Looking Forward, Looking Back

Liesa's Birthday

Life is good at the Broadmoor Sunday Brunch

This past Sunday was my birthday.  Thank you to everyone who sent cards, e-cards, and Facebook notes.  I was at the fabulous Broadmoor resort for their world-famous Sunday brunch, when my good guy surprised me with a special dessert.  A lot of friends from my dance studio sang the traditional birthday song, and while I’m not very comfortable being the center of attention, it was wonderful to feel such friendship.

Hmm. Birthdays.

At this point in my life, I’d rather forget they exist, as each year seems to fly faster, and I don’t think I have enough birthdays looking ahead to fulfill my dreams. I think more of bucket lists than pails of fun.  I doubt if I’ll ever learn a back handspring that I was so close to accomplishing at one time.  President of the United States?  That dream has gone by the wayside too. Now I spend more time thinking about ways to stay healthy than to have adventures–and spend my phone conversations complaining more of aches and pains than hopes and promises (something I vowed I would never do).

Am I getting old?  Yep.

Then, I take a look at many of the things in life that didn’t exist when I was born, but are ubiquitous now:

  • Wearing seat belts in cars – Saab introduced the retractable seatbelt as a standard fixture in 1958.  We still flung around in our cars without “buckling up” for several years more. I still smile at the “squish in as many as you can” rides, and thank my lucky stars we didn’t have any accidents in them.
  • Microwave ovens – We bought our first oven at about the same time my good guy and I bought our first house.  The microwave, our first piece of furniture, was a big two and one half-foot cube that sat on our living room floor (the only room with a high enough volt in the electric socket to run the thing–if memory serves correctly).  Although the machines were originally built shortly after WWII as “radar-ranges,” it wasn’t until I was grown that they became popular and popularly priced enough to have one.
  • Color television – need I say more?  I remember this enormous block of metal sitting in our basement flashing black and white pictures of The Lone Ranger and Rin-Tin-Tin.  Then, one day we went to my aunt and uncle’s house where they were showing George Pierrot’s travel program.  The program was truly boring, but all eight of us kids were enthralled because everything was in color. “It looks so real!” exclaimed a sibling.
  • Saran Wrap–Okay. Technically, this was introduced a few years before I was born, but wax paper still competed with this product for wrapping sandwiches well into my elementary school years.

I could go on and on about things that weren’t there one day, and a year later seemed everywhere–personal computers, cell phones, airbags, SUVs.  The world keeps spinning and churning out amazing inventions that become way-of-life necessities in the blink of an eye.  This amazing creativity is ours each day we have the get up and go to go get up. How exciting is that?

Today, thank you to the inventors, the dreamers and the visionaries. You’ve marked my life with wonderful growth, and I hope that you will keep being born, keep dreaming and keep inventing.  With this much hope, we can address the big issues of climate change, equality for all, and literacy around our world.

Yes, it was a great birthday. I’m alive in a wonderful time, and can hardly wait to see, “what’s next?”