As I age I am in a quandary about how or if to celebrate my birthday, or anybody else’s upon reaching a particular delicate age of seniorhood. This magical age is different for each individual, but ranges anywhere from 50 on up to almost triple digits.
A sudden realization jolts us into the real world, and the recognition we are suddenly getting old. Not yet – but soon. Maybe very soon. That unfamiliar, undiscovered, murky period of life quickly approaches, much faster than we would like.
So it begs the question – to celebrate or not to celebrate. We are encouraged knowing we are still around, kicking and moving and hopefully enjoying life. Landmark birthdays are an excuse for special occasions and extravagant expenses.
This year did not mark a special numbered day for me. It was simply one more day denoting a higher numbered age.
It is an omen of things to come – more wrinkles, weaker eyesight and hearing, more AARP mail and fewer fliers from fitness clubs, more pills and doctor visits and less spicy foods. Offers of seats on buses unexpectedly materialize, and it gets a bid harder to keep up with the grandkids. The extra pounds refuse to leave and eventually we sigh in resignation and hope not to gain more. Memories become fuzzier and to compensate written lists grow longer.
Born 60+ years ago, my yearly event seems to arrive sooner each year. This time a friend suggested we splurge on a spa visit. I agreed.
And so yesterday morning my daughter-in-law and I left the three kids in the care of hub, aka Grandpa, and headed to the spa. We rendezvoused with my friend and her Mom who were enjoying a mini-vacation at a local hotel.
The spa was beautiful – all muted colors, grays and browns, low lights, soft elevator music, and room after room of facilities – locker rooms, changing rooms, showers, bathrooms, pools, steam rooms, saunas, hot tubs, and long corridors of private rooms for facials and massages. It was easy to get lost.
We enjoyed the steam room and sauna, the hot tub and the cooler pool. I opted for a facial, the others a massage. I felt as if my muscles were turning to mush and wanted to lie down and enjoy a long, soothing nap. It was a short walk to the fitness pool and café, where we enjoyed a delicious lunch. We relaxed, stress-free and hassle-free, savoring five hours of self-indulgence.
Leaving the spa at 4:00 p.m., we rendezvoused with an exhausted Grandpa and three still alive and thriving, unhurt, happy grandkids. They spent five hours at Storybook Land, an enchanted amusement park for the younger crowd. The kids had a ball. The oldest two went on the roller coaster eight times and only Grandpa, set firmly on the ground with the two-year-old, got queasy. The youngest fell asleep on the drive home, exhausted, too tired to regale Mom about her exciting day. Grandpa definitely deserves the Medal of Honor for Grandpa duty.