"Oh, yes, I did. I did, I had my cake, loved it, masticated it, chewed it and had everything I wanted." -Big Edie, Grey Gardens
Today is my 34th birthday. In a few years, I will look back on being 34, much like I now look back on being 24, and think about how young I really was. So today seems like an appropriate moment in time to decide that youth need not be wasted on the young. Each one of us, right now, is younger than we will eventually be. Isn't this worth appreciating?
I am, therefore, declaring a shift of mindset. This is a day to celebrate what I see when I look in the mirror, regardless of how I remember looking years ago. Certainly, it is a time to protect what I still have - to wear sunscreen, to eat sensibly, to get enough sleep, to maintain and build friendships. My skin will continue to sag and shrivel at its own pace. My metabolism may have other plans for my body. Friendships will fade and glow at various points. Thinking about my future eye-bags, foot surgery and arthritis is wasting time I could spend appreciating the fact that my eyes will never look so alive as they do today. That my feet can faithfully carry me for miles without much pain. That my legs have never felt so strong. That my parents are a phone call away. That my friends are having babies. That my dog, cat and Joel are at the door each day when I come home. That this is a wonderful life right now.
Which is why today is a day to celebrate being young. I will never be this young again. And: neither will you! Perhaps, as my dad says, the best is yet to come, but this is nevertheless a moment to seize and savor.