It occurred to me this morning that I am three weeks away from wrapping up my 45th year on the planet. That means the official downhill slide to 50 has begun. As optimistic as I am about life in general, I am not going to lie, that is a little unsettling.
I don’t need a speech though because I am amply aware that being 46 beats the alternative of not being here at all. You will never hear me complain. It just seems bizarre that I am rapidly approaching the half century mark.
I wrote a blog post about The Power of Turning Forty five years ago. Five birthdays passing may not seem to take as long as it once did, but at least there is invaluable wisdom that comes with each passing year. That post from five years ago I was talking to the younger women who were following in my footsteps. This post I am talking to everyone on this crazy ride with me.
As I mentioned earlier, I am an eternal optimist from way back. I believe that bad times last until there is a glimmer of hope. I believe in the power of hope and love. I believe that people are mostly good. If I don’t like you then you need to rethink your entire approach on life because I seriously like most everyone. I refuse to let things keep me down for long. Not to say that I never get down.
Naturally, some days I have less zest than others. I remember being young when there always seemed to be something exciting looming on the horizon. Maybe it’s because now my focus is more on my family. They are my heart. Their victory, my zenith. Their sadness, my rock bottom. As parents we all want to raise well-adjusted, happy kids. The problem is we don’t get our report card until they are card-carrying adult(ish) members of society. And unfortunately there are no retakes on that test.
My twenties were all about me and my newfound independence. Working to eat and have fun and not much else. My thirties revolved around babies and toddlers. Now that my kids are getting older they don’t need me like they once did. My forties so far have afforded me a quest for self-awareness and reflection. It is an ever-changing quest. This blog definitely helps with that.
At this point in my life I find myself more emotional. Seriously, I will tear up at the most ridiculous things now. As hard as I try to not be the ONLY one crying after a stupid television commercial, it’s still happening. And fuggedaboutit if my kids are in a program/play/recital/ceremon/contest. Hot mess. I am filled with raw emotion that hangs out very close to the surface. This is probably from being a mom. Or perimenopause. I cannot be sure.
At age 45 I don’t believe that creams,serums, soaps NOR scrubs will stop the laugh lines from forming. And why in the world would you want to? Your lines tell a story. Laughter is probably the real fountain of youth. In all honesty as I type this I do have a detoxifying clay mask on my face. The creamy substance that I smeared on has actually hardened to the point of my face being virtually expressionless. This is what I imagine Botox must feel like.
Age has taught me that people are going to disappoint and hurt you and you have to acknowledge it. And honestly you need uncomfortable pain to appreciate the tear-jerking good stuff. I am working to not fear being let down. Personal growth comes from struggles. Avoiding things never works. I have more that tried that route.
At this age I find myself wanting to build people up. If it makes someones day then it more than makes mine. This takes little effort and even less time. We all need encouragement. I feel that these days my spirit is lighter. In some ways anyway. I am not trying to act like I no longer care about order and cleanliness. They still go hand in hand with my sanity. There are some areas of my life where I am still a raging lunatic. I am a work in progress.
I never claimed to be Gandhi.
Aging is inevitable. As we travel trough we make adjustments both large and small. Some do it better than others. I hope knowing this fact makes the journey more enjoyable for me. 46 here I come. Hoping for 46 more.
When I am gone though, I hope people remember me as a light. And that I was kind. That I tried to make sure everyone felt included and welcome. And maybe even that I was utterly hilarious.
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I turned 50 in March. It is a bit surreal. You suddenly realize that your life is at least half over (which is nonsense because you could eat it in a car crash next week). People treat you a bit differently too. I’ve felt a heightened urgency to get serious about my professional goals and plan for retirement. Also, I had a kid later in life than most probably do. My daughter is about to be a senior in high school and start college. Glad that friends like you are along for the ride that is life and aging.
Bell On Heels says
Well Steven it is nice to hear that men share some of these feelings. Our oldest child is in ninth so I’m not far behind you in that aspect. I guess we’ll just have to keep knocking life out of the park as best we can! Thanks for reading and sharing my post!
Mandy Milan says
I’m only a few years behind you, but I feel the same way. I totally cry at the sad parts of the kids’ cartoon movies, plays, and feel like I got kicked in the gut when my kids are hurting. I do believe people are worth some patience, love, and kindness. It makes me feel good to help others. You set such a glowing example for your children, and that will no doubt shine through them as adults. Thanks for sharing.
Bell On Heels says
Such kind words!! Thank you so much!