Happy Birthday to Me

Today I turn, am, have, or complete 65, depending on your language (and those are just the few that I know). But whatever the verb, it’s an odd moment: long expected and yet totally surprising.  I cannot yet comment on the state itself but as I sit here, between the idea and the reality, I have a few random thoughts, as the aged often do. 

Being 65 puts me into my final economic stage of life, if not quite into the Bard’s seventh age.  Combined with my recent soft retirement, it makes me an unproductive taker, in some world views.

Being 65, I can now legitimately add “age” to “female” as a victimhood category, interpreting every bump through this new, slightly yellowed lens if I choose.

Being 65, I expect I will now be subject to the entirely illegitimate prejudice of low expectations based on my age, although I don’t know how society will manage to see me as a girl and a geezer at the same time.  But where there’s a will . . .

Being 65, I have a new appreciation for world views that see the old as esteemed elders.  And for dentists.

Being 65, I know that this stage could last 30 minutes or 30 years.  With the budget fixed (see note on retirement, above, and do try to keep up) and the schedule so uncertain, my project management focus must shift to performance: making something of every day.  Not the most necessarily, but something.  And that’s what passes for wisdom in this household.

No victims here, no ma’am: just a girly geezer.  Suck it up, society: If I can deal with it, so can you.



  1. Ian Hepher

    Here is my suggestion for the appropriate response to the oft-asked question “So…what do you do all day?”

    “Whatever I want.”

  2. Laurna Tallman

    Happy Birthday, Isabel. And a big thank you for all the beauty, wit, good humour, and satisfied curiosity you share with us weekly. Wishing you an amazing, blessed, and fulfilling new year.

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Laurna – Many thanks. I can’t quite believe I’m so close to finishing my 150 national treasures project – now I need to find my next one!

  3. Marilyn Smith

    Happy Birthday Isabel! Happy 65! I used to wonder what John and Paul were thinking back in ’67 when they wrote “When I’m 64”. I was just 16 and could not envision myself that far in the future. I kind of get it now. Turning 65, which approacheth rapidly for me as well, and I admit the thought doesn’t sit well from time to time but is much preferable to the alternative, is, I would argue, not a time to be quoting up T S Elliot. Harking back to my flower child days, I still find Desiderata http://mwkworks.com/desiderata.html to be an uplifting and worthy (some might say cringe-worthy) offering to the passing, or arrival, depending on your perspective, of the years. In any case, I concur with Laurna’s comments and also want to wish you many happy moments of bird watching, gardening, commiserating, and blog writing, inter alia. And thank you for including Mt Robson in your sesquicentennial list. It took me back to a metamorphic, transitional birthday weekend passing my for, fffforrth, fourt, fortieth hiking the Berg Lake Trail. Maybe I can make it up there for me 65th. Cheers to sixty-five, which was is really the new 39. And Happy Mothers’ Day! You’re quite awesome, in my humble opinion.

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Marilyn – There should be a prize for working in so many disparate elements (Desiderata, TS Eliot, Berg Lake, and Latin) into one comment. You’d win! Many thanks for this and yes, I don’t actually care for (or understand, truth be told) old TS, but he has a knack for turning a nifty phrase here and there. I’m not sure he’d appreciate the selective quotation, but he’s gone and I’m still here.

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