Today I turn 59. Its my birthday.
I got text messages from my daughter and friends. Lots of Facebook messages. An ex-boyfriend called.
Yesterday a friend took a picture of me while I was at the library.
Next year I will turn 60! Oh my 60...like officially I can be called old! Well I've got a little time - a whole year before then.
Birthdays. So I vaguely remember a backyard birthday party at our family home in Maine. I was young enough that I wasn't in school yet. When my family joined the Worldwide Church of God, birthdays were no longer celebrated. WWCG believed that we should do the things Christ did as he set an example for us of a life lived successfully as a human, with God the father's help. The bible didn't show any positive birthday celebrations nor any birthday celebrations with Jesus in attendance. So birthdays were simply another day.
I've often picked an age or birthday as a milestone or goal setting tool. Thinking for example that I'd be happily married by 25 and have 2.5 children, a cape cod style house with picket fence, a Jeep Cherokee in the driveway, a yellow tabby cat and a cinnamon colored chow dog all by 30 years old. By 40 Id be thin, painting and designing fashion or starting an art gallery and still happily married to the same man, going on vacations and celebrating anniversaries with our friends. Wellll dream on. My life sure didn't go that way!
I was married by 21, had the 2 kids and 6 miscarriages. My now ex-husband, was in love with someone else, he conveniently married me because i was in the church. We moved a lot because he didn't like to pay rent and I was a problem solver who figured out how to survive the consistent upheaval of monthly financial and housing crisis. We weren't happy, there was both physical and emotional abuse. By 32 I was divorced, depressed and homeless my second time (the first being after getting my first apartment and job and being disowned by my parents).
By 40, I had been in another relationship, had left the church, which meant self imposing the church's excommunication from my friends and family members. This relationship was odd, I thought that if you loved someone you gave them room and emotional space to be themselves... well that just turned into a mess of confusion, cheating and emotional abandonment. I knew that was over on my 40th birthday but we didn't split up until much later. I was so lonely. And there never was any space in our apartments for me, they were places that looked like he lived there practically alone.
By 50 I made changes. BIG changes! I had become a raw foodist (a strict raw vegan in fact). I lost 175 pounds in the 18 months before my birthday. I moved to Costa Rica where I lived very naturally (like plastic free, sugar free, organic, homemade everything). I cut my hair real short and got a tattoo to mark that birthday and time in my life.
I am 59! 59... I am a landowner. I have a great doggie companion, Ozzie, who loves me and keeps me company, and gives me someone to care for. I have a pretty reliable car/suv. I have a home, a work in process now, yet a home. I feel more stable than ever. I have friends, yup friends who check in on me, and wish me happy birthday and want to be near me and to visit with me. I write a blog and people read it! My two children are grown and sometimes they contact me and we can even video chat.
Life is pretty amazing.
So whats up for this year and getting on to 60? It's time for me to start dating. I would like to share the life that is coming up with someone. I think that I have a lot to share. I will be working on my trailer home. I will likely attend RTR (if there is one), at least I will travel to stay warm and visit friends this winter. I will be working on my health and weight, yup I didn't stay with a raw vegan diet and I am heavier than is good for me. I have a goal to get my outdoor kitchen area set up enough within a month so I can bake whole wheat sourdough bread and pizzas to take to the Farmer's Market. The Kombucha is already working its magic!