JUST LIKE THE QUEEN

It isn’t a regal demeanor or a royal background or my name or age. What I share with Queen Elizabeth II of England is our birthdays. I don’t mean the dates. She was born on April 21, and I in January.

It’s that we both have two birthdays every year. Her second natal day, floats around the calendar a bit as it’s celebrated with a “Trooping the Colour” parade that always happens on a Saturday. To avoid spring rains it is scheduled for sometime in June. The Royal calendar changes with the weather.

My second birthday came about when I signed up for Facebook. My daughter-in-law instructed me, for security reasons, not to use my “real” birthday. So I didn’t…nor did I remember the date or even the fact that I’d provided the wrong one.

When I began getting birthday wishes on January 19, I was mystified. I finally figured it out, of course, and now, every year I enjoy the fraud I unintentionally perpetrated on my FB friends. It’s cool having birthday greetings twice a year, but I’m still waiting for my parade.

THANK YOU MARK ZUCKERBERG

Despite my initial skepticism, fumbled beginnings and ongoing frustrations, I think I actually love Facebook. It’s taken me awhile to get the hang of it, and I often don’t know what I’m doing, but so far I haven’t made any embarrassing mistakes, that I know of.

I used to eat breakfast alone, but now I eat while catching up with what my family and friends have been up to since I checked the day before. Yes, I know, I’m doing more than one thing at a time, and interfering with mindfulness about the food I’m eating, but the pleasure I get from connecting with family members who are hundreds of miles away is worth it. I’ll be mindful later.

Inevitably I find some post that makes me laugh out loud (what better way to begin the day?), and if I take the time to look at a video or two, I’m in for more fun. It’s not just the funny stuff I like, either. I love being steered to an interesting TED talk, an inspiring quotation or article, a beautiful photograph or whatever my friends share.

Recent research tells us that senior citizens are the biggest group of new users on social media. As a senior myself I can completely understand that. I often run into younger people who seem surprised that I am on Facebook and have a website: www.happinesscards.net. I designed and put it together when I was 83. Take a look.