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It kind of crept up on me this year. No, not my underwear. My birthday.

Bear in mind, the 7 various "free" birthday dinner coupons should have been a hint-but I had other things to do other than think about my age.

All of a sudden, I can longer check the "52" box on all those surveys I fill out. I'll now have to remember that for the next year-I am 53.

Putting it all into perspective, I'm okay with the whole new age thing. I have to say I look pretty good. Most people have the good grace not to ask me my age, but when they do it's usually because I'm showing off pictures of my grandkids and they say something such as "NO WAY, you can't be a grandma! How old are you?"

I kid you not. Personally, I'd say I look at least 6 months to a year younger than what I am.  

Yes, there are those days when I feel at least twice what I am-but I try to keep the news to the immediate family. After all, they sure don't like hearing about it-so why would anyone else. I reserve the "truth" for visits with my favorite rheumatologist.  

Besides 53 is a good number. I'm not quite old enough to get senior discounts yet, but it gives me something to look forward too in the not so distant future. Steve, my husband is even closer-he's turning 54 right after New Year's Day.

As for "getting respect" now that I'm older, well....

Personally, the notion of getting respect as you get older is a whole other topic-I'm a believer in you should only receive what you've earned. It doesn't matter if your 80-if you've been dubbed as an "adult behaving badly" by the multitudes, you simply don't "deserve" respect because you have more wrinkles than others around you. Same about people thinking everyone should love them-who said either one is a given?

Nope-in my brain, you only should receive the love and respect you've shown others. I'm saying this because someone I know had a hissy fit just recently due to not getting their way-saying "I should get what I want since I'm old". Really?

Again, I've never understood that notion.  

Getting old has nothing to do with respect or what anyone deserves. If that were so-heck, J. Edgar Hoover was pretty darn old when he passed on, yet once everyone found out about all his shenanigans, I don't think there were many folks who thought he deserved anything remotely resembling respect. Taking that a step further-we all have had a family member who makes us cringe, why should they be exalted over after they've embarrassed us for what seems to be the millionth time?

Yet, I've met many a fine person in their 20's and 30's who have given back to their communities by helping raise money for their favorite non-profit, cleaned up their schools after the buildings were vandalized or donated their time to help kids in need.  

And what about our brave members of the military? They deserve the utmost respect for protecting our freedoms.  

No, getting old is not a reason to be respected nor is it a given that you'll have people falling over themselves to make sure you get it. Like love or popularity-to receive it, you must earn it.  

And the only way to earn it-is to give it to others.

Next week is Thanksgiving. Since my daughter, son-in-law and grandkids will be staying with us-I’ve decided to take the weekend off and get in as many hugs and kisses as they will allow.

May all of you have the same fortune-see you in December!

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