Why is aging so surprising? After all, it happens continuously. It’s happening right now. I know that. I guess the surprise lies in being reminded forcefully that I’m not the spring chicken I once was. Facing up to the fact that I’m a pile of poorly tended bones in a state of constant degradation causes me heartache. Oh entropy. I feel like I’m unusually prickled by my currently impending anniversary, but I think that’s my imagination running away with me. It’s totally cyclical. I always dread the birthday, no matter what the year or marker is.
The dread’s a bit ridiculous. A friend once asked me what age I would need to be to feel young again, and I picked a number, and the number wasn’t wildly off the current state, just a couple years’ reprieve. That’s all I want–730 days. A window of opportunity. Biggish, but not immensely large. 730 days. Can you imagine what we could do if we were told, as soon as we turned 30, that over the next 15 years we had 730 days of reprieve to spend as we wanted. No responsibilities on those days. Just days for joy and self care.
Since I don’t have the short term time machine I so long for, I’m celebrating the anniversary of my 37 birthday. If I were a bit more put together, I would do research about what was going on then, and invent special rituals honoring those memories: Relive a glass of wine by drawing a picture, lighting a candle, reading a poem out loud with a sense of reverence.
I guess the alternative to nostalgia is the plunge forward. The new glass of wine.
So I’m trying for the equilibrium between these ideas: A bit of anniversary, a bit of new wine.