This is 46.

This is 46


46.

Forty-six.

XLVI.

Quarante-six.

(Damn, even in French it sounds old.)

Tomorrow I will be 46.

What. The. Hell.

Like I always say about my children, I blinked and it happened.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. Those years from birth to about age 15 seemed to totally drag.

If you’ve been following along here the past three years, you know that I love my birthday. (You also know that my head has the circumference of a prize-winning watermelon and that I only use Citron vodka in my Appletinis, but neither are the point of today’s post.)

When I started this little blog three years ago, and I was turning the tender age of 43 (so young! so full of energy and hope!) I wrote my teenage self a letter.

To this day it remains one of my favorite posts.

Because it was from me to me?

Well, sure, but more than that because it forced me to look back on many of the years and major milestones of my life and contemplate a few shoulda/couldas.

And you know what I discovered?

That the teenage me should’ve relaxed more, appreciated the moment more, and for the love of all things holy, ditched the “Looney Tunes” chambray shirts in the early ’90s.

With age comes wisdom, right?

So here I sit, hours away from 46, the smartest girl in all the land, thinking about how while I never imagined myself at this random age, I’m suddenly here.

See? I wasn’t kidding about the wisdom.

Because seriously, who imagines themselves being 46?

Since I know there are many of you who are still lamenting the fact that you’re 36 (shut up, I don’t want to hear about it) and others of you who are lamenting—or thanking God—the fact that you’re 56 or 66 (well done! Good for you!), I thought I’d give you a glimpse into what 46 looks like for me.

Because again, me.

 

THIS IS 46 

• A purse full of glasses at various prescription strengths that you have to swap on and off your face depending on the situation, which could possibly mean wearing three different pairs of glasses in the span of six minutes.

• Feeling justified about the string of curse words that fly from your lips as you juggle glasses and invariably put the wrong pair on while trying to read the back of the Vitamin B-12 bottle to see if it will give you magic energy. You’re 46, who gives a shit what you say?

• Your happy, well-feathered nest suddenly missing a chick as she (or he) flies off to college, and the adjustments (good and bad) that come along with it.

• Insomnia, grumpiness (more than usual), tiredness, and other fun things that happen when your hormones decide that 45 is the perfect time to go batshit crazy on you.

• Veins. So many veins.

• Skin tags popping up in places you don’t want skin tags.

• Skin tags in general.

• Aging parents (if you’re lucky enough to have them) and the host of ailments and concerns they are experiencing (that you are lucky enough to hear about on a daily basis) that make skin tags seem pretty damn awesome.

• A sudden aversion to rides that go in circles.

• A sudden aversion to places that have rides at all.

• Freedom to sleep in, take naps, go out whenever you feel like it, and tell your family to make their own damn dinner — if you were smart enough to have kids when you were 26. (I was full of wisdom even back then.)

• Being old enough to be a “great.” (As in “aunt,” but I think also, old enough to just be great.)

• A newfound confidence that comes with the age and wisdom, and also from just not really giving a damn what other people think anymore.

• Increased reflection on the years that have—and are—flowing like sand through an hourglass, and the increased simulataneous feelings of happiness and sadness that go along with it.

• Increased use of mind numbing meds.(Kidding…maybe.)

• Thinking more seriously about concepts like “retirement” and “empty nest” and “finally moving someplace where my soul won’t be black.”

• Oftentimes being shocked that the person with the wrinkles and giant eye bags staring back at you in the reflection of your computer screen is actually you.

• Thinking more seriously about concepts like “Botox” and “Restylane.”

• Having kids old enough to really be your friends. Awesome.

• Not worrying about the little things. Hey, you’re 46. You don’t have time for that anymore.

• Being damn thankful to be 46, no matter how many pairs of glasses, blue leg veins, skin tags, wrinkles, or feelings of sad contemplation you may have.


So tomorrow, I hope everyone raises a glass.
To me?
Well, sure, I certainly won’t stop you—but to you.
To the years in your life…to all that you’ve learned…to all that you’ve experienced…and to all that is still waiting for you.
46 — Bring. It. On.
Cheers!
cheers


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  • Snarkfest - Wishing you the happiest of birthdays and many more returns, my friend. I’ll be drinking to you tomorrow! Maybe I might start early. Like now.ReplyCancel

    • Michelle - Ha, I don’t doubt it! Glad to be your reason. 😉ReplyCancel

  • Karen - Happy Birthday! Great post. I am one month ahead of you at being 46 and all your points are spot on (although I do not have the vein issue…something to look forward too I guess). I’d like to ask…do you also have a bathroom drawer full of various eye creams that seem to change nothing… :) Enjoy your day tomorrow…ReplyCancel

    • Michelle - Oh my god YES!!! How did I forget that one? Eye creams, under eye concealers and “illuminators” — it’s all crap. I’m now using coconut oil under my eyes. Let’s see if that’s the easy magic that does it!ReplyCancel

  • NinaN - Aw, what a great post. So many things to look forward to/dread as we age. Have a very happy birthday!!ReplyCancel

    • Michelle - As much as I like to complain, it’s better than the alternative, right? And yes, there are multitudes of things to look forward to! Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Judy George - Happy Birthday – you’re just a young’n! Wait until your CHILD is 46 (or in my case 55!). Cheers!ReplyCancel

  • Peggy Fox Weaver - Happy 46th, my friend! I’m less than 2 months from 50 – had a colonoscopy last week, a discussion today with my GYN about my stage of peri menopause and am not bothered in the least about it. Just happy to be here!! I’ll raise a glass to you tomorrow. As for tonight, I expect that you will be cheering for your Badgers!!ReplyCancel

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