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I am here at home for a wee bit trying to get some words written between having celebrated my birthday with aquafit good buddies at brunch, cat sitting and then going off to do more cat sitting, celebrating with the neighbourhood ladies and ending with a nightcap with Lennie. Not a bad way to herald in this slipping into my 71st year. Seventy-one — isn’t that a strange number? I liked the sound of “70” — it was neat, clean, devisable by 2 and 5 and 7 and 10 and, best of all, when I told people how old I was, some would say, “70? You? Impossible.” But 71 just doesn’t have that same momentous impact that 70 did. It seems like I slipped over into more of that mundane place between 70 and 75 where aging starts to creep in without you having any recollection about inviting it.

But there it is — it’s the 24th of December, my birthday, and I am, indeed, a year older and into my 70s for real now. How I live this year is really up to me. At breakfast this morning, I was surrounded by people who are real fans of me and what I do and can do and will do. Even in that kind of Rah-Rah-Ann environment, I heard myself say something negative about myself. And, later, I heard doubt and fear creep into my words when I talked about the upcoming home-move and the pacemaker and, yes, this aging stuff, and, yes, even dying.

I hated it when I heard myself say all of this, I was like, “Who are you? Where is that you-can-do-it person?” Then, I looked over and saw my friend, Sue, look at me with an “Oh,


Starting My 71st year With Friends

come on, Ann! Let’s have a little positive outlook here.” And she’s right — oh, she’s so right. So I decided right then and there, that for this new year of mine, I am going to try, and try my best, to love myself a whole lot more, to think positively of the possibilities and adventures that are coming to me as I make some pretty dramatic changes in my life this coming year. And, my 71-year-old self is going to do a hell of a lot more laughing and singing and dancing my way all the way through to next year’s birthday. Happy Birthday To Me!