Well, since this is the last day before I turn into a relic, I thought I would take stock of my life and see what's happened these past 50 years. Shit, that sounds old. If I were a car, I'd be an antique.
When you're faced with the prospect of knowing that your life is truly more than half over, it's a sobering thought. I know that a lot of people say that 50 is the new 30 or some such thing. Bullshit. 50 is 50, no matter how you look at it. I'm now a card-carrying member of AARP. I have a handicapped placard (which does, I must admit, come with all sorts of cool privileges). I'm beginning to see wrinkles appearing on my formerly smooth face.
I'm getting old.
The strange thing is, I don't feel any different than I did when I was 16 or 26 or 36 or 46. How am I supposed to feel? Illness aside, my mind is the same. I still listen to the same music. I still like fast sports cars, big diamonds, swimming pools, and walking around naked as much as possible. Is there some switch that's supposed to flip when, at 8:04 a.m. tomorrow morning, I enter the second half of my life? Is it time to wear red hats? What the hell am I supposed to do or feel that's different than now or the previous decades?
So in taking stock of all the things that have happened, I've lost one husband and married another; I've lost two houses; I've gotten a disease which is slowly and painfully killing me; I count a group of murderers among my dearest friends; I've made the most amazing friends online (who have showed their love by sending cards and/or gifts); I became sterile at age 27; I've lost more people to death than I would have imagined possible; I'm a grandmother to the two most amazing and beautiful children; my daughter is getting lazier and more disgusting by the day; I drive a convertible (finally!); I've lost many of the things that were near and dear to my heart because of the debacle that was my life two years ago; I find myself renting again and wondering if I'll ever own a house again; and so many other things that would take far too long to type out. I have learned one important thing, though. This is going to sound strange coming from me, the queen of excess and materialism, but here it is:
The material things don't mean shit. The important things are your family, friends, and being with the man you love more than life itself.
There. I said it. Don't tell Hubster that, or he'll make me give up the stash.
Seriously, though, I look at life a lot differently than I used to. I've had all the things which I thought were important. It turned out that even though it was painful and horrible to lose them, the really important thing is that Hubster is still here and always will be. He is my soulmate, the other half of me, the man who completes me and loves me for who and what I am, and the man who will walk with me into the twilight of my life. I have no illusions about living for another 40 years. Ain't gonna happen. If I hit 60, it'll be a miracle. But that's okay. I've lived an amazing life, complete with playing blackjack with a mobster (from the Gambino family, no less), having my boobs pop out of a black leather bustier onto a roulette table and knocking all the chips all over the table in Vegas, driving my brand new 2000 Corvette at 90 MPH through the Sierras, literally going from riches to rags and having to start over at 30, and still having men trying to pick me up at my age. There is so much more, so many more colors to the rich tapestry which has been my life, that I would have to write a book to contain it all. I can barely keep up with email, so the book will have to wait. I hope that the second half of my life will be as exceptional as the first.
I typically get depressed at birthdays because they usually suck. Because of all my friends (you guys), you've made me feel loved and special. My boys at the prison have something planned, so that will be special. I hope that Hubster has something planned, because he's the one who can make or break the day. But whatever happens, it's a landmark birthday. I'm now an Elder in the tribe, and I now command respect just because of that. Amazing.
I've been fortunate to live during a time when amazing things have happened. The first man on the moon. The first artificial heart. Amazing medical advances. Tolerance becoming more the norm than the exception. A shop which makes people happy. Too many things to list here, too.
So, my life is really a rich tapestry woven with decades of change, love, tears, heartbreak, friends, lovers, husbands, family gone, family come, animals who are family gone or going. The colors of my life are bright and constantly changing. They haven't changed to autumn colors yet; I'm not ready for that. I have too much left to do, too much left to give, too much. I'm a better person for all the shit that's happened, and I'd like to think that I've made a difference somehow, somewhere.
So now, on this, the last day of my 40's, I'm going to pack my knitting, my flute books, my flutes, my healing oils, and all the other things I take with me, and get ready to go to the prison. They'll be the first ones to celebrate with me, and I wouldn't want to be any place else. I love these men, and they love me. Where else would I be?
Well, maybe Vegas in the Hunka Hunka Burning Love Chapel renewing my vows.
But you know what? I can do that with Grandmother Moon as my witness, just me and Hubster, in the still of the night.
That sounds perfect to me.