I’ve been staring down the barrel of my birthday for the past couple of weeks. It’s not a decade year but very close. Too close for my comfort. Trying to get with the very wise words “it’s just a number” but it’s not coming easy. Since my birthday falls on a Saturday, I thought perhaps I’d have a party. Some friends, food and cocktails would surely help the day go down better. Three weeks out I took a quick straw poll on friend’s availability. Key partners in crime were already booked. Such is life these days, everybody is busy. Kids, causes and not enough advanced planning on my part meant moving the party to the following week and then everyone still couldn’t make it. I should be over it by then. Scrap the party idea.
The past 5 years leave me feeling like time has marched, stomped and dragged its feet across me. I find myself alternately not wanting to look too closely in the mirror and inspecting with a fine toothed comb. What’s the criteria for exiting potential MILF status? Probably advanced ages with a nine in the number.
Then I start to think of all the marks as signs of success. Like the saying about stretch marks that goes, “Your Body Is Not Ruined, You're A Tigress Who Earned Her Stripes.” When it comes down to it, my body has withstood some stuff. Every scar tells a story. Unless you’re in the military or the Boy/Girl Scouts though, you don’t get medals or ribbons for the myriad accomplishments and wounds that we rock in this lifetime. As women our walls should be littered with them. Just the keeping other people fed on a daily basis x years should net you a trophy taller than you are.
The pity party came to an abrupt halt when I heard sad news of friends losing loved ones, around the same age I am now, from life robbing sickness. I’m reminded that my own mother’s life ended at age 45. It’s the kick in the ass I need to knock off the whining and ramp up the gratitude.
I don’t have to think hard about how many blessings I have; my health, healthy, lovely daughters, wonderful friends that are really my family, work I am in love with that involves books, shelter, clothing, food on the table, a couple bucks in my pocket, and more.
Late on the eve of the birthday I’ve been dreading, I’m reminded of a quote that I heard years ago and dug. See below. I’m renewed with it as my battle cry, theme and mantra. Eff “the number” and the mirror – Happy Birthday Baby. Bring it.