Aging Gracefully

My birthday is coming up and I have to admit I’m not one of those people who ages gracefully. I’ve always admired those people – you know who I’m talking about, the ones who truly believe they get better with age and that each birthday is an opportunity for a whole new year of possibilities. That is so not me. No my birthday goes more like this: the week of my birthday everyone starts asking me what I want for my birthday and what I want to do to celebrate and I end up crying. By the time my birthday actually arrives I have puffy eyes, am in a bad mood and have made no plans. My husband says I’m a little dramatic.

My last good birthday was 21. At 21 I was so happy because I could finally legally drink, but when the hangover wore off it was like well, now I don’t want to have anymore birthdays. There is nothing to look forward to birthday wise after 21. My husband (then only my boyfriend) nicely pointed out that when I turned 25 I could rent a car. Guess how exciting that is? I’ve still never rented a car.

I remember on my 25th birthday, I had a mini breakdown. People thought I was crazy, but I just remember thinking I’m halfway to 50 and it will go too fast. And you know what? Now that I’m turning 29 it feels like my 25th birthday was really just yesterday – I mean where did the last four years go? This is what is so depressing to me about birthdays, it seems like the older we get the faster the time slips by and before I know it I’ll be sitting in a nursing home remembering the good old days and wondering how it all went so fast. Sometimes when someone asks me how old I am I actually forget. It’s not on purpose, but I find myself almost saying 27 – is this a sign of old age setting in?

Here’s the thing, I don’t hate my birthday because I’m unhappy with where my life is. Quite the contrary, I love my career, I love my husband, I love that we have a wonderful house, and that we are surrounded by incredible friends and family. I hate my birthday because I am terrified of old age and all the problems that come with it. I like my life the way it is and the way I look and feel right now – and if it changes I want it to be by my own means and something I control, not the whole out of control aging thing.

On that note, enjoy your week and I’ll try to enjoy mine by pretending I’m not actually having a birthday. Maybe by next year I’ll have figured out how to age gracefully….


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