Celebrating middle life on Sanibel

A couple of weeks ago I celebrated a birthday I thought I would never reach. I wish I had suffered amnesia like I did four years ago when I thought I was a year older than I actually was. My, that was a grand celebration of relief. You see, I’ve never been much for remembering dates. It is my brother that can recall every family member event with exact date detail—birthdays, weddings, school graduations, vacation trips—even job starts and relocations. He doesn’t say, “Remember our trip to Hawaii?” Rather, “Remember in May, 1992 when we went to Hawaii?”

So, I had this birthday that most would declare as “middle age”. I am officially middle age!! My father won’t discuss it. He cannot admit that he is old enough to have a daughter as old as I am. Fortunately, I work around people who are older than I am who give new meaning to growing older. No complaints from guests and co-workers about the aging process down in Sanibel at Ocean’s Reach. We regularly host guests and owners who are on the northern side of 80 and 90. And you would never know. They are as hard to catch up with as our youngsters flying kites or chasing salamanders. Warm weather, sunshine, social contact, recreational activity and vitamin D all play an important role in the “youthing” process. Not to mention the beach. The beach!

So, don’t ask me how old I am. I’ll admit only that I am younger than my age and that I feel more energetic and I smile more each day. But sadly, I think I celebrated my last birthday for awhile. I just can’t get any older. Maybe I’ll celebrate an anniversary instead. Like Charlie does. He hasn’t had a birthday in over 39 years. Imagine! But he loves his anniversary cards and anniversary celebration.  Ask him how old he is and he’ll reply, “I’m celebrating my 31st anniversary of my 29th birthday.” We all laugh and chuckle but, if you look at and work with Charlie on a daily basis like I do, you will admit that a 31st anniversary never looked so good.

Dru Anne Doyle 11/30/08