Cross-posted from lgbtSr.com
Today is my 53rd birthday. I don’t usually make much of them, other than with a few friends and my partner, but this one feels significant. As for turning them into events, I’d reserved those for the decades: a party at 40, a cruise at 50. On the other hand, I consider myself a Halloween baby, so there’s always been something special and frighteningly magical to coincide with being another year older.
But maybe the fact I feel as if I’m running out of birthdays has this one seeming more important, more reflective. I’m at so many cross-roads: wanting to leave a job I’m no longer interested in (I had a great 10 year run with wonderful people, all of whom were swept out in a putsch); starting a website for over-50 LGBT people (lgbtSr.com) that has given me passions and interests that only serve to remind me how dreadful sitting in a cubicle can be; starting on a mystery novel – my very first – and wanting so much to reclaim those halcyon days of beginning each morning at a keyboard, opening my mind and letting my imagination out – or in, as the case may be; and, not least, the impending 20 year anniversary of my partner Jim’s death. He died November 6, 1991, and the last two decades, to use that old and tired phrase, have flown by.
I’m not one for feeling old or wondering where the time went, but its passing feels more pronounced this year. My parents are dead (except my birth mother, who’s now in a nursing home in Mississippi). I’m about to celebrate five years with my husband, although I’m not sure if we’ll be making that legal or not – but we will certainly be together until one of us is gazing at the corpse of the other. (That’s not really a morbid thing to say when you consider that we have both held the curiously heavy boxes of ashes of our dead partners.)
It just feels so . . . now or never. Even with the best of health and luck I am entering the last third of my life, and what I want to do with it, and how I want to spend it, is weighing heavily on me. I would sooner shoot myself in the head than to say I’m “fifty-three years young!” (oh, the ways we avoid the language of age), but I also think it’s prime-time, time to stake a claim to life if ever there was, time to stop wasting time. Happy birthday to me, and here’s hoping the next one arrives just a little bit more slowly.