I’m old enough to know how to get out of rain. I’m old enough to not get carded when I buy my favorite cabernet. You’d think I’d be old enough to keep track of how old I am, but apparently memory is the first faculty to be swallowed up by the age monster—I just found out that I am a year younger than I thought. I’m turning 48, not 49.
Heck yeah! The numbers could have bounced up the wrinkle scale, not down. That would’ve been a mental hurdle this girl wasn’t up to jumping, but I did quite a jig when my mom called me last week and announced the discrepancy … and being that she was the one who delivered me and all she should know the day I graced the dawn here. Actually, it was the moon that first shown onto my bare bottom the doctor was smacking.
Be it day or night though, I need to at least get the year right and not necessarily for formal documents like driver’s licenses and such, but so I will appear to be more “With it.” Not knowing my age may give the impression that I am out of touch with reality when really it’s just that my reality is a different concept of time than the traditional birthday candle-blowing folks’.
Every day I get older, not just every year, but I don’t remind myself of that every morning, I just brush my teeth and smile into my slightly different image in the mirror. The change is unnoticeable on a daily basis, but it’s there nonetheless if the pictures in my albums are any indication.
Yet, I don’t feel even 40 and why shouldn’t changing my age be as simple as changing my phone number? The number is irrelevant—until time to collect social security or get a free cake and “Happy Birthday” sung to me at Chili’s—it’s how I feel that matters.
Besides, I wonder if I had thought I was 78 instead of 48, would I have expected to be less healthy, less vibrant and actually created those conditions within? Would my thoughts have created my age reality just as I believe it creates my entire world?
Within our dormant DNA strands lie many possibilities just waiting for encouragement to come to life. Scientific discoveries show that within the DNA of reptiles lies a gene that can and does grow feathers so it’s possible that we could talk ourselves into being old before our time.
While you Google the picture of the lizard that grew a feather and calculate your age—just to make sure you are how old you think you are, I will eat my carrot cake and open my new Prada Candy Kiss perfume. Ah, the annual birthday thing does have its advantages.
Michele Zirkle Marcum is a native of Meigs County, author of “Rain No Evil” and host of Life Speaks on AIR radio. Access more at soundcloud.com\lifespeaks.
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