I felt the weight of 2023 as soon as I flipped the calendar; just 89 days to a major milestone birthday. An inescapable and irritating dread dampened my usual sunny disposition. To me, birthdays have always been the perfect excuse to celebrate with much ado. But this year felt different. I was entering a new decade that some would consider old, and as a person who has always declared, “Age is just a number!” that number was cruelly taunting me, making me feel ancient and irrelevant.
I snapped out of it when I realized I was acting like a victim of my age. I remembered what I had learned when I wrestled with aging not so long ago:
So, doggone it, party on! My husband was also turning 60 in March, so it seemed important to make it memorable.
But then came January 5th… and my world was rocked to the core.
Doctors discovered a mass in my sister’s brain that would require more testing to diagnose. By the end of the month, our worst fear was confirmed: brain cancer.
What was there to celebrate when my “ride or die” was facing a terrifying future, and the long life she imagined would be cut short?
Meanwhile, another storm was brewing.
My husband’s company had been sold last year, and one by one, his former leadership team shrank due to job elimination, forced early retirement, or leaving to find something more secure and less volatile. He began exploring different job opportunities himself as the climate became increasingly untenable, but on February 24th the decision was made for him. His position was eliminated.
Interestingly, we had plans that night to have dinner with four close friends and their husbands. It had been over a year since we’d gotten together as couples, and Courtney had invited us to her home six weeks in advance. Even though we viewed Tad’s job elimination as a good thing in many ways — he was fortunate to receive a severance package — it was still a hard thing, and we weren’t emotionally up for a couple’s night.
Not ready to disclose what had happened that afternoon, I texted my friends to let them know we had had an intense day and wouldn’t be able to make it. They weren’t having it. They texted back insisting, “You still have to eat!” Privately, another friend texted Tad and let him know…