Monday, January 17, 2011

When I'm Sixty-Four

Tomorrow is my birthday.  I’ll be 39.

It’s not a big big birthday.  It’s kind of the birthday before the big birthday.

I usually take this day to reflect back on the past year.

But this year has been really difficult.  So instead of thinking of the past, I decided to look into the future.  Way into the future.  Twenty-five years from now to the year 2036, when it will be my sixty-fourth birthday.

A few months ago on Twitter, there was a hashtag label that read #tweetyoursixteenyearoldself (or something like that.  I’m still a newcomer to Twitter so I’m not sure I got it right). The point of it was to send your sixteen year old self a “tweet” of something you would want yourself to know from the future.  Things like “that guy says he loves you but he really doesn’t”.  Or “it’s not the end of the world if you don’t go to the prom”. 

I thought that for my birthday, I’d think of what I’d like to hear from myself 25 years from now.  In 140 characters or less.

So here goes.  #tweetsfrom2036

: Gray hair is really very chic now.  So you can stop coloring it.

:  You’re driving an Audi again.  The boys got the minivan.  Having the heated seats back is very nice.

:  #Autism insurance reform happened in every state.  All approved therapies now must be covered by insurance companies

:  Fed gov’t finally fully funds special ed mandates. Requires states cover their share.  No more fights at school budget time about special ed $.

:  You and Tim take the honeymoon you never had.  In Hawaii.  And you missed the boys more than you thought you would.

:  New “problems of living" DSM focuses on interventions tailored 2 decrease individual challenges, not categorizing people 1st then treating them

: Disorder “labels” now not required for treatment in schools.  If there’s an issue, schools work w/parents to set up appropriate services.

:  These changes brought about by your brother the psychologist, new chair of the APA.

: Apple donated millions of iPads and communication apps to needy families worldwide.  Steve Jobs became hero to #autism community.

:  New “tolerance” curriculum added to school standards.  All children taught about different learning styles and different abilities. 

:  And kids go home and teach their parents.

:  All the hard work, all the sleepless nights, all the sacrifices?  Worth it.  Because (1)

:  The three boys are doing great.  Beyond great.  And they take care of each other. Just how you taught them. (2)

Now tell me, in 140 characters or less, what you would like to know from yourself in 25 years. #tweetsfrom2036

"Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four
?" - When I'm Sixty-Four by The Beatles

Alysia Butler is a stay at home mom to three boys, one of whom has autism spectrum disorder.  She writes about that and other things at Try Defying Gravity and won't mention her birthday again on twitter at @trydefyinggrav


  1. oh honey you are so clever aren't you! in 25 years I want good health and my kids to be happy and living their dream:)
    xoxoxo S~

  2. My tweet: All the times you were worried you were doing something wrong, it was right.
    Alysia, we are in the same boat, my friend! I will be joining you shortly on the 39 boat!

  3. I'm seven years older than you but my dreams for the future are much the same as yours. My additions would be: My Aspie-boy has learned to control his frustrations without becoming angry or violent. He has become comfortable enough out in the world to show others just how incredible he is, and is recognized and appreciated for his uniqueness. Although it is a Mother's right to worry about her children, I no longer need to agonize about him on a daily basis.

  4. I have been stuck on 29 for...well...a FEW years now and will remain so until it becomes too embarrassing to try staying there anymore. LOL!!! ;D
    Happy Birthday, my friend.

  5. Kids going home and teaching their parents? Yes. It happens all the time. A beautiful vision.
    I will beat you to 40 by several months, and I love your idea.

  6. Ur girls R happy + healthy. War is over. Food is plentiful. Cancer is done. Short and chubby is all the rage. Tmrw's lotto #s R 15,3,6,21,4.

  7. Tweet: Good enough was more than enough, and the best is yet to come.
    Happy Birthday, my friend. I hope this year will be one that you enjoy looking back on.

  8. Happy Birthday!
    I've already hit 40... and it is different than I would of thought.-- not good not bad but different.
    If I was tweeting...
    I think I'd say something like
    yup,relationships are challenging, but do your best and the other stuff will not matter.
    focus on the now,and make it your best-forget the rest.

  9. My tweet back to you all: Thank U 4 being the most supportive & understanding friends. U mean the world 2 me.

  10. Oh how I hope so many of those come true! Beautiful post - happy birthday!!!