On Life

Kissing My 40s Goodbye

image1-11All day you’ve been thinking about this blog post and what you will write. It’s your birthday, and it’s tradition that you write something snarky about aging. Some people will tell you they love growing older–maturing, growing up, watching their kids grow, maybe even becoming grandparents. It’s a lovely thought—growing old(er) naturally—as if we actually have a say in holding on to youth and beating Father Time.

We don’t.

Aging is not fun.

So your birthday looms. It’s the big 5-0. You think about it for weeks. It practically consumes you. You notice every grey hair, ever extra mile you have to walk to shed .001 pounds, and each line on your face that you never remember seeing before.

“Fifty? It’s just a number,” people tell you.

“You look great for your age!” they say.

“But you can’t possibly be turning 50! No way!”

1965.

The year you were born.

August 16.

The month and day.

You’re 50 today.

Holy shit.

The cake my husband had made for me...a take off on the two books I've written, Baseball Girl and Beneath the Mimosa Tree. It was tasty, too!
The cake my husband had made for me…a take off on the two books I’ve written, Baseball Girl and Beneath the Mimosa Tree. It was tasty, too!

You do things to help quell the anxiety that starts to grow in your head, your chest, your limbs. You think things like, “Robert Downey Jr. looks pretty damn good for 50—he’s the biggest star in Hollywood!” He was also born in 1965. “Sarah Jessica Parker looks amazing at 50.” It’s true. Another 1965 birthday. JK Rowling? Unbelievably awesome. Brooke Shields? Ridiculously gorgeous and stunning. The two of them also Vintage 1965.

But they’re all celebrities, with lots o’ money, stylists, and surgeons.

What about the rest of us?

You do what you can to stay healthy, though it’s not always easy with a demanding job, demanding family life, and demanding other stuff. You try your hardest to stay current (who the heck is Shawn Mendes?), keep up with fashion, and shave your legs every day. You honestly do the best you can.

You won’t lie. Turning 40 was the worst. Mental breakdown and all that stuff.

Turning 50 is just, well, turning 50. You’re waiting for your AARP card to arrive in the mail so you can use it to your advantage for movie discounts and other such benefits.

You feel 36.

But you’re not.

Wait! Wait! Hold on a minute there, Missy! Haven’t these past 50 years been pretty darn good?

Yes. They have, you think. In fact, there have been way too many good things as opposed to bad things that have happened to you. Too many, in fact, to write in a single blog post. Suffice to say, you’ve had a good life so far. You have loved and lost. Been loved. Given love. Been madly in love. Tried different careers. Had babies. You know the score.

You look ahead into the future.

You can almost see it dancing, shining its light in front of you.

You hope there will be 50 more.

Birthday cake from my Mom and Dad today. It's also their 51st anniversary. Yup. On the same day.
Birthday cake from my Mom and Dad today. It’s also their 51st anniversary. Yup. On the same day.

* * * * * *

Previous Birthday Posts:

https://stephsscribe.com/2014/08/16/its-your-birthday-youre-only-mildly-old-can-you-read-the-bottom-line/

https://stephsscribe.com/2012/08/16/fill-in-the-blanks-on-my-birthday/

https://stephsscribe.com/2011/08/16/another-birthday-and-an-unsuspecting-birthday-fairy-godfather/

4 thoughts on “Kissing My 40s Goodbye”

  1. You DO sparkle! Your reflections made me smile…actually I am grinning from ear to ear. Hope you had a lovely birthday and that mom and dad celebrated their 51st in style! Love, aunt fran

  2. I can so relate to this post. I couldn’t believe it when I hit the big 6-0 in May. I kept asking myself, “WHEN did this happen?” And now that my summer birthday sons are inching up toward 40 themselves, I have just had to bite the bullet and accept the truth. But I have to admit, there is something to that stupid phrase, “You’re as young as you feel.” I can’t deny the things that are slowing my down in some ways, but I keep my goals, my dreams, my gratitude for friends and memories, and somehow, it’s not so bad. Plus, as you point out, what choice do we have? We can’t stop the passage of time, so might as well make the most of what we do have. 🙂

    Here’s to a great year and a great decade! 🙂

    1. I know what you mean. My friend Scott said it best: “Fifty isn’t bad if you just embrace it.” So, that’s the path we will both walk along…embracing it, being thankful, and enjoying all the moments, both the big and small ones. Nice to hear from you! When are you coming back to the US…or are you already here?

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