Gradually, over the years, I’ve gotten to a place where I will declare my age to any and everybody; not because I didn’t like my age before - more so, because I didn’t want a reaction or an opinion.
So why at age forty-nine, did I begin to volunteer my age and smile as I said it.
I call it “menopausal confidence.” Why not?
Although comfortable with my age, I’m not a big, “celebrate my birthday” person. I know a birthday is coming, but as it gets nearer, I’m actually oblivious to the date. Hard to believe, but I really don’t feel different on my birthday, except when I turned fifty. I planned an outing for the five of us at Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor water park - to do something memorable. Turning fifty meant I’d grown up. I was free to pick, choose, deny… whenever and whatever; to be honest about who I am and what I feel.
You might “get” what I’m talking about, or you might not. Some things in life, we can’t decide – it happens when it’s supposed to. We have to go through things. It’s a process.
I played like a child at Great Wolf Lodge. It was a metaphor for how I want to live the next half of my life (yes, I plan to see one hundred years old). I want more fun, knowledge, and adventure added to the beautiful stillness of life that is blended in with the chaos; to absorb life, internalize it – not just have things happen around me.
At fifty two, things are good. Physically, I’m in good shape - relatively speaking. I take no meds, unless you count the allergy shots for grass, pollen, mold, etc. But, I do feel the joints and muscles not working as well as they used to. Sudden twinges and sensations come from out of the blue, a sign of things to come, I guess. My mother says she “broke down” at sixty. I’m holding out for longer.
Mentally, well…hmmmm…I’ll just attribute the lapses in the flow of verbal output to a brain that is so full of “great” thoughts and ideas, that it gets overwhelmed sometimes. How’s that for an explanation.
While some people love big parties and lots of attention on their birthday, others will not “confess” their age. I went through a period of conveniently forgetting my age when I was forty-two (which seems so young now) and had three kids, ages four and under. At the time, my stay-at-home mom peers (ages 30-35) would shout in the middle of the playground, “You’re 42! Wow! I’d have never guessed.”
Translation: Those three “babies” of yours threw me off. You’re old.
This used to happen two or three times a year, but recently, it’s lessened. Guess I’m beginning to look my age. Now, I welcome it when someone says: “Anita, you look gooood!”
“Oh, thank you!” as I smile.
I’ll take what I can get.
Do you keep your age a secret? Do you hate to see your birthday come around, or do you celebrate it?