I did intend to have my own children but somehow that plan just didn’t quite get executed – so one of the great pleasures of middle age has been watching some of the children I have known via friends and family grow up around me. It’s the catnip aunt role – you just get to be cool without the responsibility of being an actual parent 🙂
One of these kids became part of my 50th birthday celebration. I have known her since she was a baby. When she complains she has never been to Paris, I get to tease her about the time I spent with her and her mom in Paris when we would take her to restaurants and just pick her up on the way out. Taking a cute kid into a restaurant in the Latin countries is like bringing a cute puppy 🙂
She is now a teenager – but not the usual variety. Instead she is the kind of teenager who can fit easily into a sea of adults. She was the youngest person at my party, yet fit in seamlessly – and may well have been more witty and erudite than some of the adults 😉
One of the unexpected highlights of the birthday was reintroducing her to another friend of mine who babysat her one night when she was a child. They were the right pair to team up. As Yvonne’s boyfriend said, “how do you play Christmas?” When you ask a little Jewish girl what she wants to do and she says, “play Christmas”, not everyone would have a game plan. But her mother and I came home from dinner to a house fully decked out in Christmas magic in the middle of July – and Morgan went home with Christmas presents. It was a classic story for them to bond over during the weekend – although there was some suspicion it might not have been the concept of Christmas that was so appealing as the idea that you might get presents 🙂
This was the first time in many years that I got to spend more than a few hours with her and it was a total delight. It is already obvious this is one of those girls who could help to change the world. She gives me faith in the next generation.
I have found one of the great rewards of getting to this ripe old age is that I can mentor young kids. It is especially fascinating to see what young women are thinking – and to try and encourage and inspire them.
And I have had a rather unusual life. So, fingers crossed, I will be able to connect her with the husband of another lifelong friend who is a theoretical physicist because apparently she is far more interested in meeting an actual physicist than in
meeting Justin Bieber – a girl after my own heart 😉
The first time I saw NYC I was 17. I took my niece to Paris when she was 16. I am definitely hoping to see Morgan’s reaction to one of those cities and share in her discovery. The best way to relive your youth is through an actual youth. I don’t need a Ferrari. I just need a teenage girl, a camera and a world- class city she has never seen before…
Getting old definitely has a bad rap. Not too much seems to get written on the benefits of getting old. But today has been great proof for me that reaching an advanced age does have its rewards, no credit cards required…
It was a more or less a typical workday. This is my busiest period of the year where simply showering has to be scheduled in so dressing up for work really goes to the backburner. But I am finally beginning to see the rewards of the long to do list from a few months ago being ticked off so decided I would put a little more effort into my outfit.
I own some stunning Alexander McQueen (from his last season) pumps in Yves Klein blue that I bought on sale on a fantastically memorable July 4th visit to NYC. They get attention practically every time I wear them. But today they were the catalyst for a bigger conversation.
One of my clients has recently hired a lot of new staff. I have seen some great work being done by them. So we talked work but also shoes… and Paris (where I am headed post-birthday). The conversation was very rewarding and neither had been to Paris even once (versus my I don’t know how many times but I feel like a native) so I have now promised them something from Paris…
But that is the point of the heading – when you get old, you can afford a few random gifts – and can inspire young people 🙂
Every time I do this I think of my maternal grandmother… I remember my mom teasing her that she was flirting with her paperboy or the guy who delivered her groceries. I have now realized that by that time she was in her 70s. I was too young to really “get” it then but now I see myself doing it… bonding with young people… cause you are genuinely interested. And BOY, do they respond. And your life grows richer at some exponential rate.
She may not have been able to articulate what she was doing but she was reaping all the benefits possible from being old – and maybe a tiny bit wise… but rather than inflicting wisdom on youth, she engaged them and became part of their life stories in the nursing home… the wisdom was not the goal but the sublime after effect of spending time time with her… I know I received it… without realizing what had happened until decades later…
I bonded with so many young people in a single day some of the adventures will have to find their way into future posts… life doesn’t get much better than that 😉
Apparently 2012 is quite the year to be celebrating a milestone birthday! The movie came out just as I was having a non-significant birthday so was inspired to host a grand party for 50 since it might be the last one all the guests will ever attend 😉 Conveniently R.E.M. already wrote a theme song for me! Music… theme songs… a big element of my life…
My poor guests are going to be subjected to the soundtrack of my life. I think anyone with an interest in music has a soundtrack but most people don’t realize it. Mine has been inspired by a number of events.
First, the fact that as a teenager I had atrocious taste in music, so my transformation into someone with better musical taste was not a casual event. Second, I live in the city that hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics and when I went to the free Blue Rodeo concert by myself (because Feb is insanely busy for me work-wise and the visit was spontaneous), I realized almost all my boyfriends had a Blue Rodeo song and I could re-live my entire romantic history gratis – with fireworks at the end! The final inspiration was my astonishing realization that some people don’t care about music. It is not their form of cheap therapy. When my dad died, choosing the right music to play at his funeral created a family crisis. He was this guy to whom I owe so many of my best qualities but I had never appreciated the dude didn’t care about music.
But I do! Truly, Madly, Deeply… one of my favourite films. And, while music may have not been on my father’s radar screen, my love of cinema is totally him…
So my guests will be subjected to images, sounds and words – all carefully chosen by me – at my birthday bash. But at least there will be free food and booze… and I will do my best to keep the world from ending 😉
I am turning 50 in March 2012. When I turned 40 my life was in upheaval. A few days before I reached that milestone birthday I examined my life – my marriage had just ended, I did not have a permanent place of residence and my career plans were sketchy. I wasn’t sure if any of the decisions I had made in my 30s had any merit. Or what the hell I was going to do with the next decade! I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Being a newly single, homeless, unemployed 40 year old woman is not exactly the stuff of dreams…
Now, a decade later, I approach 50 and I am jazzed about it. I have started to do a lot of soul searching as I approach what is hopefully just the midpoint of my life. It has allowed me to label my decades: the first – my decade of discovery, the second – my decade of discontent, the third – my decade of pain, the fourth – my decade of pleasure and this most recent one, my decade of decadence… I am hoping the sixth will be my decade of enlightenment.
As part of what I hope will be a great journey I am starting this blog. I hope to supplement with a website as I find the time to master the very expensive Dreamweaver software I purchased in a moment of potential insanity. But I like to do things well and every decade has included adding something new to the mix of my life. I am hoping if I keep learning new things I will keep Alzheimer’s at bay. In any event, it will mean that the life I do get with sound mind and body attached will be more fulfilling and I will have better stories in the nursing home.
This may evolve as I figure out this blogging thing but as a starting point it will be a mix of memories and musings – a romp that will involve travel stories, history lessons, personal philosophy and lots more – all hopefully filtered through a dry celtic sense of humour about the absurdity of the world.
It will be a place to reflect on the past and envision the future. But, more importantly, in my wildest dreams, I will take a few people along on my journey to learn more about the world and figure out a viable, sustainable plan to save us all from becoming dinosaurs. Sure, I could just grab a couple bottles of Dom Perignon and order cake but that would be too easy…
Welcome to planetm… a place of discovery, debate and once in a while decadence 🙂
the enigmatic m