Aging But Not Olding

I am 45 today.

45

I love my mother-in-law.  Yesterday, she jokingly referenced that I was halfway to 90.  I laughed and told her how when I turned 35, I bragged that I was halfway to the Biblical death.

I have no fear of numbers….well…maybe I fear the number on the scale because I haven’t been running but, boy, have I been eating.  But the numbers on my chronology?  They are my pride and joy.

I am 45 and still feel young, except for when my fingers are arthritic from too much typing comments on students’ papers.  I am young when I am on the road, running, with music pelting in my ears.

I fell off the edge of the world a month ago.  I was so involved in The Diary of Anne Frank that I forgot to surface and take a long breath from life.  Production nights were incredible.  The audience jumped.  A few people screamed.  Many people cried.  And a beautiful guitarist coaxed a Jewish waltz from his instrument while Anne was given the wedding waltz the Germans denied her.

We celebrated the dance of life.

We mourned the loss of life.

I watched goodness happen continually.  My supervisor/the play’s lead director took my idea of donating the last night’s ticket sales to purchase books for the local Holocaust museum and ran with it.

All three nights’ worth of money will be used to purchase books that will teach students about tolerance, acceptance, compassion.

Life is so very beautiful.

I have aged a year today, but I refuse to feel old.  Sure, 45 isn’t anything in terms of age.  Not with longevity far reaching past the traditional 70 year old bracket.  Both of my parents are 70 and my mother just ran a 10k and won first for her class.

I’m so proud of my mother.  Tiny, beautiful, inspiring, loving.

I hope I am just like her when I grow up.

If I grow up.

My English department chair gave me a card today that had me bent over my desk, gasping for air I was laughing so hard.

I have spent the day in a whirlwind of smiles and hugs.  I was supposed to grade but felt to cheerful I wrote a student an unsolicited letter of recommendation for next school year when it’s time for him to apply to college.  And I gave it to him. I was happy and wanted to share my joy.

A student, basically an adopted son, gave me flowers and a balloon.  He’s going through a very difficult time but still stopped and brought me something lovely.  I am home now.  The balloon is by my right elbow.  The flowers’ scent is filling my kitchen where I am sitting.

I am surrounded by love and I don’t understand why I have been given this.

But I am so incredibly grateful.  

I have received more hugs today than criticism.  I have been given cheerfulness and good tidings.

I still have people sending me compliments about the play.

I am elevated beyond my 5’4″ stature and am walking on moonbeams and stardust.

I am merrily in love with this crazy, crazy world.  In spite of all the sadness that exists, the quiet desperation that surrounds me, I am still in love with this world.

I am here.  I fell off the edge of the world.  I wrapped myself in the detritus of sadness and slept for a while.

But I’m still here.

A little older.  Not much wiser.  And a hell of a lot happier.

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