It is that time of year again...when the clock feels the need to move me another year forward. I have been contemplating that of late. Birthdays have never really bothered me until the last couple of years. Oh...and there was that year that I turned 28. It nearly killed me...but I honestly can't remember why 28 freaked me out so. These last couple of years though...I can feel my body start to tense up in September. I seem to grow horns and become this bitch-like creature who is trying to fight the unfightable. Apparently the complete futilness of it all makes me even more unpleasant than normal. If in fact that is possible.
Today though...I was thinking about the positives of turning 30 (shut up...this is my blog and I can pretend to be any age I want!) The biggest positive I came up with...are memories. The longer you live the more you have. The only downside is....after awhile the memories can get jumbled. You forget details and sometimes you get actual memories mixed up with stories you have heard over the years. For the most part though...memories are what keeps us attached to the past...good and bad, and to other people...again both good and bad.
Yes...sometimes our memories aren't all pleasant and there are those things we would just as soon forget. Luckily...our mind has a unique way of overriding the unpleasant with the more pleasant and those are the memories that usually pop up when thinking about a certain person, place or thing.
I was letting my mind wander this morning and I was thinking about the furthest memory I have. I believe it was my 2nd birthday. I don't remember a lot but I do remember standing in front of my cake with Little Bo Peep on top and blowing out my candles. I remember Christmas too....lot's of Christmases in fact. My mom always made sure that no matter what....Christmas was special. She would start decorating before Thanksgiving and leave it all up until mid January. Our house always looked like the North Pole as every space in our house and on our lawn was alive with the Christmas spirit.
One memory I have that for some reason sticks out vividly as a really good memory was when we lived in New Mexico. I had a love/hate relationship with that place. I loved it because of the weather and we lived with my Aunt Margaret and I hated it because I felt torn away from everything that I knew and all my family and friends in Kansas. I went to a school that I actually kind of liked though. I think one of the main reasons for this was because right on the edge of the school property was a little building. It was about 6 foot wide and 8 foot long and on either side running length wise were shelves lined with candy. A little old man ran it and everyday after school he was opened for 30 minutes. Occasionally, Mom would send me with $.25 and literally...that would by you a ton of candy. Most candy back then was a penny or two for a penny. I could walk out with enough gum, licorice or jelly beans for a couple of weeks. To me the place was magical. For one....whoever heard of a candy store right outside your school? And then there was that feeling of being in the 2nd or 3rd grade and having the independence to make your own selections amongst the many choices. I have never since seen such a place. Today's huge candy stores with all of their color and choice will never be as exciting to me as that little 6 x8 building full of penny candy.
Another fun memory for me in NM was the one and only time I saw a May pole dance. In KS we had done May baskets for May Day which is traditionally May 1st, but never had I heard of or even seen a May pole. It was something the kids had worked on for months and a tradition for that area at the time. They had huge poles installed on the playground which the rest of the year were nothing but big poles. However....on May 1st, those poles were alive with colored streamers as the kids danced in and out and around causing a woven pattern on the pole. There are very specific dances that go to this ceremony and each kid knew their moves perfectly. I had come to late to be a part of the dance so I got to stand out and watch the spectacle. It was amazing and something I will always remember.
Yes...memories are special and I have had so many wonderful times over the years and so many special moments, and all are connected with a lasting memory that will always be mine. In fact many of these memories are what spark this blog and each memory gives you a little window into who I am and how I became this age obsessed mess. I think the whole memory thing came home to me this past weekend too. It was amazing to get so many people together...many whom had not seen each other in years....but we were all pulled together by our memories. Whether we ran in the same social circles, were rich or poor...the fact is, each of us walked the same halls. We could all still close our eyes and know exactly where Mr. Canfield's room was, we could remember taking the breeze way as a short cut, the heat of the classrooms on the old side of the building on a hot spring day and the smell of the school on chili and cinnamon roll day. Some of us had mutual memories of racing back from Derby during open lunch, having Mr. Gifford teach us history or skipping out on Yearbook Class to hang out in the gym. Whatever the memories though...that building; the sites, the sounds and the smells were apart of all of us and even after all these years....talking about them was as if we had never left.
I guess in the big scheme of things...turning another year older isn't all that bad. The times and events keep happening and the new memories are made and saved for days like today...when I need a reason to remember what is important, why time has to fly and how I got to be....me!