Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Meaning of Birthdays


That is me in the middle, wearing cowboy boots. On the right is my brother, Jack, dead since 1999. That is my birthday cake he's holding. Checking out the cake is a cat, nameless to me now. On the left is my other brother, Houston. Behind us is my father's old Ford (back when Fords were king of the road) and the trailer we lived in.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I had my 50th birthday this week, on 1/24, causing me to speculate on the meaning of birthdays. These little celebrations that happen in honor of our birth are so precious. Look at the pink-festooned cake, made by my mother in her little girl's honor. Look at me standing there in my "Aw shucks" stance. I remember being a little embarrassed by so much fuss. I still don't like a lot of fuss, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't appreciate acknowledgment.

Birthdays do give us a little window of time to reflect; that's their gift to us. Now everything in life will be filtered through the prism of my being 50 years old.

Since I'm 50, I'm going to adopt a kind of Bette Davis I'm-gonna-do-what-I-want-and-if-you-don't-like-it-then-tough stance. That means I'll be spending long hours at my various desks, writing. I used to feel guilty about the time I spent behind closed doors writing. I don't want to do that anymore. I feel like Thelma did in Thelma and Louise, when she said, "Something's crossed over in me and I can't go back."

I don't want to go back. Like Thelma said on the edge of the precipace: "Let's keep goin'."

I want to go ahead. And I will.

16 comments:

Cynthia said...

Keep going as far as you can go! Happy Birthday, my friend.

beths front porch said...

Thelma, I'm with you! Step on the gas. No turning back now. Thank the universe.

Thank the universe for YOU.

--Louise

DesLily said...

Ah yes, the gift of turning 50.. you can blame everything on being "old" lol..

I hope you had a "Fifty is Fantastic" party for yourself!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Theresa, Happy Birthday! It doesn't feel like fifty, or like you used to think fifty would feel, does it? TeaGrapple

ggw07 said...

“A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.”
Eudora Welty
What a marvelous photo. Treasure this. Fifty is nifty. Definitely a crossroads offering new possibility and excitement- Have a glorious year!

dreaminglily said...

Awesome! Happy 50th!

"Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you're alive, it isn't."
--Richard Bach

~Lily

Wenda said...

I like the photo. I like your reminscing. I like cake. I'm sorry your brother died. I wish you a happy belated birthday.

Erin said...

Happy belated birthday, Theresa! The photo is fantastic!

ckays1967 said...

This is absolutely fabulous!!!

You jump, I jump.

Standing at the
edge of the abyss
calling down

seeking kindred spirits
others who share
poet's or pirate's souls




wondering if there is any difference at all in them...



Happy birthday my friend...

TJ said...

Happy 600 months!!!
This year will be my 624 month birthday and I am thankful. I just wished for 252 month birthday body!
LOL

Lucas said...

Theresa--I linked over from Wenda's blog. I've been able to spend a little time browsing your site this afternoon. I've very much enjoyed your artworks and your many thoughtful comments and insights on a variety of subjects. Thank you for sharing.

Paul said...

Thelma and Louise? Does this mean you're dumping Tom Jones for Brad Pitt?

Nelle said...

I had my 50th a year and a half ago. I threw myself a party with things the way I wanted and I gave out CDs with my favorite songs from the past decades. I got requests for more. I love being comfortable in my own skin. Age does that. I can go out and not worry if I have makeup on. I'm a Dove woman and I believe that real beauty shines from within. Happy Birthday!

Anonymous said...

Yea, Theresa!! I was reluctant to turn fifty, but now, some 15 months later, I love it! Gives me a gravitas (yeah, right!!) or at least it gives me some credence to others and maybe even to myself. Hey, lady, we made it OVER HALF A CENTURY!!! That's gotta count for something!

And I do love that photo of the little Theresa, all shy and excited. Surrounded by your big brothers. I believe she is still alive and kicking inside the 50-year-old.

My love to you, dear friend, Vicky

V said...

Belated Happy 50th Birthday, my friend.
Seems to me you`ve already been fulfilling your resolution!

Sorry I`m late, been fighting that flu bug.
V

emmapeelDallas said...

Happy Birthday Theresa. I'm 56, and although I wish my knees were younger, I love being in my 50's. It's a great time; I've never been so accepting of myself and my friends as I am now. That doesn't mean to give in (do not go gently into that good night) but somehow, things come into perspective, and it's a very good time of life, or certainly can be.

I think it will be great for you, I just have a feeling about it.

Judi

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