I am not happy about turning 47 but, as an enlightened woman, I’m not supposed to admit that. I am supposed to be riding in a convertible on a coastal highway with the wind whipping through my perfectly tousled hair while Fight Song plays on repeat and my best friend snaps gorgeous photos of the two of us in our designer sunglasses. I should be posting pictures of my imperfect body and embracing my wrinkles and asserting that both are evidence of a life well-lived. I am supposed to be fearless and tireless and all the other –lesses you can imagine.
That is a hell of a lot of pressure.
The truth is I drive a Yaris sedan with crushed Goldfish crackers on the floorboards and a cup of ground coffee in the cup holder to combat the smell of my son’s soccer cleats. My sunglasses were certainly expensive but only because they are prescription and I can’t even read with them on because they aren’t bifocals. My friends do take pictures but whenever they do, I frantically yell, “Take it from above!” And as for being fearless and tireless, sliding towards 50 stings a little bit.
So, here is the rest of the truth:
I buy a lot of Clearasil and now understand the appeal of spanx.
I don’t sleep well and can hear my kid turn over in bed…in another room…with the door closed.
I recently plucked a wild hair from my hip.
I have not gained weight yet nothing fits because my body is rearranging itself like a Picasso painting.
The songs on my running playlist would also be appropriate for my funeral montage and I’m not sure what to think about that.
I am redefining success after a career change but, some days, “redefining success” feels a lot like “lowering expectations.”
The only people that compliment my hair are elderly women in elevators.
My daughter recently said, “You are one year closer to menopause!” And with that statement, I can now rule out Motivational Speaker as her future profession and can start worrying again that she’ll live with us forever.
I say all of this knowing that I have a good life. I have everything I need and I am loved. I am lucky to be alive and I am grateful. But I am also human and have good days and bad. Today, I’m struggling with 47 and fretting over hormonal acne but tomorrow will be a new day. Maybe I’ll jump in the Yaris, put on my prescription sunglasses, and roll down the windows and let the wind ruffle my gray hair. Maybe I’ll turn on the stereo and play something from my running/funeral playlist and sing at the top of my lungs. Maybe I’ll forget about the smashed crackers and the smelly cleats and remember that the greatest gift of being 47 is that, most of the time, you just don’t care what anyone else thinks.