It’s to myself actually. I am 62 years old today, 16th March. So, Happy Birthday to me.
I like my birthday a lot. Unlike other festivals, Christmas for one, it is personal, not general. I know that lots of other people are celebrating the same birthday today, and I do wish them well. However, they must forgive me for claiming today, just for me. I used to make a lot more of the occasion. I would claim a ‘birthday week’, taking time off work, and doing lots of good stuff. For the last few years, I have satisfied myself with a day trip to the seaside, followed by a nice evening meal. I will continue this tradition tomorrow (well today, actually), hopefully going off to the north coast, with Julie and Ollie, finding somewhere we have never been before.
The evening meal is booked, a restaurant in the bustling metropolis of Swaffham. Yes, I am being slightly sarcastic, as Swaffham is only a small market town. The problem with living in Norfolk, is that almost nothing happens on Sundays, at least after dark. Most restaurants only serve lunch, then close until Tuesday. We had to settle for Chinese, as they have the good business sense to ignore this rural shutdown. Of course, we could have gone out another night, but then it wouldn’t have been my birthday. With the same sentiments, I do not allow myself any presents, or cards, until the actual day. Why spoil it? After all, I have to wait twelve months for it to come around again.
Being 62 isn’t so bad as I once thought that it would be. I can now apply for my concessionary bus pass, and I only have three years to go until I get my state pension. I have been retired for two years, and despite getting tired more easily, and not being as strong as I was in youth, there is a lot to be said for the contentment that comes with being older. I am more peaceful in mind, and calmer in nature. Less prone to anger, envy, or resentment. I have replaced fire with thought, and my blood pressure has dropped accordingly. There may be more wrinkles to look at in the mirror, and even less hair to brush, but my clothes still fit me well, and I can walk all day without any undue effects.
To make more of my birthday weekend, Julie suggested a trip to The Broads today. After some difficulty locating it, we walked around the calm Salhouse Broad. It is small, but well laid out, and there were few other afternoon visitors. We then went on to Wroxham, and enjoyed afternoon tea overlooking the Broad, watching the boats come and go, and the swans parading the new cygnets. The sun was in our faces, as we sat outside with Ollie, and even the drive home was fuss-free. Life isn’t too bad at all really, even at my new older age.