I'm writing this in the wee hours of my birthday. When I wake up I will officially be That New Age. It's a Big One. But I stopped having Little Ones a long time ago.
I have a framed print in my bathroom/cocoon - it's actually a greeting card that my husband matted and framed for me. The artist is Mary Engelbreit, who I just love. It shows a little girl with a hobo stick over her shoulder, at a crossroads with a sign marking each path: Your Life and No Longer An Option. The little girl is bravely marching up the path to her future.
Such a simple and beautiful image, but it says everything. You keep choosing Your Life and and you keep moving ahead. Getting stuck in the past, crying over what was, what wasn't and what might have been is No Longer An Option.
That's easy, right?
Being a glass-half-empty kind of person on Those Kinda Days, I ponder over other things that are No Longer An Option. Realizing you'll never again have the body you had when you were 35. Or 45, for that matter. Finally coming to grips with the fact that the person you see in the mirror is actually YOU, the person that other people see, and not just a temporary detour from the 25 year old face that you have permanently imprinted in your mind's eye.
Hot young me is No Longer An Option. I can be an acceptable 50+, and I can even blow out the curtains with a red pump or a slightly lower decolletage. But going out with that feeling that you know you look hot and anything can happen...gone, daddy, gone. I am no longer In The Game.
There are tradeoffs, however. When you go out, you're not preoccupied with hair and makeup and with who might notice. You actually enjoy the moment in real time. The opinions of others matter less now, and you feel free to let loose with whatever you're thinking. Within reason.
And you don't have to pretend to be able to walk in stiletto heels! Last time I wore heels to a wedding, it took about six months to recover. Since then, it's a (reasonable) heel for pictures, change into flats as soon as possible thereafter.
So this was a big one, ain't gonna lie. I fully anticipated feeling like crap, and I did for most of the day. But hearing from friends and family on facebook and by e-mail (I even got a couple of genuine snail mail cards!) helped. And a walk with the Good Husband and sitting in the sunshine with a healthy beverage was a good thing. Yay, Vitamin D!
Birthday angst is real. But silly. Really. I know this. Still, I sputter and make a huge deal out of not saying The Number, thereby drawing a big neon arrow to it. I was telling a friend that I thought this year I was ready to actually comfortably reveal my actual age. My friend paled and told me, No, you can't. Her mother had told her a lady never reveals her age. So, back in the closet again.
Happy Birthday to Me!!