I heard on the radio that Barack Obama was born in the year of the Ox, so I looked it up, and sure enough, Obama's birthday is August 4, 1961. That makes him just a few months older than I am, and he shares a birthdate with my sister, except she's two years younger than he is.
Growing up and older, there was a good part of my life when I was usually the youngest person doing whatever it is I was doing (taking certain university courses, hanging out with older friends). This was a comfortable place for me. I enjoy looking up to people, and being with people to whom I look up.
Simultaneously, as I grew, I unfurled these amazing leadership skills - that's not a brag, just a fact. I got used to the situation pretty early. People look up to me. At work and at school and in the community, I am often chosen (or volunteer) to organize, teach, mentor, herd, whatever is required to make sure a group gets done whatever they want to do.
This looking up and being looked up to are simultaneous and mutually agreeable. In fact, I have the most difficulty side-to-side, relating to people on an equal level. Frequently I convert equal relationsips to something I can understand better by setting up an internal teeter-totter understanding about my peers. It goes like this: "She is an amazingly generous and hospitable person. I rely on her to get every detail right when we are taking care of people together. I have the ability to go with the flow in a hectic situation. I help her stay calm when things get crazy. "
All of this does connect to Barack Obama and me sharing a birth year. You see, for the longest time, people with authority and expertise upon whom I rely, and in whom I trust, have been older than me. My doctor, dentist, boss at work - they are (or were until recently) older than me, and I looked up to them because of this. Now I find myself more and more frequently looking up to people who are younger than I am. My doctor retired a few years ago, and my new doctor is just a bit younger than I am. My dentist? Same thing. My boss at work is pretty much the same age as I am. My Member of Parliament is older. My MLA is younger. The Prime Minister is only 2 years older (although he seems a lot older than that to me). I am getting used to being one of the older ones in every crowd. I guess it's good I'm working for another year at the seniors recreation centre. It helps me put age into perspective. Everyone there thinks I am very young.
I am delighted to be the same age as the President of the United States. And getting back to the year of the Ox, I can tell you, he is well equipped to be both a strong and appreciative leader, if you set any store by Chinese Horoscopes.
And I guess this means that my parents are now old enough to be the parents of a US President. But if they want that, they'll have to wait on my sister or brother because I'm not running. I've got ox work to do, with people who I admire and admire me, and friends with whom I enjoy mutually beneficial relationships.
Happy Lunar New Year, especially to the oxen. I think the world needs us now more than ever.
question: what is your Chinese Horoscope sign?
mompoet - the flower that grows through the crack in the cement