Monday, September 26, 2011

The Good Thing About Being 46

I had a birthday recently, complete with cards, presents, and lots of good wishes on Facebook.  My middle child was particularly kind to me that day, but the next morning was back to the same old pre-teen attitude.  As she explained to me "It's not your birthday anymore.  Now you're just 46."  (And to think she used to be my favorite.) 

Here I am, just 46.  Not old, except to anyone under 21 (okay, 30), but not exactly in my prime.  But maybe my prime came a little later than everyone else's--I always was a  late bloomer.  Maybe there's something magical that will happen at 46. 

At 46, I rarely have to worry about being asked for ID when buying alcohol.  And when I am, it makes for a really funny story.

I'm not 47.

Now that I'm 46, I no longer feel pressured to have the perfect body.  Let's face it, gravity is kind to no one.  If I totally let myself go, people will blame it on my middle age hormones.  If I keep my current weight, some may think I look pretty good for a middle-aged mom of three.

Everyone calls me ma'am (except for the greeters at Walmart) and while some may think this is the same as being called "old lady", I think it's kind of nice.  It beats "honey", "sweetheart" or "hey you" any day.

Forty-six is the age where I finally feel grown up, but not grown old.  I have a few laugh lines (some call them crow's feet, but I'm a glass-is-half-full kind of person) and a few saggy areas, but no bunions, gray hairs or desire to eat at Denny's at 4 in the afternoon.

I no longer need to worry about what I'm going to do with my life--I'm already doing it.  No need to wonder what I'm going to be when I grow up.  No need to impress people, worry if that boy would date me, or if I'll ever have kids.  The answers are: don't care; yes, and marry me, too; and yes, much to my delight and chagrin, depending on what kind of day I'm having.

I am the same age as my brother for one week and then he becomes my older brother again, if only by 51 weeks. (But you can be honest, he looks much older, doesn't he?)

When I turned 45, I considered that my half way point.  The average age of my grandparents when they passed away was 90, so 45 was the top of the hill.  Now that I'm 46 I'm just looking over the rise and getting a peak at what's coming.  Looks pretty good so far.  And it's all downhill.

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