David Bowie’s early 1970’s anthem about the passing of time is playing in my head quite a bit lately. I recently celebrated my birthday which motivates me to examine the past year and my goals for the future. After a year of more downs than ups, which I have been somewhat jokingly referring to as my “Year of No,” I am ready to have a fresh start for the new year ahead. Luckily, what a difference a year can make. In a few weeks, I’ll be starting a new position at work. And all areas of my life, in general, are looking up.
Growing older and the transitions that accompany the journey of life are sometimes as scary and sad as they are exhilarating. I am very excited about my new position and the new challenges and opportunities it will offer. However, it will be more demanding of my time and my family and I will have to adjust. While I believe we’ll do fine, I’m worried about being less available to them and how we’ll manage. I also suffered the loss of a beloved aunt this past year and with her passing ends a large part of my family history including silly nicknames, funny stories, and shared sorrows that may never be spoken of again. These two life-changing events have been shaping my outlook on life recently.
Fortunately, along with the fear of the changes that are occurring in my life, I am also very blessed. My husband has been so supportive of me and my decision to begin this new career path. I truly appreciate him and would not have wanted to laugh through last year’s tears with anyone else. I am also thankful the only thing he has in common with Arnold Schwarzenegger is his political party. My mother’s recent health concern, while still being managed, has ended up being somewhat less serious than we thought at first. Now, I can go back to my mission of weaning her off her dependency to an unstylish and inexplicably heavy purse. My children are happy and healthy and self-assured. I try to remember this when I want to yell at them for not paying attention to me and have recently started using the phrase, “Am I speaking in English?” when I can tell they are tuning-out, which they do every time they accidentally notice that I am speaking. My dog, although still very, very badly behaved, has started to calm down a little bit and sometimes will at least sit at my feet and look contrite after chewing up the couch cushions or running amuck through the neighborhood.
In homage to the Real Housewives, I spent the morning of my birthday applying self-tanner, using whitening strips on my teeth, and shopping online for a discount designer handbag and a super-sized bottle of anti-aging cream. Will any of this make me look any younger or turn back the disappointments of last year? No. But maybe it will make me feel a little more confident as I face the changes and challenges ahead. So as Bowie warns, “Look out you rock and rollers!” It’s a whole new year for me.