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I admit it.  The lead up to my 80th birthday was silly.  Yes, silly. On my part. I’m more like a 7 year old when it comes to birthdays, than an aging adult.   I started thinking about a big party to celebrate about a year ago.  Covid took care of that fantasy months ago.  The restaurants here in Santa Barbara cannot serve meals, so that took away the idea of going out for a nice dinner.A zoom party was suggested, but that held little appeal to me.  I knew I wanted/needed something special to mark the Big Day, but couldn’t figure out what. My kids to the rescue.

As it turned out, it turned out perfectly. The day began by checking out my facebook page.  That got me off to a good start with HB messages from friends and family.  As the day progressed, the ringing doorbell brought several really stunning floral bouquets to help me celebrate.  Yes, one was from my husband who obviously read my last blog.

David Austin roses

After lunch, my daughter Brett and her husband Bino arrived with a wonderful surprise gift.  A video made by many of my choreographer friends to Cat Stevens singing Morning has Broken.  It really did move me to tears.  Such an amazing tribute and so heartfelt.  Nothing more needed to happen after that.  But it did.

A take out dinner from Loquita was festive and excellent.  On this ridiculously mild mid January evening, we ate it on our back deck, with a few family members.  That was followed by a classic white birthday cake and presents. I haven’t lost my love of good birthday cake.   I came to bed with indigestion, gratitude and happiness.  Thanks to everyone who helped me celebrate.

Tonight 80 does feel like the new 50.

Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.

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