Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Whimsical Birthday Reflection

The doorbell rang a moment ago, and a delivery person handed me a lovely bouquet of flowers and a tin of Mrs. Fields Cookies. They were from my son, Gavin, and his girlfriend Michelle. Yay, my birthday revelries have begun. I love my birthday!!! I like to celebrate it over several days. Tomorrow, June 21 at 6:55 AM, I turn 61, a prime number, and I am so excited. What new adventures lie in store for me this year?

60 was a great year. I have enjoyed it thoroughly. It began a year ago with my realizing that I had experienced far more birthdays in my past than I will in my future. This realization led me to a major change in my life--no more reading books or seeing films because I am "supposed" to read them or view them. Nope, time is short, and I have to seize it fully now because once you hit your sixties, no matter how healthy you are, the back door of life is starting to open, and you are inexorably heading towards it. You may make a detour into another room or two, but the back door keeps opening wider each year.

60 also began with no classes to teach, a potentially sad state of affairs, but I decided, with the encouragement of my children, to write a book. I've written many scenes and acts and have wanted to finish a play, but my sort-of-memoir Dueling With Dementia: Not The Love Story We Planned demanded to be written, and I acquiesced. It was great fun writing it, though the subject matter is a bit grim, because I discovered what I always knew--I AM a writer. It is who and what I was born to be. I also began this blog, and I can honestly say that I love writing almost as much as I love reading, and some days maybe a tad bit more. My play awaits me now, and I've also begun a collection of short stories. So, it turned out that my not getting to teach classes was a VERY positive turn of events.

Now 61 beckons, and I have to decide what to wish for when I blow out my candles tomorrow night. I've narrowed it to four wishes and must narrow it to one by tomorrow. My first possible wish is for world peace. I am eager to see how people would live if there were no war. My second possible wish is to win the lottery, so my children and I can fix the financial situation that dementia has put us into. My third possible wish is to fall in love with a man who loves me back. I see my children being affectionate with their girlfriends, laughing, kissing, hugging, touching, looking into each other's eyes, and I realize that I am in need of some serious cuddling. Good heavens, it's been much longer than a decade, and we 61-year-olds like and need affection just as much as young people. Cuddling with my cats and dog, while quite nice, just isn't the same as cuddling with a loving man. My fourth possible wish is for Obama to win re-election, and that needs no explanation.

I guess I'd better wish for the one with the greatest chance of coming true. History has shown us that world peace will probably never be realized. Some one or some country always wants more than his or its fair share. The Lottery? Well, statistics show I have a better chance of getting struck by lightening, so scratch that. Finding a man I love who loves me? Hmm, the odds of that, considering that this special man would have to ignore some extra pounds AND a husband with dementia, are probably higher than winning the lottery. Lol. So, that leaves me with Obama winning re-election. That wish at least has a possibility of coming true, so that will be my birthday wish for 61. If it comes true, I will be a very happy woman indeed.

Wishes aside, what is on tap for 61? I get to teach again, and that is an excellent thing because I will be back with students. I will be teaching two English 2 Critical Thinking classes in the fall semester at Monterey Peninsula College. I am thrilled! It's a new class for me to teach, so I get to learn lots of new things too. Learning new things is always a joy. And, I get to see Shakespeare's play, Troilus and Cressida, performed in Ashland. I've always wanted to see that play, so I am happy about that. I will keep writing and reading; I will cuddle with my cats and dog; I will spend time with my friends; and best of all, I will spend time with my beloved children, the greatest joys and blessings in my life.

So, Happy Birthday to me, and Happy Birthday to cousin John in Orkney and friend Betty in Southern California, who also have a birthday on June 21. Here is my favorite birthday song by Tom Chapin. Enjoy.

Take care,


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  1. Kathy, What a wonderful birthday wish list. I wish everyone that shares our birthday the best day and year ever. It is a great day!! Happy Birthday my friend.


  2. Hi Kate .....I luckily (and happily) found your blog while searching for some info to support my "carpe our 60s" notion that Boomers need to seize “our 60s” and make this time of our lives the envy of younger generations - just like we did with "the 60s". Your writing is delightful and I'm looking forward to reading more. You inspire me to get back to blogging. My site is

    Go, Boomer-girl, go! Best regards from barbara in Victoria BC Canada.

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