Monday, March 16, 2015

On turning six-times-twelve

Wednesday was my 72nd birthday. It's tempting to complain about such a big number, and about the aches and pains and extra medical appointments that seem to be a part of aging. But mostly I can accept my ailments as minor annoyances, and when I'm on good behavior I can try to manage them with sensible things like fruits and vegetables, exercise, and sunscreen. I used to joke that aging is "better than the alternative." My 58-year-old brother's death in January makes me very aware that it's no joke. I'm grateful to be alive.

Birthday flowers
We extended the birthday celebration over several days, as usual. On Tuesday, Peter and I saw the Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It was not as good as its predecessor, but it was much better than the St. Paul Pioneer Press's review made it seem, and we enjoyed it even though we picked holes in the plot afterwards. Wednesday we had birthday treats with the grandkids (including special chocolate and butterscotch chip cookies from Abby), and all six of us went to Boca Chica, our favorite Mexican restaurant, for dinner. When we arrived the hostess asked whether we were "Peter and Nancy" and when we said yes she led us to a table with a large bouquet of flowers. This was very puzzling because we had not made a reservation! It turned out that our newly hired executive director at the carousel, who knew where we'd be, had sent them. I love that she did that, and that she is clearly a person who understands the value of "the grand gesture."

On Saturday Peter and I had lunch at our favorite special-occasion Italian restaurant, La Grolla on St. Paul's Selby Avenue. We arrived just after noon and for quite a while we were the only diners in a room designed to hold at least 40. We were glad to see the tables begin to fill later, because we'd hate to see the restaurant go out of business. As usual, we ordered enough food that we could just reheat the leftovers for dinner.

Birthday selfie
Spreading my birthday celebration over several days has a practical advantage. By the time the observances are over, I have grown accustomed to my new age. A couple of months ago, the idea of turning 72 sounded strange and harsh. Two weeks ago I still didn't like the sound of it. By now it's lost its strangeness. It's my age and I'm proud of it. And just for fun, here's a selfie I took on my birthday.



21 comments:

Stephen Hayes said...

You...72? Impossible based on your birthday selfie. I demand a recount!

Kc W said...

Happy Birthday! I love that you spread the celebration out over many days, that is the way it should be! Here is to many, many more!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Happy Birthday! Yes I heard there was a new Director, she sounds like a keeper...flowers and all!
So good to hear you are embracing the new age..like you said the alternative is not great. :)

The Broad said...

Happy Birthday -- great selfie -- you don't look a day over 40! I agree that spreading the days of celebration is a very good way of 'acclimatizing' oneself to the new milestone and shall be doing the same in June when it's my turn to turn the page on a new decade!

DJan said...

We are the same age! I tested the waters of 72 back in December and have found them to be delightful. I look much older than you do, though, with my snow-white hair. Very nice selfie, and what beautiful flowers! My favorite rose color. :-)

J said...

Well, first of all, you are an amazingly young 72! I'm sure it's due to genetics, diet, exercise and sensible health prevention, but in your case I think we can add "niceness" to the list! The fact that everyone around you has been so attentive to your big day is proof enough of that!
Happy Birthday!

Jayne Martin said...

70 is the new 50. You look fabulous. Happy Birthday, Nancy!

Marion Williams-Bennett said...

Happy Birthday! You look wonderful and have such a wonderfully positive outlook! I think that is the secret. Savor it all!

Retired English Teacher said...

Happy, happy birthday, Nancy. You look great. I can't believe you are 72. I just had my 70th, so I understand the idea that these numbers seem to be daunting. In the end, like you, I am grateful for the blessing of having another day and year of life.

ladyfi said...

Happy Birthday! You don't look a day over 50!

Teresa Evangeline said...

It all sounds like such fun, and you are one beautiful 72 year old. Happy Birthday (helping to elongate the celebration). :)

Grandmother (Mary) said...

Happy Birthday- you're looking good and have lots to celebrate. We're re-defining the 70s which I enter on my next birthday. Good for us!

Jeanie said...

First of all, belated birthday greetings. Your selfie is adorable!

Your celebration sounds exactly like the kind of celebration I would like to have. I'm looking forward to the Marigold Hotel!

So nice to see you back on the blog. You are always missed!

Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines said...

You look fabulous, and they say, you are only as young as you feel! Happy Birthday!

Rian said...

Nancy, I'm a new visitor to your blog via DJan. Just wanted to say that you really don't look 72, but I loved your attitude about age. DH and I will both hit the big 7-0 this coming summer and I have to admit, it's a bit daunting. I too have already lost both my sister at 51 and brother at 59, so yes, I really appreciate that I've been blessed to come this far.

Glad you had such a nice birthday!

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Nancy! 72?! Good grief woman, you look fabulous! And it's lovely about the flower gesture, too; life needs more happy surprises =) Indigo x

Ms Sparrow said...

It's a wonderful thing to be 72. So what if the bones are a little creaky sometimes? It's just so great to see another Spring with the returning birds and the tulips and the sound of happy kids playing outdoors.

California Girl said...

Happy Happy Birthday! I don't like the sound of ANY of my birthdays until once in a while someone tells me I don't look my age (63). THEN, momentarily, I'm good with it. :)

You look GREAT btw and you definitely do not look to be 72. xo

Chantel said...

Oh, what joy and such sadness in just a few months. May you and your brother's loved ones find gentle peace in memories of him. As for your birthday, there is a light in you that defies those years...or perhaps enriches them? Your kind spirit has touched so many, happy birthday sweet Nancy!

Marty Damon said...

That wonderful picture made me wonder at first if you were lying about your age - - in reverse!
Happy birthday!

Linda Myers said...

What a great selfie! I like how you're being a good sport about getting older, and feeling grateful.

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