What a concept.
A woman blows out her candles on her 75th birthday and makes a wish—to look like she’s 29 again. Who couldn’t relate to that?
Only in this story, it happens. She wakes up the next morning—and there she is—looking and feeling like her 29-year-old self with her 75- year- old brain and life experience.
This is the premise of a novel I just read by Adena Halpern; and also movies I’ve seen I can’t remember which ones. And of course it sounds like a fairy tale. Only it isn’t.
This has actually happened….to me. Just one detail in the story was altered: I looked 29– and then suddenly one day I woke up and saw myself in the mirror, and I looked 75. (One other minor thing: in the book it happens to Ellie for just one day; in real life, it’s permanent.)
And seriously that’s how shocking it felt — like how the hell did this happen? And that’s no fairy tale.
Meanwhile back to the fairy tale in the book. Like anyone over 50 40 30 I could relate to this concept of magical youth for a day.
Could I even remember my 29 year old self? I dug out a picture to remind me. And I wondered what I would do for 24 hours if I looked and felt like that again.
This picture was taken as I got off the plane on my first visit to Hawaii. I was newly married, 29 or maybe 30, who remembers?
And I wondered—- Was there something I missed doing that I’ve always wanted to do that I can’t do now?
When I started to think back—I started to think about something else. What describes Ellie’s thinking in the book pretty much described me.
For years, I think I spent less of my time living than looking back, re-examining and wishing I could un-do choices I had already made.
And if there’s is any wisdom (??) I’ve learned since 29— it’s how useless to spend 24 hours —or even one hour—- living in regret. I’ve promised myself not to do that—to live in the present and appreciate wherever and whatever I am RIGHT NOW.
But then I looked back at that picture of me arriving in Hawaii. And spending the day on the beach in a sexy bikini started to sound pretty awesome……
So much for fairy tales. What would you do?
I received this book free from Left to Write book club. If you’d like to read it, please let me know in the comments and I’ll send it to someone.