49 is Fabulous
Last week was my birthday. It wasn't a "big" one that ended in a zero. All the same, it felt big. Maybe because the one ending in zero is next year. And that zero will have a 5 in front of it. Yes, it's true.
I turned 49.
And honestly, I'm wondering how the hell it happened. No, I'm not kidding, not being glib. I really don't understand how I'm suddenly an 'older' person. OK, maybe it wasn't so sudden. I've been 'older' for a few years now. But, this year, I feel it.
I could blame it on college. I walk around campus in the ant-like crowds and can't miss the age differences. I'm fully aware of the smooth skin and tight everything on those kids. They're overly stylish even in their I-don't-care fashion. They talk about dating and roomates and who just got home from what mission. I walk among them as invisible as a tree--something to maneuver around.
But it's more than my new-found student-status. It's my children getting older, leaving home, having babies. It's the aches that don't go away and the wrinkles that appear and mock my moisturizing routine. It's seeing movie stars my age and saying, "Wow. They've gotten old." and realizing, so have I.
And it's the number.
Over the weekend, the Handy Man and I went 'away'. I know, a few miles down I-15 to a different city may not seem exotic. (It wasn't.) But a couple days with no kids is a vacation in my book. And I had an epiphany--being older is not bad.
We went to a dear friend's reception.(She's my age.) We sat in the beautiful garden, ate the tomato pesto soup and pineapple coconut cake, My friend and her new husband (who knew each other as teenagers and reconnected all these years later) grinned and held hands. Young love may be nice, but this, new love after years alone, this was bliss.
We slept late because we could. We didn't worry about the kids at home because they can take care of each other. We sat in the hot tub, silently intimidating the teenage boys to vacate after just five minutes. We went to the movie in the middle of the day. We ate dinner where we talked about personality tests and where we'd really like to vacation. (Puerto Rico is at the top of the list.)
And as we drove home, I thought about my age. And decided to own it. I've earned the wrinkles and the stretch marks. I've lived through happy times and moments when my world seemed to end. I've raised my children with love and the gospel. I've taught and I've learned, tried and failed and succeeded.
And the thing is, I'm nowhere near done.