Fill ‘er up, folks.
Why is today’s cougar-pour different from, say, yesterday’s cougar-pour you ask?
Today I am 49.
Shit’s getting real, folks.
It’s only 365 days until I’m officially a grown up.
I mean, I’m assuming.
To be honest, I’m still shook when I verbalize my age — and have been since about age 28 — and every year since I’ve had this blog I’ve written about it.
I’m nothing if not consistent.
Of course, it could be the loss of synapses firing in my aging brain, but let’s just go with consistent.
And here I am, after another thankful trip around the sun, and nothing has changed.
Well, unless you count the extra bags under my eyes and the ones padding my hipbones … but I like to think of those as “character” and “insurance that if/when I fall I will not break a hip.”
Three years ago I wrote a post that, like the rest of the birthday posts, still rings true today. So how do you write a new post and make it original?
Call it reiterating or call it laziness, but today I’m resharing a slightly edited version. (Everyone knows the birthday girl gets to do whatever she wants.)
I can remember writing the following post like it was yesterday, but then I realize that three years ago I had a college freshman and two months from now I will have a college graduate.
That three years ago my baby was still navigating the perils of middle school and now she is navigating the perils of ACTs and college-prep.
That nothing … and everything … has changed.
And that I’m eternally grateful for that fact.
Bring it, last year of 40s. *refills giant wine glass*
I’m ready for you.
Today I am 49.
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 five 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 five 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, one short year away from fifty — the smartest girl in all the land — thinking about how while I never imagined myself at this shocking age, I’m suddenly here.
See? I wasn’t kidding about the wisdom.
Because seriously, who imagines themselves being 49?
Since I know there are many of you who are still lamenting the fact that you’re 39 (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 59 or 69 (well done! Good for you!), I thought I’d give you a glimpse into what 49 looks like for me.
Because again, me.
• 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 49, who gives a shit what you say?
• Your happy, well-feathered nest suddenly missing a chick after she (or he) has flown 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 your mid (and late) 40s are the perfect time to go batshit crazy on you.
• 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.
• 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 simultaneous, bittersweet feelings of happiness and sadness that go along with it.
• Increased use of mind numbing meds. (Totally kidding, that’s what the wine is for.)
• Being comfortable with and liking that person, no matter how different she looks.
• Not worrying about the little things. Hey, you’re 49. You don’t have time for that shit anymore.
• Being damn thankful to be 49, no matter how many pairs of glasses, blue leg veins, skin tags, wrinkles, or feelings of sad contemplation you may have.
Well, sure, I certainly won’t stop you—but to you.
original ‘This is 46’ post