Wednesday, December 18, 2019
I am 47 today.
Definitely an age I used to think of as "old." Didn't we all? I mean, my parents were 47. My aunts and uncles...my teachers (gasp)...they were in their forties. Forties were old.
When I turned 40, I didn't really have an issue with it. I was distracted with fabulous birthday plans and stilettos and cocktails. Besides, Gwen Stefani and Sarah Jessica Parker were already 40, and they were awesomely cool and soooo not-old.
Then 41 and 42 and 43 got a little weird. I was like, "Waaaaait a minute...40-SOMETHING is not quite as fun as 40 was...I'm not going to Vegas and it's really not quite a novelty anymore and holy shit...I just realized I'm closer to mid-forties than 39...WTF?!?"
It was at about the 45 mark that I started to notice that there wasn't much of a difference in how I looked in pictures between, say, 32 and 41, but there seemed to be a sudden (and sometimes shocking) difference in the pictures between 41 and 45. It was as if all those years of sleepless nights due to early parenting had suddenly caught up with me. (Yes, I am sure that my obsession with the sun and booze has absolutely nothing to do with it.)
So let's just say there was a bit of an adjustment period somewhere in there. For the first time in my life, I started trying expensive skin creams. I looked into those crazy expensive laser treatments at the dermatologist. I upped the SPF. When I'd enter a nightclub I never, ever got carded anymore. (The worst was when we'd go with our still-in-their-30s-friends and they'd get carded ahead of us and as Hubby and I started looking for our IDs, the bouncer would just wave us in.)
Fast forward to now.
I don't know what happened. I'm not exactly sure when it happened. It just did, and I've realized it pretty recently.
I'm happy. Like, really, really, really, contentedly, unapologetically happy.
Let me clarify: Technically, I've been happy for a very long time. I've been married to my absolute favorite person for 17 years. I have two ridiculously awesome boys. I love where I live. I (usually) really like what I do for a living. I am surrounded by amazing friends. My family is healthy and nearby.
But I mean I am happy with myself...having nothing to do with all these amazingly lucky blessings. I feel like I woke up one day, looked around, and realized I am completely happy with Me. Don't get me wrong: I am still (and always will be) working on self-improvement in some area. But overall, I feel like for the first time--ever--I am no longer pining to be skinnier/cooler/better dressed/richer/ calmer/fitter/prettier/fill-in-the-blank-with-pretty-much-any-word. I know what I like now. I won't apologize for my music or drink of choice. I know I have waaaay too many ripped jean shorts that would never pass the "What Not To Wear" test, and I use the words "dude" and "fuck" way too often.
I'd love to tell you how I got here. I am well aware that I sound like one of those essays you'd find in a "Forties" book or in the Oprah magazine: "Oh, now that I'm in my forties I have arrived!" Puhleeze. I would be totally eye-rolling too. Truth is, I'm not sure. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that my kids are a little older and more independent, so I can spend more time on myself without feeling guilty. Maybe some of it is that I have put so much effort into my eating and exercise choices over the last few years, that I finally feel like I'm good with what my body's doing. Maybe the two knee surgeries I had to have over the last couple of years taught me how truly disciplined and bad-ass I can be when I need to. Maybe it's the meditating. Maybe it's the big life move we made a few years ago that freed up so much of our money and time so we could go to the beach any damn time we please.
I am sure it's some of that and some of this. The point is I'm here now, and it's an incredibly peaceful feeling.
It took me nearly 47 years. It's a good thing I didn't know that going in, because that's a long ass time. So, today I'll celebrate, because...dude, I'm happy as fuck.