According to my iCloud calendar and about 63 friends on Facebook — not to mention Facebook itself (thank you, Zuck) — today is my birthday.
Seriously you guys, I swear it was just my birthday like last week, which may or may not have to do with the fact that I seem to find excuses to pamper myself on a fairly regular basis and invent reasons to celebrate, no matter what the date on the calendar says.
But really, this year has f-l-o-w-n, and suddenly here I am … a whole year older.
Well, sort of.
It seems I spent the better part of this past year thinking I was 48 when in reality I’ve only been 47, which is kind of a win-win for me.
Some might see it as the loss of a year and a pretty crappy way to age myself needlessly, but the way I see it I just got a whole year back.
Over the past five years I’ve written birthday posts that are somewhat redundant in their message, which is basically this: me getting older, me not believing it, and me not giving a damn.
Getting older is better than the alternative, age is just a number that I refuse to let define me, and ‘old’ is a relative term: I’ve said it in several different ways — and sometimes, in exactly the same ways — for the past five years, but to be honest I’m a little bit tired of the Pollyanna attitude. Because here’s the thing: there are some things about getting older that kind of suck, no matter how grateful you are to have made another trip around the sun.
Like, for example, neck wrinkles.
Seriously, I’m spending a Congo child’s entire yearly food allowance on face creams each month to fool everyone into thinking I’m a fresh-faced, sprightly 42-year-old, but it doesn’t matter because in the end my god damned neck is going to give me away.
The entire web of spider veins that have taken up residence on my legs aren’t doing me any favors either, especially now that shorts season is like three short months away. And don’t even get me started on the number of pairs of reading glasses I’ve collected — in multiple strengths. I’ve become that woman who is either always looking for her glasses or has two pair on her head at all times.
And by the way, I’ll be the first to acknowledge the fact that the frivolous complaints about aging are far more desirable than a host of other issues I’m thankful — on a daily basis — not to be suffering with. I hope that goes without saying. And complaining aside, there are some pretty great things about getting older, too.
Like not dying.
For those of you who’ve been hanging around since the beginning, you might remember the birthday post I wrote a few weeks after I started the blog: Dear Me – A letter to my teenage self.
To this day it remains one of my very favorites, as is the song that inspired it. I reread that letter every year on my birthday, and every year I think about the things I’d add if I were to write it again … you know, things like “moisturize your neck.”
But as much as I love that letter and the idea of actually being able to time travel, I think I articulated my thoughts best last year, and since I haven’t had an original thought in at least six months, I’m sharing (part of) it here again:
Over the past three years on my birthday I’ve written about aging. I’ve complained about it, I’ve been astonished by it, I’ve welcomed it, and in the end, I’ve vowed to reject it.
It’s a good thing, too, because dammit if it hasn’t kept happening.
Because here I am at
47 48 and how do I feel?
Pretty much exactly like I did at 14, 21, and 35—give or take a thick head of hair and two small kids.
Happy. Loved. Thankful for each new day and for the blessings in my life.
Excited about the little things.
Hopeful for the future.
Is there a reason that I forget how old I am all the time? Sure. (And no, it’s not because I’m closing in on 50 and my synapses aren’t firing like they used to.)
Other than the fact that hearing the number come out of my mouth makes me feel a little nauseous and the fact that denial is my trusty companion, I think it’s because I won’t let the number define me, whatever it is.
I will continue to live my life with enthusiasm, gratefulness, hope, and a small dose of cynicism and sarcasm to even things out.
I won’t count the years … or the number of f*#%s I don’t give about them.
So cheers to another year.
Cheers to the joys, the failures, the excitement, the disappointments, the thrills, the unexpected, and the mundane.
Cheers to the spider veins and the multiple pairs of reading glasses and yes, even the neck wrinkles.
Cheers to this wonderful, amazing life, and to every single thing it allows me to experience.
And cheers to another year of being 48.
The last one was pretty good, so I’m looking forward to it.
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