They all add up. Every second counts.
This past week, I hit the 31,536,000 second mark in my lifetime.
It's been a rough summer here. Some of you know a little more on that than others. The Reader's Digest version is that between fun times at the lake and a terrific vacation in the Carolinas, my world went a little haywire.
In addition to managing my health issues and concern about Gyppy (who is doing well, by the way), I returned from vacation and one week later, 10 of my colleagues, friends and partners in broadcasting were laid off. Budget. Had to be done. It could have been any of us. And the thing is, we all get that. Except that is little comfort.
Good grief, they are more stoic than I am. The Survivor's Guilt has worn me down. But then, knowing something was imminent was equally anxiety-producing. Without going into more detail, my heart aches for each and every one of them, but in particular those who have families requiring medical attention, kids in college, or are simply of an age where finding a new job is hard.
(In fact, may I recommend an outstanding post by Dr. Kathy McCoy on retirement and rehiring when you've hit the boomer years.)
What mask do you wear?
Happy Girl? Miss We'll Get Through It?
After this week, I just want to turn my head, look away, so I can't see the pain and they can't see it reflected in me.
Amidst all this, I turned 60. Now, the logical part of me does not see this as old. I know the most extraordinary 60-and-70-and-80-something people in the world. They inspire me. Sixty may not be the new 40, but it isn't a death sentence.
Yet, I've been having a really hard time with this one. Maybe it was the lead-in, with the extreme stress and the litany of deep concerns. But I'm sure it's in part because you realize that if you make a continuum of years, even if you expect a long life (and I have bad genes in that pool), the marker clearly shows more space on one end than the other. Lop off a few years for the slow-down -- well, it means there is a lot of living to cram into that space.
My cousins started the ball rolling with an early celebration in Cleveland, where we stopped on the way to SC.
Cousin Mark's girlfriend Jaime made an incredible cake, Duff-worthy!
The entire family was there and they serenaded me to a series of birthday songs, "Happy Birthday," "Jolly Good Fellow," "The Gang's All Here" and "Roll Out the Barrell" -- my first time ever for the birthday songs live!
There was food, presents, fun -- but most of all, lots of love. And spending time with the cousins who are more like a brother and sisters to me.
As we spoke about my birthday in the weeks leading up to it, Rick said, "What do you want? A party?" I said, "No. I'm too tired and can't handle one. Just a quiet dinner. Let's go see 'The Help.'"
So, he set a table on the patio on a warm summer night, and we had the best wine ever! A 2006 Morgaux Grand Cru Classe, Cafe Tertre, delicious red. (Highly recommended!).
We had a delicious dinner and then, about dessert time, I noticed that a huge group of my friends had gathered. (They're sneaky devils -- I didn't even hear them come in!)
Surprised? You bet! Happy -- yes. By then, I was so happy, I was glad to share this day.
Somehow, Rick managed to pull in friends from so many of my walks of life. If they were in his address book, he found them! He did such a good job, but most of all, I was touched by his kindness and thoughtfulness.
We won't talk about the days after when I got awfully sick! Because even as I was laying in bed with chills, I thought, "I am the luckiest person in the world."
I am beginning to make my way around the Blog World, catching up with you. I've found it interesting that so many posts seem to be relevant to what I've been experiencing emotionally these days, and I've found great strength. Thank you. Thank you so very, very much.
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