, uncommemorated, and go mostly unnoticed. Still, it’s an excuse to eat cake -if I can find the sugar-free kind-or open a flowery greeting card, or beg donations to a favorite charity. This year, it’s Special Olympics, by the way.

     Some cringe at the arrival of another birthday. When I was in my twenties, I saw a lady weep when she hit thirty. All those years ago, I made an important decision – I pre-scheduled my post-mid-life crisis for my 85th birthday. Procrastination generally works in my favor, so I will delay the drama for a few more years.

     Some people feel the pangs of another year when their children turn forty, when the knees give out, or when a new ache becomes a chronic pain.

     Celebrating an advanced birthday can be a bit embarrassing and depressing, but I’ve found a way around this thing. It’s known in the scientific world as age-group disassociation; you know the thinking: I’m not nearly as old as other people my age. I call it creative accounting.

     In my forties, I celebrated the 30th anniversary of my 18th birthday. At fifty, I celebrated my 25th birthday twice. This year, I’m enjoying a dyslexic sweet sixteen.

     Birthdays aren’t all bad. As long as I can climb stairs without losing my breath, run like a rabbit on a treadmill, or remember my childhood phone number, I’m going to savor these days even if I can’t move as fast as my 82-year-old father. No one can keep up with that man.

     There are benefits to being another year older. Grandchildren top the list. Having an excuse to wear elastic waist pants and comfortable shoes is worth more candles on the cake. Getting one step closer to retirement is exciting, too.

     At some point, I’m going to stop being embarrassed by my advancing years and start bragging about them, probably right after the eighty-five-year crisis. But maybe a lot sooner.   

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