The first collections of columns I put together in book form covers the beginning four years of my column — not everyone, just those selected by my late friend, Colleen.
My children asked if I could put all my columns in books for them. It’s their history after all. So, the other day I was working way back in time, getting my first year of columns in order from 1980.
When I got to the end of August, I started laughing. I came across the column I wrote, lamenting the fact that I was turning thirty. Hitting that number seemed monumental to me. Now I look back and see myself as a kid of thirty.
Of course, I was worn out. I had three children — a five-year-old (Rob), a three-year-old (Rebecca/Becky), and an eight-month-old (Russell). This active brood kept me hopping.
I thought I’d share that long-ago column with you today, a little glimpse at the younger me.
It’s just another day
August 29, 1980
After so many years, I should be able to take this day in stride. I mean, I always know when it’s coming. I have enough warning, enough time to prepare emotionally. But yearly, it still manages to take me off guard.
This year is supposed to be different, a lifetime milestone. I hope it doesn’t prove to be a millstone. It should be just another ordinary day — my 30th birthday.
I’ve promised myself not to make a big deal over the mere passage of time. It happens every day, every hour, every second. Clocks continually tick-tick-tick, seconds add up quickly to make years — 30 years! Thirty years of ticks by those darn CLOCKS.
But I’m not going to be a hysterical person and let the figure get to me. I’m going to be calm and try to ignore my birthday completely. Then maybe it will go away.
So I’m 30. So what? Does one day make me any different than the day before when I was 29? Of course not. Do extra wrinkles jump on my face overnight? I should say not. Can I, as a mature, stable, reasonable person handle another birthday? Sure?
It’s not like I was alone with this problem. There are a lot of 30-ish people out there. I’m even married to one. Bob survived this day without any scars. (Well you can’t notice the twitching unless you look very closely at his right ear. Hardly worth mentioning—kind of like his salt and pepper hair. No one really notices he is getting saltier every day.)
If my husband can overcome the 30s, so can I. I may even celebrate. I’ll get my hair done, have a facial, and buy a new outfit. On second thought, if I have my hair done, the beautician may find a gray hair. And who in their right mind wants to look in the mirror for age lines? So forget the facial. The new outfit will have to wait, too. I have to start saving money for my old age, which is quickly creeping up on me.
But I’m not going to let this day bother me. No. I’m to stable a person. I’ll not even refer to it as my birthday any longer. I’ll just call it BLACK FRIDAY! (the end).
In this year, 2016, I’m turning 66. This birthday is important because I’m joining the Social Security crowd — a WWII baby boomer. There should be balloons and confetti for this landmark event, but not here. I’ll be happy if we can get together with some of our family for ice cream, maybe a campfire and some star watching.
It’s good to remember birthdays, especially after the numbers have really added up thirty is nothing, just the beginning.
Today I honor all celebrating birthday numbering many score. Three score and six years ago, Chuck and Isabelle had a bouncing baby girl. Me. I can’t let my special day go by without remembering them and their love. That’s what I’m celebrating, that and the love I feel from my children and grandchildren. Sixty-six is a number I’m applauding. No Black Friday here—no black Monday either.
Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; Sunnybook@aol.com