Boy, elderhood can sure sneak up on a girl. Here I was, looking in the mirror one day and seeing that semi-hot number from my past grinning back at me, sure of her charm, aware of her youth, not too upset about her body. Blink and that Ms Kitty goes away, to be replaced by an image with wrinkles, chin hairs, and the beginnings of a jowl. Arrrgggh! Where did that younger me disappear to? Am I now more Madam Kitty (well, that does have a ring to it!) than Miz Kitty?
So, yes, it's my birthday today. I was born six months after Pearl Harbor, on a rainy early summer day in Chehalis, Washington, much to my parents' delight, since they had lost two babies earlier in premature births. Today means Medicare, senior rates on the ferry, and AARP supplemental insurance policies. None of this is bad. I am glad to be 65. But I am pondering what it means in some other areas of my life.
During the brown bag discussion, one correspondent let me know that my Wise Woman persona was immensely irritating and drove the writer crazy. Boy, did that peg me, though I hadn't realized it until then. Thanks to that writer for the insight, but now I have to think about how to handle the wisdom I've accumulated over the 65 years since June 8, 1942, paltry as it may be.
Croneliness is supposed to be a virtue, according to some of my friends of a certain age, who delight in the label "crone". I frankly think the word is awful, reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel's captor, and don't want to apply it to myself. But I do have all this life experience to hand out and have to figure out how to do that, successfully.
Wiseacre Woman is another persona I am blessed with (who said Geminis had only two personalities? I have several). But I've found that WAW, though funny and lighthearted, may not be as credible as WW, even though the latter pushes buttons all over the place. (Apologies to my Gen X friends and relations who experience this from me.)
So on my 65th birthday, I am pondering how to be both wisely credible and respectful of others' personality/generational attributes. I am never going to be someone who calls someone down by name with criticisms of their opinions or deeds, except in the privacy of my own life, where the cats are my only audience. Well, maybe the president when he's on TV, but he can't hear me.
I'm not exactly conflict-averse, but I do have this cave I like to explore when others are ranting. In there, I think about other, related things I might say about the conflict that would be helpful without my having to come down on one side or the other. And then I come out and say them. Unfortunately, this isn't always hugely appreciated!
Well, gotta go take some ibuprofen for my 65 year old aches and pains. All you young folks play nice, you hear?