The Green Study “What’s on the B Side of that 45?” Contest: 3rd Place

3rd Prize goes to Fransi at 365 and Counting for “Aging Gets Better with Age”. There’s nothing like a middle-aged meltdown to make you feel all growed up.

She was sent one Green Study Coffee Mug, a Minneapolis postcard and a $50 donation was made on her behalf to the Red Cross International Disaster Response Fund.

“Aging Gets Better with Age”

By Fransi at 365 and Counting

 For some reason, age has always been an issue with me.

Maybe it’s because I’m an only child. I spent a lot of time with adults. So in some ways I was more sophisticated than most of my contemporaries.

When I was 10, I couldn’t wait to be a teenager. When I finally was 13, I couldn’t wait to be 16. Then 21.

My twenties and thirties were sublime. My forties, well I did gulp on my 40th birthday. That came as a bit of a shock but I was having such a good time both in my career and socially, the horror of the number didn’t last long. A blink and it was over.

And then came the big Five Ohhhhh. Actually I went into a slump slightly before my forty-ninth birthday. About six months into my forty-ninth year I was completely freaked out at the thought of turning fifty. I just couldn’t handle it. Working with a bunch of twenty and thirty somethings could have had something to do with it, I don’t know. But I was in a bad state.

I worked with a gal who always acknowledged my birthday so I knew I had to clip her wings before she planned “an event”. I was so demented I went to her assistant, half a year in advance, and laid it out for her; and begged her to make sure “S” got the message.

canstockphoto4562663All I wanted for my birthday was for everyone to ignore it. The day came. I dragged myself to work. I just didn’t have a good feeling. Sure enough, at about 10:00 a.m. I was called to reception. A huge — and I mean — gigantic arrangement of flowers.


Not wanting to make a scene out there, I took them and stalked back into my office, where I slammed the door shut and literally had to sit down I was shaking so bad. I don’t have to tell you who they were from, do I?

Called my boyfriend, sobbing. Men are not known for their sensitivity, but he really got it. He talked me off the ledge for a few minutes and told me to call her into my office and explain she’d really upset me — even though her intentions had been good. She should have respected my wishes.

First I checked with her assistant to make sure she’d done what I’d asked. She swore she had and I believed her. Then I called “S” and essentially let her have it — in between sobs.

canstockphoto0276849She ran to my office and apologized, but I was way too far gone by then. When she confessed she’d also organized a lunch, I totally flipped out. Dumped the flowers into the garbage and flounced out of the office and went home.

A slight over-reaction to be sure, but I was totally and insanely traumatized.

Before I knew it, I was over it. And it turned out to be no biggie. Although from then on each passing year did give me pause; and then something interesting happened.

Sixty. I turned sixty and stopped giving a damn. Really, who cares? I’ve had a fabulous life and it’s given me bragging rights. I am armed with all the knowledge and wisdom only someone who’s been around long enough to make every mistake in the book (and learned from them) can have. So I figure I’m entitled to say what I want, do what I want and go wherever I want.

Definitely a perk of aging.

True, I do have to deal with some previously unknown aches and pains. If it’s not an ankle it’s a knee. Or my shoulder. Or my back. Or a wrist. Or my index finger. But I can still get up there and shake my booty with the best of ‘em when the right music’s playing.

True, the future’s a bit too close for comfort now. So I concentrate on the now. The present. Today and canstockphoto7431966only today. Yesterday is history and tomorrow, if I’m lucky enough to see it, is yet another blank canvas for me to decorate — however I choose.

What’s wrong with that?

Congratulations Fransi!

Check out her blog to see what counts:

Day 46. Helping Others

Day 47. Polishing Work

Day 120. I’m Afeared