In just over three hours, I’m going to be forty-five. Halfway to ninety. Not that I’m planning to make it to ninety, but still. How depressing.

“You’ll always be my jail bait,” J, who is five years older than me, declared.

It’s some small comfort that I can probably still call myself “mid-forties” for one more year before officially moving to “late forties”.

I know, I know, age is just a number right? And you’re only as old as you feel, and age is a state of mind. (Blah, blah, blah) Except I can’t ignore the things happening to my body- like wrinkles around my eyes and hot flashes and the betrayal by my eyelids that I’m still not over. In my mind I’m like thirty-four. Old enough to know better, young enough to ice skate without worrying about breaking a hip.

Lately J and I talk about things like how we’ll probably have to trade our trusty fishing boat in for a pontoon when it gets too hard to climb in and out of it from the dock. How our metabolisms have gone missing and how we can’t party like rockstars and still get up for work the next day like we used to. (Living on love instead of sleep is a young persons game).

But the depressing side of aging aside, it’s nice to be older and wiser. To have money in the bank and a solid retirement plan. To be able to give our kids good advice because we’ve been there, done that.

Just the other day I was telling J how happy I am. I love my husband and my life with him and our kids. I love my job. I’m writing pretty regularly and I’m getting closer to crossing “play the violin” off my bucket list. I love where I live and the wildlife and I love going to the lake whenever we can.

Really, my forties have been pretty sweet and I have nothing to complain about but I’m not going to let that stop me from complaining about these age spots on my arm. I know, I know, I have food and shelter and love and tons of stuff to be grateful for, but I’m (still) dragging my heels into middle age. Denial is a coping mechanism, dammit.

“What are you doing for your birthday?” the coworkers asked me today.

“Pretending it’s not my birthday,” was what I wanted to say but instead I said “Sleeping uninterrupted,” because that is honestly the best present EVER these days.

People always say things like, “I remember when I was young I thought forty-five was so old” but I’m almost there and I still think it’s old.

I met J when I was thirty-four so now I say things like, “I’m glad you love me cause it’s all downhill from here.”

Tonight I’m drawing the light blocking curtains and turning my phones off. Maybe if I sleep through my birthday I can pretend it never happened.

Or maybe by tomorrow I’ll have talked myself out of depression and into gratefulness cause, you know, age is just a number, right?

(Wait, is that a gray hair?)


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