Thursday, May 27, 2004

My Birthday

Today is my birthday.  This will be the last year that I spend in my forties.  I remember turning 30 and feeling old.  Wow.  That was 19 years ago.  Oddly enough I feel younger today than I did back then.  I suppose that the mature and responsible thing to do on one’s 49th birthday is sit back and reflect upon your life.  Regroup.  Separate what you've already done from what you still have to do.  Dust off the cobwebs and sweep up all those film clips just lying on the editing room floor of your mind.

 

So what could one say about me so far?  The… Occupant in my life?

 

You could say that I was born into a fabulously wealthy, prestigious, and influential family fraught with power and fame...

I can understand why some people might have that misconception about me, but it's just not true.  Actually, I was the second of 7 children born to my parents who carefully exposed us to ever increasing levels of poverty.  Apparently my parents selected the 'raising many children in a meager environment with no luxuries' option.  Speaking only for myself, I think that way of life made me a much nicer person, with  a vivid imagination and  a great sense of humor.  Personally though, I think my life would have been as equally enjoyable had they chosen the 'filthy rich, young married couple raising very few but ridiculously spoiled brats' option ... but I’m only guessing. 

 

You could say that my wedding was THE social event of the season and I married well...

But then you’d be lying.  For some reason I eloped to Elkton, Maryland when I was only 16 years old, with a boy whose last name I didn't even know until we filled out the application for our marriage license.  I wasn't pregnant, so I guess it must have been one of those "you had to be there" ideas that seemed good at the moment.

 

Some of my old high school pals might still believe that I graduated from Harvard at the top of my class and dedicated many years to scientific research...

In truth, I attended a Community College, but I was on the Dean’s List the entire two years I spent there.  I put myself through nursing school and my husband through the State Police Academy while simultaneously working as a waitress and raising three small, but adorable children. 

 

One might say that I selflessly devoted myself to motherhood and constantly sought new ways to raise happy, healthy and well adjusted children...

Well... I did read a few books by Dr. Spock.  I started reading them, anyway.  Oh, all right!  I used one of the books to prop open a window in the summer, and a few more to hold up one end of the couch when the leg broke off.  I was a little BUSY trying to bring up three kids, ya know.   But I had every INTENTION of reading them. 

 

Many of my friends and relatives still believe that after enjoying 28 years in a totally monogamous, mutually satisfying marital relationship, we ended our partnership with the very best intentions, wishing each other well and remain the best of friends to this very day...

Only the kids and my next-door neighbors know that three girlfriends later, I finally decided to pack it in, call it a day and get a divorce.

 

It may have looked like I embraced my suddenly single situation with an unbridled enthusiasm and a zest for life. That I was ready to fearlessly face life alone while relentlessly searching for not only my soul mate… but also my destiny...

Fortunately, it only takes a few drinks to appear that way.   I jumped right into dating, not because I was looking for love, but after 28 years of marriage, I needed someone to work the remote control on the TV.

 

By this point in my life I'm sure I had hoped that I'd be enjoying a successful and satisfying career.  One where my contributions actually made a difference in the lives of the people living in my community, and where my many years of experience would afford me the luxury of meeting future challenges before they became problematic...

Although I worked hard to become a nurse, and I’m proud to be a supervisor, I can't say it's exactly... rewarding.  Financially, mentally or spiritually.  My daily contributions to the community usually entail a trip to the cafeteria after it closes to find red Jell-O for a patient who doesn’t like the standard hospital green Jell-O, finding someone to roll Mrs. Weaver down to the lobby in a wheel chair where she can be picked up by her husband, and making sure that someone's mother doesn’t wake up after her bunion surgery with a male room mate.  To me, knowing that there will be a lot of nurses calling out sick the weekend after payday when the weather is nice, isn't  the kind of job related 'experience' I was hoping for.  Call me crazy, but I'd kind of like an occupation where young, happy, healthy people aren’t bad for business.

 

That when I went to sleep at night in my clean and tidy home, my dentures soaking in a glass beside me, I’d be confident that my upcoming twilight years will be spent living comfortably after a lifetime of sound investments, fiscal responsibility, healthy habits, and good genes...

Living with Ray this past year has taught me that  I will NEVER go to bed knowing the house is tidy and neatly kept.  The most I can hope for is the ability to find a clean glass and a spot next to the bed to soak my dentures in (the word fire trap comes to mind for some reason).  But... I can't complain.  My idea of fiscal responsibility is buy one get one free.  Although I recently discovered that I don't have any good genes, a strong family history of heart disease and cancer do lessen one's need for a solid pension plan. 

 

So on this day… my 49th birthday… after much reflection, soul searching, character analysis and assessment, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are quite a few things left on my ‘to do’ list.
I’m very thankful that I’m still relatively young.  For that means I still have lots of time and I don’t have to get started right away.

 

I still have a few more years left to goof off.

12 comments:

sonensmilinmon said...

Let me be the FIRST here to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  Your entry had me cracking up once again.  Seriously you should write for a magazine or something.

Wishing you birthday with wishes fulfilled.  

Monica

barebytes said...

Oh, to be 49 again ! Happy Birthday Lisa and may you have many more. I wish for you always a clean glass for your dentures and your man by your side. Hugs Lanny

krobbie67 said...

Happy Birthday! I guess being 49 isn't all that bad if you are still laughing. After all, she who laughs last, laughs longest and loudest. And, laughter is all that matters! :-) ---Robbie

lucylouladybug said...

Happy Birthday Lisa!!!

I didn't know you are a nurse.  Me too.  And I feel pretty much the same way.  I was a supervisor once in a small rural hospital, and there were times I had to MAKE the jello!  

Great entry too.  Happy Birthday again!!!

Love, Penny

onestrangecat said...

Happy Birthday.

Growing up poor is no picnic.  But it does prepare you for the world more than that of growing up rich.

I have never asked for red jello.  But it was great to know that I had nurses that cared enough to get it for me.  You may not find nursing rewarding, but for those of us on the other end there is nothing like having a good nurse.

Happy Birthday.  Don't look back.  Look at all you can still do because you are still young enough and healthy enough to do them.

Kathy

olddog299 said...

Happy Birthday, kiddo.  Many happy returns of the day.

Howsomever, you said "I still have a few more years left to goof off."

Take it from me -- at 49, I thought the same, same at 50.  Fifty-one saw a small decline early on, then *BOOM*!  CABG x 3 and all sorts of other crapola.  So, to misuse a famous quotation from Hemingway...

"Ask not for whom the bell tolls ... it tolls for thee!"  

Live that life to the fullest each and every day - mortality has a way of sneaking up on you :)

cafeteome said...

Happy Birthday Lisa!! (Dontcha just LOVE birthdays??) LOL!! Sharon

readmereadyou said...

Only you could give us the gift of laughter on the day you should have gotten the gifts. I loved the entry and coming from a poor family, I say I think it does make for interesting adults....We appreciate everything. : )
Again, Happy Birthday.

readmereadyou said...

PS.....Just read your words over the cake. My kids are over the hill. LOL (running and hiding from Karen now). LOL!

screaminremo303 said...

Happy Belated Birthday!! It's about that time in your life when you start collecting cats, right?
Spend it while your here, the kids will just use it for vacations anyways.

redhdka said...

I read this the other day. I must have gotten side tracked by a family member and not had the chance to comment. So sorry!

somenuttychic said...

Good lord. I can't believe you're 49. You don't look 49. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LISA! I can't believe I missed it, but better late than never I suppose.

Loved this posting!

Fire trap. Hahahahahaha!