Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age. And dreams are forever. – Walt Disney
I am 46 years old.
46 seems harder than 30 or 40 were. I have always thought of 45 as “The Middle”. I guess now I’m past the middle…
I am softer and rounder than I used to be. Sometime in the last decade, I picked up about 10 pounds. One day I like the curves of my body, next day I don’t. Every now and then I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror and I can see my mom’s shape on my body and I have to do a double take. I look down at my hands and they look more and more like hers. I happen to think that my mother is a beautiful woman. If I look like her at her age, I will consider myself lucky.
I think I still have nice skin. I have wrinkles on my face where there used to be non. I don’t Botox. I don’t care to. I like my laugh lines. They don’t really bother me. I wear make-up every day, mostly because I still like playing with colors. I have noticed that my idea of beauty is ever slowly changing. What is beautiful to me now is very different that what it was in my twenties and thirties. I’m attracted to confidence. I find a person who embraces all of themselves incredibly sexy.
I cover up my grey hair, and I’m starting to resent that. I also torture my curls into submission and I’m starting to resent that too. Is my hair long enough or short enough? Is the color too dark? Too blond? Is it too frizzy? Oh I can’t stand the frizz! I fantasize about getting a pixie cut and starting over. I fantasize about letting the grey grow out. I don’t feel brave enough to do either.
I don’t diet, I’ve never been good at it. I try to eat well. But I don’t want to commit to that. I love junk food sometimes and wish I didn’t. Exercise these days means just staying in motion. I have periods of time when I move more than other times. I love hiking and hope I get to do it for a long time. I love to dance! I still really enjoy going out to dance too. There’s a small voice in the back of my head that has started saying “Aren’t you to old for that?” I shush it as best as I can because I don’t want to stop dancing.
I wish I was more confident than I am. I thought I would be by 46. I still doubt myself. I’m not always kind to myself. I’m my own toughest critic. I wish I could tell you that at 46, I know exactly who I am, unapologetically. I don’t. I still feel like a work in progress.
I know that I am a lot better at saying “no” than I used to be and I have taken more chances and said “yes” to things I never would have 10 years ago and that has paid off. I’m a better communicator than I was even just a few years ago and I continue working on improvements in that department.
I’m a good friend. Not the kind that calls and stays in touch all the time, but the kind that will be there for you when it really counts, even though we haven’t been in touch.
I’m always trying to be a better mom and a better wife. Some days I pat myself on the back at the end of the day and some days I go to bed feeling like I didn’t do enough.
I have inherited Dad’s tendency towards the dramatic and Mom’s optimism. So while I often lament the pain of the world, I also know there will be brighter days ahead.
I’m a good therapist. I care about my clients and I work hard. I like helping people and hope I get to do this work for a good, long time.
I have suffered many losses and agonizing heart break and I have made it through alive. It seems inevitable that life will throw curve balls at me now and then. These days I feel more equipped to handle most of them.
I guess I had this idea of what 46 would feel like. I expected to feel “older” somehow. Some days I don’t even feel like a grown-up, much less “old”. There are still days where nothing is right until I talk to my mom and hear her say “It is all going to be okay”. My own kids are almost grown. They are my most explicit proof that I have in fact aged.
46 has historically not been kind to people in my family. And as I sit here and contemplate on the eve of my Birthday, I notice that I’m approaching this one with a certain amount of trepidation. But I am determined to make this a great year! I want to be more active, dance more and hike more. I want to enjoy time with my husband and my boys while they’re still at home and I want to play more. I want to throw a giant party and have all our friends over. I want to tell stories and hear yours. I want to do something that scares me and then be less scared of it and I want to learn something new. I want to be more honest and I want to love myself more. I want to give thanks for my health and worry less. I want to trust myself, my skills and my intuition more. I want to speak my truth, even if it means that I’m going to have harder conversations. I really want to tackle shame and guilt and find a way to rise above them. Most of all I want to spend more time with loved ones and I want to go visit my family. The events of this last year have reminded me once more how precious life is and how quickly things can change. I get to be 46! I want to spend my days more mindful of this gift.
I am looking back at the “first half” of my life and have to admit that overall there have been more ups than downs, there have been more good days than bad and there have been more days in good health than there have been sick days. There have been more celebrations and more joyful occasions than there have been days spent in sorrow and heart break. My intention for the second half is that this trend continues. If you’re reading this, do me a favor, spend a few minutes today in gratitude. Life really IS too short! Give thanks. Say I love you. Forgive easily and don’t hold grudges. You will never regret those things.
46! Bring it!