I have always been the type of person who judged her value and worth by how many friends, loved ones and Facebook acquaintances remembered my birthday. I wanted birthday gif’s, eCard emails, flowers, cards and presents. Lots and lots of presents. And I had a mental checklist of who remembered and who forgot. I never called out the people who forgot to wish me Happy Birthday, but I compartmentalized it to use at a later date.
This year is different. Both because I dyed my hair blonde:
And, because I feel content with myself for the first time, well…ever. I don’t need the accolades (although they are GREATLY appreciated), and I don’t need a cake full of candles (do we really need to have that fire hazard??), nor do I need a mantle full of cards, flowers or expensive gifts.
WAIT, if anyone is reading and you want to send me an expensive gift, I guarantee I won’t say no.
I just feel like the mere fact that I am here is celebration enough. My life is as perfect a life as one could ask for. I have an amazing family, supportive friends, smart and healthy children, a good job that helps support my shopping habits, a nice home, my health, a body full of tattoos and a clear conscience. How many people get all of these things at once? I have blessings in spades, and I don’t take a single one of them for granted.
My cousin posted on my Facebook that 38 is the new 28. To that I say, AMEN. I would never want to be 28 again. That was not my finest hour. But 38….that’s a whole different story. At 38 I am finally starting to feel like I really have my shit together. I feel…grown up. But in a good way.
People try to placate me by telling me that I don’t look my age, and that’s all fine and good, but if I wore every wrinkle and laugh line and butt dimple of my 38 years, that would be ok too. Because it’s all a part of my story, and it’s a story I am proud to tell.
Does it freak me out that I am inching closer to 40? It should. I should be having a pre-midlife crisis and wearing mini skirts and listening to boy bands and trying to recapture my youth. But I don’t feel the need because I am happy to be moving forward on my journey. With age comes wisdom and experience. It also comes with spider veins, crow’s feet, a bigger ass and a slower metabolism, but those are all small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
So bring on 38, 39, 40…hell, bring on the golden years. I will relish in and enjoy every single one of them. And just for today, I will forget the size of my jeans, my incessant need to go to the gym and the guilt I feel if I allow myself to enjoy a cookie or a glass wine. Today I will indulge in life’s simple treats. I will drink wine and the cookie cake my co-worker brought in. I will have a delicious dinner with my family and not count the calories or the carbs.
And in the words of Queen Marie Antoinette, “Let them eat cake”. And eat cake I shall.