Would you like to know what my best birthday gift was this morning? The sheer number of people who who wished me Happy Birthday. It is an amazing thing to feel that loved. I am a very lucky person, in so many ways, I have no idea why, but I'm grateful. This is my song.
So, I'm 53 today, which is hysterically funny. I remember, as a teenager, thinking that people of this age (specifically, I don't remember why, but 53 was the number) being over the hill. Not so much old as irrelevant. I didn't think their opinions counted for anything, they were out of touch.
Obviously I don't feel that way now. I feel very relevant. Out of touch? With some pop culture, yes, and I'm not sorry, but with "reality"? No. Sheesh, there was so much I didn't know back then.
Of course 50 is the new 30, I mean really. When I was a kid, people over 50 really were old, they dressed old, they behaved old. They had a very strange attitude. Young people generally didn't mix with them socially. It's different now, our generation saw that and said "OH NO", and most of us have simply not bothered growing up. There are a few fuddy-duddies, bless 'em, but I am not unusual in still being essentially the same person I was at 17.
Except for the bits that really are different. I didn't have grey hair at 17, and I didn't creak as much, but thankfully my health is good, and I am able to do more or less all the same things I did then. I just go to bed earlier.
I'm also rather more tactful. I still speak my mind (if anyone thinks that will ever change, they are sadly mistaken) I just choose my words a bit more carefully. Usually.
In fact, I speak my mind so much, it should be empty, except it keeps coming up with more. It's not deep, but it's busy. I write, therefore I am.
I had a little issue with my phone company this week, I won't bore you with the details, it's fixed anyway, but in the process, I couldn't remember my password (from 10 years ago!) to access their website, and I couldn't answer the memory jogger questions to get in that way. The questions were:
What is your favourite sport's team? Don't have one. Wonder what I said 10 years ago? Possibly Arsenal. I'm not really an Arsenal supporter. I just think that instead of choosing a team because they are good or whatever, you should be loyal to the team closest geographically to where you were born. Not where you live now. So, that would be Arsenal, but I wasn't sure, so I tried the next one.
What is your pet's name? Well, I have a lot of pets, and I had a lot of pets 10 years ago, some of them dead now. So which one did I choose? I don't really have "favourites", so how do you single one out? Gave up there.
It was the third question that really made me smile:
What is your favourite pastime?
Many, many years ago, I briefly had a boyfriend, who had the most boring mother. She was so boring in fact I can't even remember her name. Anyway, one day I was trying hard to make conversation with her (imagine a 16-year-old Melanie trying to talk to a beige woman) and I asked her what she enjoyed doing in her spare time, or words to that effect. What I remember as plain as day was her reply.
"I don't really like doing anything."
Looking back now with mature eyes, that poor lady was probably mildly depressed. Not enough to slow her down but enough for her just to be permanently low-grade miserable.
What do I like to do? What DON'T I like to do? I like so many things there aren't enough hours in the day. I even love my job. And this is why I deem myself above average in the luck department. I enjoy every friggin' waking hour. My favourite pastime is life. I bet that wasn't the answer to my question. I have no idea what I chose, 10 years ago. Maybe whatever I was doing at the time. I tend to live in the moment.
And I laugh. Probably too much. Probably at the wrong times. I tell terrible jokes. I find things funny that I shouldn't. Because life is fucking weird.
But mine's been good so far.