Today, I am forty-four. Yes, I wrote out the words because it is less daunting than the numerical equivalent: 44. I am not ashamed nor embarrassed of my actual age, but I am somewhat stupefied by it.
For the longest time, I felt young. The people I worked with were my age or older. The athletes I revered were about my age, and at different points in time, I really believed I could keep up in a training session with many of them. And the actors, well they were children or they were older.
Yet, somewhere in the last few years, everything has transposed, and I find myself in a very different reality. Many times, I find that I am the oldest one in the room, some of my coworkers are not even thirty! As far as athletes go, when they flash the birthdays of the players on the scoreboard or across the TV, I sometimes swallow hard. What do you mean Carlos Santana was born in 1986? I was driving in 1986! And Russell Wilson is a not too shabby quarterback for an NFL team even though he was born right around the time I graduated high school. Yes, I suddenly do not see these young men as my equals; they are still baby-faced and green behind the ears. Lastly, I find that all of the actors I loved in high school– Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, and John Stamos– now all play the mature actors’ roles, guiding the new rapscallions into adulthood.
I am not trying to say I feel old. Well sure, my body sags and aches in ways I never knew possible, and completing twenty minutes on the elliptical seems like a feat, yet mentally and spiritually, I am still that 25 year-old kid who likes to live in the moment. Age is a state of mind, and frankly, I may appear older on the outside, but I am as vibrant as ever.
This year, I truly believe I will have an excellent year! Being a little superstitious and possibly even a little crazy, I base the year off of the first seven days of January. If I like the days leading up to my birthday and the actual day, I know it will be a stellar year. This year was off to a good start just because winter break was a full two weeks, scheduling a return to school on January 6th. Well, wouldn’t you know, Mother Nature must really like me because she decided to give me a birthday present. She is crippling the Midwest with record-breaking lows, and school was canceled yesterday and then again today! I have never had a snow day on my birthday before, and I have to admit, it feels pretty good. And the best part, my celestial birthday present was given to millions of children and teachers nationwide.
So, women of the world, I am embracing my age. I am 44 today. It is a new year, and I can make it whatever I want it to be. I am embracing life, embracing health, and moving forward. I am a middle-aged American woman, and it is okay to be okay with that!