This morning, after unpinning my legs from under our Labrador, I pulled back the covers and rolled out of bed, bringing my feet to the floor for the first time as a 48-year-old.
So far, so good, I thought, then stretched, twisted and stood before sliding into my pants. I’ve always told myself, when I have to start sitting down to put my pants on, THAT’S when I’ll know I’m getting old. But this morning I realized that wasn’t entirely true: It’ll start long before that, when I can no longer get out from under the dog.
Naturally, the first thing my son asked me this morning is if I felt a year older. I told him I didn’t, but that I was starting to forget little things, like including his name in my will. And I might’ve accidentally worn his underwear while jogging yesterday. Plus, I may have posted a Justin Bieber link to his Facebook instead of his sister’s. But other than those minor memory glitches, I hadn’t noticed any real difference in becoming a year older.
What I didn’t tell him, mostly because he had run off in a panic to check his Facebook and underwear drawer, was one of the reasons I never seem to “feel my age.” When I began blogging three years ago as part of a promise to myself to “become more savvy about the Internets” before my 46th birthday, my intention was merely to establish my own little corner in cyberspace; a place where I could explore my writing beyond the newspaper; a place that would allow me to figure out this whole blogging thing; a place where I could appear to be working without my editor knowing I was goofing off.
I found all of those things, of course, but I also found something I hadn’t anticipated: All of you.
Whenever I push the “post” button, it’s like meeting up with friends. Usually we laugh, but sometimes we don’t. Regardless, there is an acceptance and exchange that always leaves me either smiling, laughing or nodding my head in silent appreciation. Sometimes all three, depending on how much I may have had to drink. You allow me to share parts of myself that stem from the roots of my creativity — a place that many are forced to relinquish along with their youthful perspective.
Because of you, they’ll have to pull my youth from my cold, dead fingers. And if they do pull my finger… well, I think you know what’ll happen.
The fact is, I have no reason to believe I’ll be feeling old anytime soon. At least not until tonight, when someone at my 30th high school reunion shows up wearing parachute pants and has to be escorted home after becoming numb from the waist down.
But hey, thanks to all of you, at least I can say I put them on while standing up.
Truly, my thanks to all of you — Every Single One.