Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Birthday blues, Beatles, and Blogger-block.

This is my birthday week…in two days I will move into the second half of my sixties. I’m conflicted over whether or not that is cause for celebration. I know…I know…not getting to the second half of my sixties is a not-so-good alternative, but I have always had trouble with the second half of decades. They are reminders of the impending birthday that ends with a “0”. Somehow those second halves seem to go faster as the first digit of that birthday number gets larger. Folks talk about mid-life crises...I have mid-decade crises...26, 36, 46,  and 56 did it to me too. 

While in that state of mind, I heard a story on TV about Ringo Starr turning 70! Yikes! It doesn’t help that Ringo was the oldest of the Beatles…70! I remember what my life was like when they arrived in the U.S. It was 1964 and the year I turned 20. I wasn’t an instant fan. It seemed almost like being unfaithful to all of the great groups I danced to and was a fan of during my teen years. They were so different! They looked different, they talked different, and a lot of folks thought they’d be a “one hit wonder” (who knew?).

When I think of that time, I also remember Twiggy and Carnaby Street and the many other British imports of that decade. It was the decade when I embraced my own British roots so it is fitting that it was a time when everything British was "in". I remember with a smile the exit of “beehive” teased hairdos and the entrance of the Sassoon cut. Everyone was straightening their curls and seeking the perfect wedge haircut. That look has endured as long as the Beatles’ music. I got my hair cut short to try to achieve that look while I was in Scotland in 1966.

It’s now 44 years since that trip. I was only 22. When I look back on the years in-between then and now, the memories blend together. Birthdays are a time for reflection and reminiscing. I titled this Birthday Blues, but that’s not entirely accurate. If there is sadness, it’s only for the people who touched my life along the way and who are no longer here.

Conversely, I am so lucky to have a supportive husband who overlooks my faults and praises my accomplishments, two loving daughters, sons-in-law who compliment my cooking and love their wives (who could ask for more?), and three grandchildren whose smiles warm my heart long after they’re no longer beside me. In addition, I count myself blessed to have family members who are also friends and friends who have become like family. Collectively they give me reason to quote Ralph Waldo Emerson who penned this thankful prayer:

“For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.”
I had difficulty getting started on today's post...it should have been posted last Friday...that's the reason for "blogger-block" in the title. I have several topics in mind for future blogs so, hopefully, this was a temporary condition brought on by my mid-decade crisis. Next week look for the saga of that list of “to do’s” that was on hold for Joe’s first year of retirement.

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