Think Small

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I recently passed what I consider to be a milestone birthday. You know the kind…where both numbers match; 11, 22, 33, 44…etc? You only get a very few of those in a lifetime.¬†

Suffice it to say, I’m now officially “etc.” years old. ūüėā¬†Because I was not looking forward to this particular birthday, I decided early on to make it a special one.¬†

I planned ahead to make sure that on the big day I would be doing my very favorite things with my very favorite people. And so naturally that meant I was off to visit my grandkiddos.

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Granny Puckett from Hoodwinked Too!

Spending time with young people is supposed to make you feel energized and youthful. Spending time with my busy little ones, ages 3 1/2 and 16 months however, quickly made me feel every single year the oldster.¬†Wait. How can that be? Wasn’t I just dealing with my own kiddos a few years back? Well…maybe a bit longer ago than that-but it still feels like yesterday to me.¬†

So what’s changed?¬†Besides the fact I’m not as peppy…(understatement)… seemingly in a blink diapers are different, baby food now comes in pouches instead of teeny jars-(more like food I imagine astronauts eat), and don’t get me started on the blasted red button on car seats! Just when I figured out the over-the-shoulder straps and click into place, my hands didn’t have the super-human strength required to snap that damn red button. (Inconveniently located in an area where I could do a lot of harm with a misfire, I might add. Who designs these crazy things? )

¬†Now to officially sound like an old person on a rant…

Life was so much easier when I had my kids in the 80’s and 90’s. Probably not as safe when it comes to car seats, but definitely easier!

I never did get the knack of fastening those two car seats the entire time I was there…but I did do things that reawakened long forgotten sights, sounds, and feelings from way back in the day when I was a younger version of me.¬†

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Starting with the sights. The majestic mountains reminded me of the many times I had driven alongside them on trips from Idaho to Utah. Starting at about age 19 I would drive my car (Henry) down to see my friends at college for brief visits. We wouldn’t really do much of anything, but we always had a great time together doing whatever it is that kids¬†do at that age.¬†

Fast forward a few brief years, and I was frequently taking my baby daughter to the University Hospital there to receive treatment for her kidney disease. Gazing at the hospital now it surprised me that I was dealing with all that at 24 or 25 years old. Either I was very strong back then, or it was the youthful blessing of ignorance is bliss…

Of course when you look back with hindsight, you’re glad you didn’t know all that was coming. But it was a tender time, and those tender feelings rushed back.¬†

I actually felt grateful to be older (& wiser) because those uncertain times were now behind me. 

On to happier times, and fast forward quite a bit, and I remembered traveling up¬†from Texas to drop my son for his time in the Americorps where he worked in the rugged wilderness of Utah for a time. A skip ahead brought memories of my daughter and her hubby married in the Salt Lake City Temple, and then a year later dropping my other son off for a two-year church mission. (That was a rough one as memories go…)¬†
Lots of memories and lots of years. But all of these things-past, brought me here today to my milestone birthday-present! 

Time  to  celebrate  the  here  and  now. 

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My birthday dinner was at The Roof Restaurant overlooking Temple Square where my daughter and son-in-law were married. (It also happens to be the same building where we celebrated their marriage with a lovely luncheon reception.) 

With beautiful views of Temple Square, the surrounding mountains, downtown cityscape, and the Capitol building, it was a wonderful place to be. 

The pianist even played a jazzy version of Happy Birthday just for me! It was a bit awkward when the waitress showed up with cr√®me br√Ľl√©e and a lit candle-not because I felt shy, but because I was sitting there drooling over a plate of tiny desserts, fork-at-the-ready that I’d already nabbed from the dessert buffet using my grandson as a decoy.

Embarrassing! 

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Oh well, eat, drink, be merry, and all that. I’m daily marching closer to the “all that” so I might as well enjoy it a bit.¬†present

Being with my grands was the best gift I could have given myself, and a timely reminder to enjoy the dailies. And I did. Like sampling lots of little desserts on a plate. Picking wildflowers in a field. Blowing bubbles. Feeding the ducks and playing at the park. Bath time! The joy of boardgames, baking cookies, and watching cartoons. Going to the library and reading lots of books. Mud puddles and dancing. Jumping on an air mattress…(don’t try that one-just sayin’.)

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Being yourself with no inhibitions. Trying new things. Like Mickey Mouse waffles and kid’s toothpaste. (Yuck-bubblegum flavor? not so much…)¬†

Or trying old things you forgot about…like blue cotton candy, fruit loops, and cheap blue box mac & cheese.¬†

I even had Kool-aid for the first time in a million years. (Ok-not quite a million, I’m not THAT old!)¬†

Turns out, although I was dreading it,¬†getting older really is just a state of mind. And if it continues to go the way it’s been going, I think I might like year 55 best of all.

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The year I learned that to be happy being “big” you actually have to think “small.”¬†

imageThat’s¬†me¬†having¬†my cake and eating it too!

 

Queen_Minnie_BBSGrowing old is mandatory but growing up is optional.

~Walt Disney

Making A Spectacle Of Myself

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Let me just start out by saying:¬† Readers are the bane of my existence. Of most peoples middle-aged existence, I’m guessing.¬† Sooner or later, everyone’s eyes go a little batty and the dreaded day comes when you buy your first pair of readers.¬† This is not a celebratory day like the day you get your first bike or car.¬† It’s¬†the first baby-step¬†on the slippery slope descending into patching, fixing, and bargaining with your body as it starts to rebel against you.img_5186

It’s not that¬†I’m¬†against glasses as a rule.¬†In fact, I got my first pair in the fourth grade. Blue stop-sign shaped ones if I remember correctly…(been trying to forget ever since.) Not that I have the right to complain. My poor brother had black glasses with rockets on them, and the kind of earpieces that hook around your ears.¬†Ugh. Oh, and did I mention he is a ginger?¬† Life is hell when you’re a ginger with black rocket glasses with hook -around ears! ¬†Bullies have a field day. Plus-(bonus)-My mom made him wear an elastic strap across the back just for giggles. She was worried they would fly off during recess or ¬†sports . You had to have gumption to survive back then!chuckie_finster

Chuckie Finster from Rugrats…

I graduated from blue stop-signs to wire granny glasses, which were all the rage (always a trendsetter!) And rage I did!¬† Every time I got hit in the face during gym they would bend.¬† Life is one big awkward moment after another when you pair wire glasses with acne, braces, and a white-girl ‘fro.¬† Just sayin’.

By high school, with dreams of drill team looming large, glasses just didn’t cut it anymore.¬† My mom used to throw around an annoying little ditty, “Boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.” (Hmmm….And the award for Mother of the Year goes to:____________)mother-of-the-year

And so it was that I got contacts.

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Fast forward and I now have 40 long years of contact lens expertise under my belt.¬† Since I am old-school and have an astigmatism, I still wear the old-timey rigid gas-permeable type of lenses.¬† So right out of the box you can tell I don’t like change.¬† In fact, I used to like glasses much better back in the day when the glass was actually glass. Then as I became too near-sighted, they got heavier and heavier, and the glass got thicker and thicker.¬† I looked like the stapler guy on Office Space.

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So no more glass in glasses, and nowadays they are made out of some funky scratch-proof synthetic material that still manages to somehow scratch.

Since we are genetically blessed, my entire family wears either glasses or contacts.  I foolishly thought that once I had graduated to contacts my glasses days were behind me.  Then one day it starts.  You go to read a label or a text and the letters are indecipherable. Even on font GINORMOUS!img_5190

Well, first you’re in denial and just hand everything you can’t read to the nearest youngster, but then reality sets in and you realize it’s that time. Luckily, you can discreetly buy your first readers over-the-counter so to speak, at least till your eyes get so bad they need prescription ones.

So now, I not only have contacts to contend with, I also have to don specs for easy reading. I like to be fashion-forward and think of it as “layering.” (I once tried to fake it and go reader-less, only to find out I couldn’t read the menu, and wound up ordering ¬†a mystery meal by pointing at the menu like a monkey. Serves me right) And so I am resigned to readers.mystery-meal

My main beef with readers is the fact that they-(like socks in the Bermuda Triangle known as the dryer)-go missing willy-nilly.¬† I have multiple pairs of readers on hand at any given time and I’m always losing them.¬† And not just one pair-every pair.¬† I even purchase them occasionally in multi-packs but the story always ends the same. I try not to be a vain girl, but I absolutely refuse to wear¬†a granny-chain glasses minder around my neck. My daughter is always threatening me that that day is soon coming.¬† Probably because it’s a daily thing that I’m ranting on about–my long lost readers that were just there a minute ago…velma_lost_her_glasses_9414

(Velma from Scooby-Doo)

One day I¬†sat down to do the¬†bills- typical-not a pair in site.¬† Drat!¬† Even squinting down to 20/20 I couldn’t focus to see my calculator, computer screen, checkbook-(yup, I still write checks)-or my ledger book. All of my readers had (poof!) disappeared. Not one to be defeated, I remembered that I had bought new sunglass readers¬†for summer. (Ingenious invention for when you want to read outside but need to sport sunglasses.¬†Like a bifocal, the top portion is normal vision and the bottom section readers-but they are sunglasses.)

I rummaged through my purse, Aha! –¬†plunked them on my face, and¬†back to do the books. Other than being a little bit dark they worked like a charm.

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Ding Dong!¬†Mailman at the door. He was grumpy as always and giving me a liberal dose of side-eye. ūüźĚ¬†What bee is in his bonnet now? I thought.¬†Before I could shut the door, I had my answer as I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror that made me guffaw out loud. Lordy!¬† I’d forgotten I was wearing those stupid sunglass readers indoors!¬† I realized I must have looked like Stevie Wonder signing for that package and sitting at the desk doing paperwork and that really set me off laughing. The mailman, still within earshot, hustled down the walk with an extra spring to his step-no doubt because he thinks I’m losing my mind.

No worries. It’s just me.¬† Being me.¬† Doing what I do best in life.¬† Laughing through it and making a spectacle of myself along the way.¬† Only this time I changed it up and actually wore spectacles when I did! ūüėé

(Granny Puckett from Hoodwinked)

img_5191What  we  SEE  depends  mainly  on  what  we  LOOK  FOR . . .

~John Lubbock