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​Growing Old Is Mandatory - Growing Up Is Optional…

By Pam Pollock

September, 2017

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So, yeah – I am still on a kick about my recent birthday AGAIN this month! It’s been exactly two weeks since my “body odometer” clicked and clanked and I am officially 56 years old. Which, according to my granddaughter Mackenna, is “really, really old. Even older than 80!” Thanks, dear…

My family and friends turned a one-day birthday into over 2 WEEKS of celebrations. I was wined and dined – ok, it was more like I whined and we all dined. Suffice to say, I felt the love and it is appreciated more than words can express.

My body feels old but my mind and heart insist that I really must be only 20. I lied; my mind declares that I am 8. My childhood neighborhood consisted of being surrounded by relatives – cousins, great aunts and uncles and my great-grandmother. When our yard stopped, another relative’s kicked in. I used to get the biggest charge out of my Great-Aunt Bess. She lived, for the most part, a very simple life. All she asked for was a jar of Pond’s Cold Cream and a True Confessions Magazine. And she loved bright and colorful things. She would drape tinsel and package bows down a mirror. As a child, I thought she was pretty funny. Over the past 10 years or so, realization has set in that, in many ways, I have become my Aunt Bess. Oh – I don’t live a simple life by any means but I do enjoy my Derma E eye cream and I like surfing the net for some hot gossip. Like Aunt Bess, I am drawn to the flamboyant trinkets like a moth to an open flame. I LOVE crazy patterned socks and I have been known to wear Santa socks… in March.

I have a fascination with dressing up the dog and my grandkids in costumes – the more they are bedazzled and bejeweled, the happier I am. I admit it – I dress up in the costumes, too! If Disney On Ice or Sesame Street Live is in Da Burgh, I am on a mission to secure seats for the performance. I still play with dolls and toy trucks! I jump and splash in puddles. Balloons? A person can NEVER have enough balloons! Disney movies? I think I own pretty much all of them.

I roll around on the floor with the grandkids – and yeah, sure, sometimes I have trouble getting back up. I still sit with my legs tucked up under me. Favorite food? Chef Boyardee Pizza.

I’m freakin’ 56 years old, folks! I was a sickly infant and child and the doctors didn’t think I would be alive to even hit my teens. I’m freakin’ 56 years old! I will take the blubber and the wrinkles and the stiff joints because I am alive and I am blessed to still have my parents, my husband, my 2 kids and 3 grandkids. I even still have 15-year-old Precious the cat and almost 14-year-old Gunny the dog. Am I old? Well, yeah, I climbed up that hill and have started the roll down, but I am trying to crawl down, instead of flying. I’m growing old – but I’m not growing up!

Let me end this column by saying that everyone needs to take photos. Photos of and with friends, family, pets, places and things you love. As you get older, the nostalgia kicks in and you remember that cute little stuffed poodle you had when you were 4 years old. His name was Pierre and he was my best friend. But I don’t have any photos of Pierre. And I don’t have any photos with all of those wonderful relatives who were always there for me. Take photos, folks. Take photos in HIGH RESOLUTION! Print them out or make photo books. Share them. Tell your stories and share your memories with the younger generations. And deep down in your heart – remain a free spirit, wild child.

Captions:

Dancing as though no one was watching, even if they really were…

My wish? To never grow up!

Super Hero Day Cruise for the Birthday Girl!

Shout out to my parents - thanks for having me! I love you!