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The Privilege of Aging

Updated: Jan 11, 2020

This picture is me, the day I turned 40. I was in New York, getting ready to see a Broadway show.

In the blink of an eye, it's my birthday month again and I'm going to be 50. For those of you who have experienced a birthday with a "zero" on the end of it (and I'm not talking about 10 or 20, folks...) you already know we choose these arbitrary milestones and make them mean something.

Naturally, I spent a little time doing the same. When I turned 30 I was glad it finally arrived. I had been an adult FOREVER by then (a mom at 19, was married, divorced, and married again) but looked young for my age and desperately wanted to be taken more seriously in the workplace.

When 40 rolled around I was too tired to care about the meaning of it. I was working full-time, working on my Master's Degree, and besides the house and husband, I had a kid in college and a kid in hockey. But I value travel and experiences, so New York was a perfect present! To this day, it's the only birthday I actually remember. Why? Because it was different. We did something unique and we CELEBRATED.

Many women don't like to celebrate getting older. Me? I celebrate being alive. I honestly don't care what the number is, I'm just privileged to be here. I lost my older brother when he was 44, so friends, I do not take birthdays, or aging, for granted.

In today's busy culture we hear nothing but sighs and moans from everyone simply trying to keep up, yet women find plenty of time to inspect those new wrinkles, worry about their waistlines, and go on the hunt for gray hair. If you have a shred of blank space on your calendar, is this really how you want to spend it? I'm not saying neglect your appearance. Just don't let it own you.

At the moment my husband took this picture, I was unhappy with my physical self. Ten years later? I'd be thrilled with my 40 year old exterior! I have scarring on one eye that prevents me from wearing contacts and now I'm stuck in glasses. I have more gray hair.