Aug 18, 2009
Being 60 -- Day 3
Birthenalia report: it was fun, touching, inspiring...
Right out of the chutes, and on a purely 3-D reality level, having someone else do the food was a stroke of genius. My wonderful massage therapist, Angie, is also a chef, and I asked her to come up with some casual brunch-type food for the party. She outdid all my expectations and brought mountains of delicious food items: bulgar/quinoa tabouli with artichoke hearts, feta cheese and walnuts ...... another yummy salad with corn, cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella ..... fresh figs with goat cheese .... spring rolls with peanut sauce ..... a cheese torte with pesto and sundried tomatoes. Oh it was heaven, having all that food just SHOW UP. All I made was watermelon agua fresca, and the always-popular chocolate bread with vanilla butter.
We are still eating party leftovers and I am fantasizing about having a live-in cook. Let's see, I could give up my office in the spare room to create a bedroom for Angie.... the thought of a) having food this good every day and b) not having to cook it myself ..... is a glorious one.
As the day went on, and beloved friends came and went, I was inspired to ask each one to share a hint or tip or a piece of general advice for me for the new year, decade and life in general. We started with the youngest and went up from there. I was touched by the results, which ranged from the familiar/cliche to the very personal. But even the commonest words rang strongly in my ears, coming as they did from seasoned human beings. The reason a lot of things become cliches is that they are actually true.
"Take responsibility for your own happiness -- and have fun"
"Presence is more important than presents."
"Plant pansies and paint pictures."
"Follow your Light -- you are the Light"
"No rain, no rainbows"
"Listen to the flowers"
"The Universe is teaching you: learn to steer"
Probably the two most profound pieces of advice came from women in their 80's. First, my 82+ year old mother-in-law told me "Life begins at 60 ..... or wherever you are right now."
And, from my 88-year old Aunt Rene, who phoned in the midst of the party, and when pressed for a few words of wisdom for the coming year/s, told me:
"Give your boy lotsa lovin', and make sure he knows who's boss"
In my 38+ years of marriage, I've pretty much operated that way, and if she's still vouching for it after 61 years of marriage, then I'll take it as good sound advice.
The final suggestion came from my near-twin, Barb, who earlier in the week had given me the Turning 60 Advance Report (look out for tired legs the first week). She told me I would have to do a tough bike repair on the 8th day. Pretty scary, considering my (lack of) mechanical skills. Any bike I touched would probably collapse into a heap of metal within seconds of riding. I'd better have a plan for next Monday.