Today I turn 45. I woke up feeling great, which is a good thing, of course. How many of us hold on to the old feelings that come with realizing you still have to go to work on your birthday? Well, I have a great bunch of co-workers, so it’s not so bad, and Mark and I will be celebrating all weekend with dinner out, cake, going to the movies (Superman!), brunch at my favorite new restaurant (Windsor) on Sunday morning, and PRESENTS.
Unfortunately, I will be spending the evening alone because Mark is in his finals week in school which will keep him out until 10pm, but I’m not sad… I have a lot to look forward to this weekend, and a lot to be thankful for…
I was driving to work, listening to one of my favorite songs “Light and Day” by The Polyphonic Spree, which always makes my spirits soar because of the crescendo of the score, the lyrics, and the abandon with which they sing, and all of these thoughts started popping into my head…
Where will I be on my next birthday? My life will be completely different by the time my next birthday rolls around. If everything goes according to plan, we will be settled in a new state, a new home, and (hopefully) equally employed (I say “equally” because I got a nice raise at work this month, which makes it even more bittersweet to be leaving in 4-6 months). However, I will be able to visit the Happiest Place on Earth for my birthday next year… and any time I want!
Where was I on my last birthday? I was just starting out on this blog, having been just a few months after Mark and I made the decision to move to be close to Disney World. However, we had no money in savings, so we were (and still ARE) cutting back on all spending to save the funds to make that possible. Now, we have the funds for the move. That’s a huge accomplishment to be made in just one year.
Where was I six years ago on my birthday? I was 39, one year from the dreaded 40, depressed and working in a position in a theater that I thought was a dream job that had gone from great to bad to worse; I was actually let go (downsized from the company because of the declining economy) on my birthday.
Where was I fifteen years ago on my birthday? I was 30. It was 1998. I was working at a non-profit organization that benefited the Deaf and hard of hearing. I had wanted to be a Sign Language Interpreter, but that wasn’t in the cards for me, so I worked there in an administrative role. I was driving a tiny blue Ford Festiva that we used to call The Blueberry because it was so small. My partner (at the time) and I were saving all of our money to buy the house that I continue to live in to this day... the same house that will be put up for sale approximately 3 months from now.
I feel far more “wise” at 45 than I did at 30. I’m lucky in many, many ways. I may have a body that creaks and aches like it is 45 (or older!), but my mind is still young and I still marvel at things the way I did when I was 10. I’m also especially lucky that people still don’t believe that I am out of my late 20’s yet! Maybe it’s my child-like fascination with all things Disney.
Speaking of 10... The year I turned 10 was 1978. I had been to Disney World on family trips a couple of times, but by this age I have solid memories of the parks, like Adventures Thru Inner Space, The People Mover, Mission to Mars and getting vertigo in the America the Beautiful (Circle-Vision 360°) attraction. When I was 10, Space Invaders was released; Happy Days was #1 on TV and I used to watch The Wonderful World of Disney on my parent’s black and white television while they watched Three’s Company on the color set. There were no Disney animated releases that year, but there was “Return from Witch Mountain”, “The Cat from Outer Space” and “Hot Lead and Cold Feet”. I believe I saw them all in the theater.
I may as well go back to the year I was born, just for fun. Gas was .34 cents per gallon, Disneyland turned 13, Walt had passed from lung cancer two years before, and Disney World was only three years away from opening day. A child’s admission to Disneyland was $3.50. The Disney animated film “The Jungle Book” was released just eight months before I was born and “Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day” was in theaters six months after I was born. They also released “The Love Bug” in 1968. I don’t even WANT to go into the fashions of that year. Things have much improved since then.
Just for fun here are some pictures of Disneyland taken the year I was born. Credit goes to www.davelandweb.com and www.disneydreamer.com; thanks for making them available.
Click on the images to enlarge.
Now, fast forward from 1968 to today… 45 years later, gas is running $3.50 per gallon, Annette Funicello (The Mickey Mouse Club) sadly passed this year from complications due to MS at the age of 70, and admission to Disney is just over $100 a day. This is the year that “Oz the Great and Powerful” and “Monsters University” is released, along with other BIG upcoming Disney films like “The Lone Ranger”, “Saving Mr. Banks”, and “Frozen”. Oh, and technically it was last year, but it’s still big news that Disney now owns the tiny Star Wars franchise!
Big things are coming, not just for the Disney Company, but also for Ken and Mark. Big BIG things. Life Changing Events that are probably so far out of my scope of imagination that I can only give myself over to the universe and wait for what will be in store for us. I may be 45, middle-aged and past my prime, but I know for a fact that 45 and up will be even better than 45 and back!
Oh, one more picture for you... Ken at 25, trapped in the body of a 45 year old (please DON'T click on this to enlarge it :)
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