A TGB Reader Story: The Grapes Aren't Sour; They're Just Not on the Menu Often Enough
The Age of Presidents and The Alex and Ronni Show

What Was Your Most Difficult Birthday?

As we have discussed here many times, most western democracies are profoundly ageist cultures.

It starts in the cradle, this antipathy toward the no longer young and from there, the number of ways that have been invented to marginalize people older than 50 – even, often, older than 40 – is boundless.

Just last evening, in an otherwise excellent novel I'm reading, this description of a newly introduced character appeared: “She was a woman of about 60 who in her younger years must have been a beauty.” There had been a similar sentence 50 or 60 pages earlier about another woman.

Are you saying that now she's a hag? I thought. It is the most common dismissal of women (and, occasionally, men), that if they are old – calculated by young people's standards – they are ugly.

Of course, the ramifications of such judgments are more serious than simple scorn: people are fired from jobs due to false stereotypes of older adults, not hired in the first place, subject to sub-par healthcare and generally discouraged from participating in public life.

But that's a story for another day. What I want to note today is that even while lamenting all that, we who are old generally abide with ourselves and our kind quite well and actually, life does get better.

These days, at age 77, I wake most mornings with a smile, eager to get on with whatever I have or have not planned for the day. That daily appetite is new and undoubtedly some of it is a consequence of surviving, so far, pancreatic cancer and being more fully aware than at any time in my life how precious is each new day.

But it's not all as a result of cancer. A lot, maybe the largest part, is having been surprised at some of the advantages of advanced age and the real changes I've experienced in my own attitudes and behavior.

Acceptance of what is, to which I have paid lip service for too long, is how, at last, I live mostly. I suspect it may arrive after decades of various levels of catastrophe that were, to my astonishment when they happened, survivable. Now I don't panic anymore when things go wrong.

This has brought better perspective, an increased ability to weigh events on more reasonable scales. Most occurrences that once fell into my disaster column are not - at least in the long run. Just cleaning up the spilt milk and getting on with living is so much easier than the “oh-my-god” anxieties and fears of the past.

And patience. It doesn't need to be today anymore. Although I will admit to being puzzled that at a time in life when what time I have left is demonstrably shorter, I am quite happy to put off all kinds of things – interesting as well as tedious - until tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the next. I have no idea why it should be that way; it is a mystery.

And now, even in this culture that to a large degree despises people of old age, I welcome birthdays; I like ticking off the years as they go by. In fact, the last birthday that I feared was 40.

I spent my entire 39th year boring every person I knew with lamentations over the impending doom, as I saw it, of turning 40. Looking back at my incessant wailing, I'm surprised any friendships from that year survived.

When the dread day arrived, I found on my desk at work that morning a classic, long white box in which red roses are usually delivered. But my birthday is in April, springtime, and the man I was then dating was much more inventive than that.

Inside were 40 (I counted them) gorgeous, fresh tulips and as lovely as they were, it was the card that made my day: “See how beautiful 40 can be.” (The seventh photograph from the left in the banner at the top of this page was taken on the evening of that day.)

It was still another three decades or so before I began to make real peace with growing old but none of the succeeding birthdays were as fraught as 40. I was learning acceptance – it just took me a long, long time to get there.

Have you had a really difficult birthday?



Comments

No, Ronni, I really haven’t had any difficult birthdays so far. I’m always glad, thankful, and rather proud of myself for making it through another year.

The only difficult birthday for me was Hunky Husband's 30th. Oh, the lamentations.

As to younger people despising their elders? I'm happy to say that I've not observed that - not even in my friends or me when I was younger. There were few youngsters in my extended family (my father was an only and my mom was much older than her siblings), so babies were dandled and tended; but, it was the eldest who were most respected and catered to. No one ignored the wishes of my great-great-grandmother! (And she was a tiny stick of a mild-mannered woman.)

My work-place experiences have also differed from yours. It was/is nearly routine in the engineering community of which I was a part to work until age 70...or 75...or, I can name at least one engineer my age (80) who is still in an interesting, rewarding engineering position with the company from which I retired at age 66.

It makes me sad that my experiences with elders were/are not universal. I'm sure it's made quite a difference in my outlook on life. Life would have been/would be even better were women accorded equality. Being a woman in engineering was a whole different thing.

I looked at the banner pictures as you suggested, but the one on the right is the most beautiful of all. i love that smile.

Thanks for articulating some of the changes I've noticed in myself in the last year or so but haven't been able to give voice to. With some of that acceptance, patience and perspective, I've come to believe there may be some hope for me after all.

Thank you for your words of wisdom! Acceptance, Perspective and Patience are what I need today. I am saving this post to read over and over.

I admire the fact of each birthday, but the big challenge for me was acceptance. At age 70, I began trying to look at older faces without cringing. I had so seldom really looked at people "older" than me. I realized I had internalized ageism. Of course, there were elders I admired and thought beautiful no matter what, but I was scornful of unknown people with wrinkled faces. Now, at age 78, I look at my elders, contemporaries, and some younger, as interestingly wearing the faces of experience.

Judy

Fifty hit me very hard. When I told my mother - then 76 - how I felt about it, she smiled at me and wistfully said, "I wish I were 50 again." I - now 76 - know just what she meant! But I wouldn't want to go back and live that quarter century again; what I'd like is to have my 50-year-old energy and strength back, to increase my enjoyment of life today.

It is difficult to live in the present and not fuss over things. Birthdays with my partner have always been underplayed, and I've finally come to accept that. I'm more distressed by my sun induced lines and wrinkles which are extensive than by my age. I'm actually proud to be 72 - soon to be 73 but let's not push it.
My biggest challenge is my being quite judgemental. But I digress.
I, too, love your most recent photo.

I really never thought about my age until I turned 65 this year and now I think about aging a lot. I’ll also be retiring in December so I feel I’m in this big transition. I notice my aging more and although I’m healthy now I wonder more about what can go wrong (I work in a hospital and see people who were fine one day and the next something catastrophic has happened). I recognize I have a very blessed life, but I still feel out of sorts. Reading your blog has been very helpful.

I’m 71 and I can honestly say, I’ve never had a difficult birthday. I don’t mind in the least getting older, other than possible coming health issues. I like the freedom and not caring as much about the little things and also feeling freer to speak my mind. Also I have finally found just what it means to be a good and contented person, not that I’m always that way, but at least I understand it now.

Haven't had a difficult birthday yet, as several others have noted.

At 64, I am the happiest I have ever been, and have said the same thing each year for years. I am well aware how clever I was to have chosen my genetic and educational heritage, as well as place of birth and upbringing, so well. ;^)

Long gone is the crippling self-consciousness of younger years. I am more aware of the necessity of generosity, including the little kindnesses of giving time and attention to aging neighbors who need rides, help reading mail, and the occasional walking companion. These are not people who I would have chosen as friends in younger years and that is humbling, because they have so much to offer without sharing my political or religious views.

I hang out at a senior independent living complex several times a month, visiting a younger disabled friend who lives there. So many of them have lived rich lives and continue to do so into advanced old age with support as needed.

Also as noted by another commenter, I have not noted any dislike of older people among y0ung people. If anything, they seem grateful for attention from elders. Maybe it's just more luck about who I am around. The idea of handing my life over to medical and "eldercare" people at some point, however, does scare me. I have seen the way elders can be ignored by the very people who are supposed to care for us.

I wrote and posted a LOONG comment yesterday, but it never made it into print, so I'll be briefer with this one: my 40th birthday was the last night I slept with my husband of 21 years, father of my children and, still at that time, very much loved by me. I just knew my life was over and that no man would ever again find me attractive since I was so OLD! HAH!

Fifteen years ago, on my 70th birthday, 100 friends came out in a blizzard to give me the party of a lifetime--a memorial service while I was alive to hear my friends' testimonials of love and admiration!

Bet you can guess which one I liked the best!

Forty scared me because I realized I was at a half-way point. How would I live the rest of my life, another 40 years or so? Made me really think about what I wanted my future to look like. I've done my best in the intervening years to live my very best life.

Now, at 66, I wish I still had the confidence and energy of that 40-year old self. Then I felt I could do anything. Now, I'm not so sure.

For whatever reason, I really bemoaned my 30th birthday. My youth, my best years, were over!! Ha.

Your note about patience really resonated. Except I call it procrastination (or perhaps laziness?). Why, with time running out, do I find it so easy to wait days, weeks, even months, to do things that need doing? But when I'm actually involved in a task, I find I'm very impatient and have a much shorter attention span.

Birthday's have not been important to me. I like New Year's eve and day to recap the previous years events and accomplishments.

One comment I have always found insulting "your look good for your age" - what does that mean - if you didn't know my age you would find my looks offsetting, etc.

I usually answer this comment with what do you think people my age look like or most people don't know what this age looks like.

Can't remember a difficult birthday, but at 81 I Guess that's ok, because I do have some issues with memory! LOL! Anyway, I remember the other day looking into the mirror & seeing the reflection of my mother......she lived to 99. I don't mind looking like my mom, but I do mind the brown age spots on my face & I really don't want to use makeup much anymore.

Also, I do totally agree with your post today. I've developed a "no big deal" attitude about almost everything. And it does make me feel better, but alas does nothing for my energy level. Damn!!! Dee:):)

Just my 13th birthday. Who knows why I expected something magical to happen but of course it didn't. Left over from when I was 6 I and believed once I got to 12 everything I wanted to be would happen. I recovered quickly and birthdays became just something to celebrate. It helps that my birthday is on St. Patrick's day. :-)

I have never experienced any angst about a birthday. My belief is that, each day, we either live or die, and I am thankful to still be alive at 70. I had 3 aunts who were all dead from breast cancer before the age of 50. I had a young cousin of 22 who piloted helicopters in Vietnam during the war and was killed there. I had other relatives who were taken far too early in life; primarily from cancer. I took lessons from these deaths: to enjoy what I have for as long as I have it.

If one doesn't die, aging is inevitable. Change is constant. My body at 70 is not that of my body at 20 or 35 or 58. The only place where being older has affected me is when applying for a job later in life. Age discrimination is alive and well, but I choose to not let it affect my attitude. My only real concern about getting older is if my mind goes before my body goes, but it is not something I obsess about. I strive to not let worry about changes I cannot control affect my outlook.

Thirty was the bad one for me, wouldn't celebrate it, to gifts, no cards, nothing. Looking back I think how silly. I was a teacher and I think she is less of a problem in education. When our district wanted to get rid of older teachers they offered financial incentives that were so generous many took them the year I retired.

I wasn't keen on turning 21. It meant I was legally an adult and wouldn't have the fallback excuse of being a dumb kid for every wrong move I made.

When I turned 40, I threw a birthday party for myself with a coffin as the cake. I had a very hard time finding a baker who would do a coffin.

Good friends threw a birthday party for me at 50. At age 60, I had a small birthday dinner at a restaurant with family and a couple of dear friends. Since then, I take my small family out at my birthday.

In hindsight, and I felt this way for a long time, my 20s were among the worst times of my life. Our culture features our 20s as an amazing rock and roll time of life. For me, it was hard. Very hard. Life got alot easier, in some respects, in my 40s but that's when the losses started arriving.

I thought turning 30 was the worst. I met a woman for coffee whose birthday was on the same day as mine and she was terribly excited to be turning 45. I looked at her dumbfounded.

I said, "Well I just turned 30, and I think it is awful. I feel like my life is over, does it get any better?"

And she replied, "30... where was I when I turned 30? Oh yes I remember, I was in jail. Yes, it gets better!"

She was right. 30 was my worst, it got lots better. Now, every birthday I think: "Amazing! I'm still here!"

You, TGB readers, have reminded me what a disappointment my 21st birthday was. You'll remember that back then, 21 was the officia age when you could drink in bars, sign contracts, etc. and were recognized by society as a grownup.

For some reason I thought that when I woke up on the morning of my 21st birthday, I would at last have the answers to all kinds of questions about life and living that puzzled me. But nooooo. I was just as ignorant that morning as I had been all along.

Great post, Ronni, and what interesting comments! I can't say any birthday has been traumatic, but a few did loom significantly. I distinctly remember the anticipation of turning 10 and thinking life would be different once I was in the double digits. I felt I absolutely HAD to have a convertible before I turned 30 or would consider myself an absolute failure, so bought a decrepit red Triumph Spitfire (I had long loved this model of sports car; so decrepit I had to put in new seats!), never mind that I didn't know how to drive a stick shift at the time. Forty might have been traumatic but I had my first and only child at 39, and nothing registered for a few years around then due to lack of sleep. Turned 60 just recently and it was ... eh. I never was one to attach much significance to birthdays, but do envy you those 40 tulips. What a lovely memory!

As for aging itself, well, these days I'd love to look in the mirror and see my mother. Alas, the reflection bears an uncanny resemblance to my memory of my GRANDMOTHER. (Physically, I think some people age well. I seem not to be one of them.)

But this sentence in your post, speaking about Acceptance: “I suspect it may arrive after decades of various levels of catastrophe that were, to my astonishment when they happened, survivable.” Yes! That truly resonates.

Fifty was tough. And--a little over a year ago--so was eighty. I'm still trying to right myself from that one.

My 75th birthday was the hardest. So hard that I ignored it and when I turned 76 I actually thought I was turning 75, not leaving it behind. A friend who is the same age, born in the same month, had to correct me and make me do the math.

I have always loved my birthdays, but the day I turned 70, less than half a year after my son died of cancer at 39, was close to unbearable.

30! I remember that birthday so well. Back then over thirty was over the hill. I bought myself a darling new dress. Studied myself in the dress shop mirror thinking, that’s the last time I’ll look like this, young and cute. I dreaded going to bed that night for I knew in the morning it’d be all over. I’d be OLD.

But I wasn’t. Now over 40 years later, I’ve never dreaded a birthday since that silly time. And I still don’t think of myself as old.

Luckily I’m able to live life as I want to. So still having a great time despite dire obstacles popping up continuously.

🙂🙂🙂

Number of years has never been an issue for me. I guess aging comes under the category of things I could not control and I didn’t waste time or energy thinking about it. I noted the turns at each decade, but I just marveled that a lot of the stereotypical ideas put forth simply didn’t seem to apply to me or my friends — or if some did, so what. I really felt more of a sense of disbelief that I could actually be whatever that age, be it 40, 50, etc. I did think about how realistic it was that I might accomplish or do some of the things I had always wanted to do, or thought I would in the future. I did conclude with some level of disappointment certain things would have to wait until my next life — if there is one. I did note that many of the individuals who were most invested in their looks and appearance to attract others seemed to be more concerned about turning those big numbers.

I was surprised to learn an older male in the family did have difficulty accepting “what is” when he hit 60. Never got to talk with him about that, so don’t know what was the major issue for him, or how he adjusted his thinking.

I just want to say that I loved reading this blog today - the thoughts that it inspired, and the responses to it - all make me realize how happy I am to be alive.

I was never very into birthdays (my family with seven children just had too many, all the time), especially not my own birthday. I did everything late, married at 35, tried to get pregnant in my late 30's, adopted a son in my early forties, still working and about to turn 72,
planning on another 3 years at work (fingers crossed : )

But my 70th birthday was awful -- not because no one remembered it (my husband has Alzheimer's and our son was away), but because it was November 8, 2016 -- a day that will live in infamy. It was the day that Trump won in the Electoral College, an institution created precisely to keep someone like him from becoming President, but failed that task. A really bad day all around.

My immediate first thought was “the next one, of course.”
Your blog is always a treat. Take good care of yourself, all of you.

I’ve always thought every age has its beauty, and view those who do not see it as aesthetically narrow- minded. Turning 70 last July, was very hard. I had just lost my only living sibling, 15 years older. Besides losing a beloved brother, I felt alone as never before, even though I have my own close family.

You can’t hide from the implication of three score and ten. At least I can collect every “ senior discount” going.

My worst birthday, no contest, was when I turned 6. I was hospitalized with pneumonia. I had never slept away from home, and in those days they didn't let parents stay beyond "visiting hours". I didn't know how to swallow anything whole without chewing it, so the penicillin capsules were a problem! A very stern nurse was furious with me. And then there was a long, long night alone in that strange place, feeling abandoned. I cried myself to sleep. The fact that it was my birthday just made everything more awful.

But, that hospital stay, and the penicillin, probably saved my life, so... I can't really say I wish it didn't happen. On my next birthday I'll be 75. Would have been a real shame to have missed out on all the things I've been, done, and seen throughout the years.

As for those age-milestone birthdays, they never bothered me. I made a conscious decision when I was a teenager to try to hang on to my childhood sense of play. (Though I also passionately wanted to be "mature" because I thought that would mean I would know how to handle things. Hah!) I really did try to keep a part of myself that believed "silly" was a high compliment.

I had a button once that read "If you get to fifty without growing up, you don't have to."

I truly can't remember which b'day had a negative impact even though I do know there was one. Ah - must be my memory going. (ha ha) This should make everyone laugh: I met a new couple over ten years ago after moving to a new area. The husband was two years older than I. She was twenty years younger than he. His comment to me upon being introduced was "You must have really been beautiful when you were young!" I kid you not. He actually thought he was complimenting me. Duh! Thank goodness I laughed at his ignorance. Anyway, down to serious issues. I feel as you do. After my initial serious health issue a long time ago when I was only I my sixties, I am grateful for each and every day. I too don't care very much about what I call burps in life. I procrastinate about getting something done - not quite as hard on myself as years ago. But patience? I find I am more impatient because I don't want to waste time at all with small talk or people full of themselves. I have always loved being with creative people. They do think outside the box and are interesting to me. And at two months shy of 79, I still am excited about what life holds for me next. Not that I don't think deeply about the way I do not want to die. That's the only serious thing on my mind once in a while. Underline: do not want to die - as in a hospital unable to have control of what someone else wants for me despite having a Living Will. An entirely complex issue for another time.

I have never had a difficult birthday or ever dreaded growing older.
IF I dread any birthday it is the first one I'm not here to celebrate.

It was breakfast time 2001. My dear George brought me a cup of coffee. The TV was right next to my side of the bed, and he turned it on. I glanced toward the screen, and the second airplane flew in to the towers. My birthday is 9-11. It has taken me years to recover.

When I was 50, I had a giant party the gifts went too a recovery home. At 60's, G and I went to Europe. At 70, G and I took a train trip around America. I'm looking forward to 80 and 90.

My hardest birthday was my 25th. Then I went home and made love to my soon-to-be husband, now my ex-husband of 43 years, and if all goes well, soon to be my new husband. At 75! I also feel, and am constantly told, that I'm gorgeous (and I was never vain), intelligent which I know I am, funny and entertaining , (which I didn't realize before), etc. etc. etc. I love being in my mid-seventies. I wake up with a smile on my face and having worked from 14 to 70, I'm really enjoying this decade. Wait until those ageists hit my age. I didn't mention that, thanks to a stroke, I can't walk or use my right hand, I have a Pacemaker, and now it's dialysis. So what? Still alive and enjoying my birthdays. A lot more to come for both of us.

Yep - the picture on the far right That's the lady with the sparkle. And all those 77 years put it there.

I am green with envy of your waking smile. Even I wouldn’t want to see the grumpy look on my face as I reluctantly awaken—only because I have to pee.

My watershed moment was when I turned 30 and said farewell to youth. I had to call my best friend and ask her to come over and talk me down. After that 40 was a piece of cake. I was just happy to be single (divorced) with a very satisfactory love life and looking pretty good if I do say so myself. After that I didn’t notice the passing birthdays much as aging kind of crept over me. The point at which I began not to care how others—including men—saw me just slid by unremarked.

These days I not only don’t care how old I am or how old I look, I often forget what my age is and have to do the math. I don’t examine my face in the morning. I just comb my hair and clasp it back, use a little lotion and lip balm, and I’m ready to face the public if need be. There’s a certain freedom about that, isn’t there?

I don’t take offense much at literary or other references about the looks of old women. I guess I always just assume it’s not about me. But there is no doubt about the beauty of older faces. I see it all the time in others.

Not crazy about #80 which occurred in January 2017. I don't think my body was designed to last 80 years; it continues to "go south". I don't much like being old, but it is what it is. . .my super tolerant and patient spouse (88) and 3 senior cats don't seem to mind.

A few weeks ago I committed to stop expressing my opinions in so much detail, and I think I'm sticking to it!

My most difficult birthday was also 40. My divorce became final on my 40th birthday, I had just started a new job in a new city, and fell into a serious depression. That's 34 years ago, and the last ten years, since I retired, have been some of the best in my life.

My age is something I don't think about very often. I feel good, am healthy and I don't know and don't care if I look young or old. I'll continue to enjoy my life, my friends and my ability to travel as long as I can. Age to me is really just a number.

The only difficult birthday I can remember was my 30th. The anti-Vietnam War movement was in full voice and one of the loudest phrases was "Don't trust anyone over 30!" (Does anyone else remember that one?)

Suddenly I was 30. What to make of that? Was I now untrustworthy?

I remember uncomfortably mulling over that and came out the other side with a healthy skepticism of adopting such movement phrases.

All other Birthdays were also sort of a surprise but a pleasant one.

I wouldn't go so far to say difficult but turning 40 was a big deal for me! I think it was the sense of leaving something behind.....but turning 50 was ok and 60 was …..well...…..i'm now 70 and really enjoying everyday and still feel 40! lucky I know but glad now I never smoked/drank alcohol/never took drugs and kept cycle racing for 50years! oh and I've never ever eaten a vegetable (except potato..) in my whole life....now lets see those comments on 5 veg. a day rules!!!! dave Tulloch.

Without a doubt, 70 was the most difficult birthday. One day you are a young man (relatively) in his 60's and the next you are an old codger in his 70's. Think about it.

Like you, it was 40. I was never 39. I was 38 and then I was "going to be 40". I was really and truly stressed about it. Then the morning of my 40th birthday arrived. I thought to myself, "Well, okay I'm 40" The world did not shift in it's axis. So I got out of bed and want on with my life. By contrast, 50, 60, 70, and 80 were a piece of cake. I hardly noticed.

The man who puts his Pilates mat beside mine every week says "once you hit age 70, all hell breaks loose."

But when 70 walked in on little cat feet I was worried.

So far, so good.

But 80, oh 80.

Who wants to hear about 80?

I want to stay in my 70's, but 80 doesn't give a hoot what anyone wants.

I'm slamming the door on 80. I've seen some crazy stuff happening when 80 hits. Sudden moves to isolated places, downsizing to tiny apartments on the 25 floor,
people giving in to deep ass couch sitting.

On the other hand-

My friend Yvonne at the IRL says 100 is nothing.

Maybe she skipped 80, like on a checker board.

She's been 100 for a long time. Her two impossibly long legged cats could tell you stories..

Yvonne is an artist and former clothing designer. She was recently invited to speak about her art at an elementary school.

She likes to play sneaky tag in the dining room. She taps you. You tap her. She always gets the last tap.

Due to computer troubles, I am late to comment, but am glad that I got to read all of the interesting and well-written comments. Having read them I find that Joarad said it for me (only better). The last paragraph in her comment does not apply, however.

I don't even remember what birthday it was, but I was visiting my daughter in California when it occurred and my daughter's friend had a birthday close to mine as did my ex-son-in-law. We all went to a very excellent restaurant in San Francisco to celebrate. The friend told of her favorite birthday and we all had to think of our best birthday. I said that that one was my best. Maybe that's a reverse topic for a future post.

My strangest birthday wasn't mine at all, but my second husband's. He dreaded his 50th and constantly lectured me about how terrible it was to be that old, death was just around the corner, and one day far in the future I would understand what a crisis this was and I would feel just the same. He was Methuselah, I was just a naive young thing who couldn't begin to understand the horror of his situation. Here's the killer: he was and is exactly four months older than me.

Ahhhhh, age 30. I could no longer be trusted. I was in the Haight during 1967
and really involved with the "Summer of Love". My hair (I actually had some!)
was long and life was a deep carpet before me ready to walk on with bare feet.
By 1968 I had reformed, joined the "real" world. A bit of me still held out the
"hope". Age 30, to me, was a death sentence. The earlier life had ended and even
more work was ahead of me. I am now 70. The forty years since were busy, but missing the "mystery" of my youth. I simply served the sentence I was given in
growing up. Now, I revel in my age. I love being a part of the society I once fought against. However, my cynicism knows no bounds, but soon I will be
truly free again (retired).

My 73rd, the one I had just over a week ago.

Happily to say "Never!" I've never had a birthday I feared but that may have been through what experiences you have had in your life. I began nursing school for a RN degree at 18 years old + saw the worst illnesses at a very young age. Then, as the years went by, I think how very fortunate I've been to simply put these 2 feet on the floor and enjoy the simplicity of something called Life. In December I turn 69 years old. I say enjoy each day on this Earth, seek opportunity to have fun in the simplicity of nature and events, and take care of your health. I am having more fun today than 40 years ago, because the stresses of decisions are already done (i.e. where will you have a new home, if and when you will have children, if and when you will get married and stay that way, getting all my 3 degrees post -high-school), + the heavy list of things-to-do go on and on. These things begin to slip away, as they should.

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