Earlier this year, I celebrated my forty-ninth birthday with a bottle of red wine and the company of a dear friend. Even though my next birthday isn’t until 2013, I’m already thinking of 50 and I am not ready for it. I don’t feel old enough to be fifty. But as my dear friend reminded me, hitting those zero humps is always challenging. Since then I’ve been thinking about how fast time passes. I didn’t always feel that way. When I was thirteen I decided that the perfect age would be twenty-five. Each year that went by felt like an eternity and I thought I would be a teenager forever. “Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up,” my mom would say. “Enjoy these carefree years.” I wouldn’t have any of it. I dreamt about what my life would be like at twenty-five. I would have an awesome job. I’d be married with three kids – two boys and one girl. It would be perfect.
“To our Dearest Diana,” read the card from mom and dad when I turned twenty-five. “We both wish you a wonderful birthday. You’re a quarter of a century old now. Wow makes us feel so ancient. By the time I was your age I had been married for four years and had two kids. When can we expect grandchildren? Love Mom and Dad.”
Ok so I wasn’t married. I didn’t have kids. And I definitely did not have the perfect job.
When I turned twenty-nine I cried and cried until there were no tears left– my life as I knew it was over. I was soon going to be old. I was sure that when I was out in public people would be thinking “Wow, she’s old!” But turning thirty wasn’t bad. In fact it felt somewhat like a ‘Rite of Passage.’ I became a mother. I felt more confident. I walked taller and straighter. I knew who I was. I was unstoppable! For the first time I was glad to be a woman. (Previously I had wished that I had been born a man because people just seemed to take men more seriously). I blossomed in my thirties and I loved it. I had become aware though, that time seemed to pass more quickly now.
Before I could grasp the concept, forty came. And that was OK too! I was somewhat surprised with that, but it truly was OK. People would say, “Wow, you’re forty? You don’t look forty. What’s your secret?” I felt good and in many ways I was in the best shape of my life. I started an exercise regime and began eating healthier foods. I introduced high heels and tailored and fitted clothing into my wardrobe. I had embraced my feminine side! My Forties brought power to me – I am Woman, hear me roar. It was exhilarating!
But now here I sit at forty-nine, trying to imagine the card from my parents when I hit the BIG 50 in about ten months. I’m sure it will start out with something like, “Our Dearest Diana. You’re a half-century old!!! Where the (insert explicative) did the time go?” Ok maybe not those words exactly – but something along those lines!
Of this I am sure – I’m not ready for fifty. So I have decided that early next year I will be celebrating my forty-tenth birthday and maybe by the time I’m forty-thirteen or so I will have become comfortable with fifty.
To read an article about the perfect age for women by Stella Brikey (via The Citizen) click here
What do you think is the perfect age? Was there an age that was difficult for you? What was it?