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I am 49. I simply cannot believe I am that number. My goodness, first I find out I’m going to be a grandmother and then in the same year, I turn 49. EEK!

Okay, truth be told, I’m not really freaking out-after all, my darling handsome spouse is going to be a grandfather and he’s turning the big 5-0 right after the first of the year. He’s being pretty cool about it as well. I think it’s because his latest stint as Mr. Mom/breadwinner (I broke my foot almost 3 months ago) has left him so exhausted he hasn’t had time to really acknowledge that he’s about to hit the half-century mark.

What is it about birthdays that make us sometimes wax nostalgic? One of our bridesmaids, a wonderful lady that I danced through many a class and show with during our college years, and I (of course my hubby will be in attendance) are finally getting together for the first time since our wedding. I mention this in context with the first sentence of this paragraph mainly due to the fact that at this moment I can only imagine how much we will be able to catch up on during maybe a two hour dinner! Let’s face it, if I consider a yearly event such as a birthday a time to reminisce imagine what not seeing a chum from pre-married woman days can evoke? I’m sure our time as sassy college students at Cal State Fullerton will be discussed. My husband didn’t really know my bridesmaids very well, so I’m sure he’ll listen to some of these stories with pricked up ears. Although I’ve talked about my years as a dancer, my husband has only actually seen me on a stage once and that was 18 years ago. So he’ll probably hear some things about me he never imagined. Or maybe he has....

Another friend, whom I’ve known since age 5 1/2, was explaining to me that she feels more secure and in tune with herself and is actually looking forward to turning 50 next May. Of course, she’s also a newlywed (hey, 3 years is pretty new) and recently changed her profession which entailed her starting her own business, so she has a lot to work on and anticipate.

I can relate to the more secure feeling. Since I have been seriously trying to rejuvenate my writing career (as I told my mother-in-law a 26 year break is more than long enough) I also find myself not sweating the “small” stuff as much. I’m feeling much more like myself. I’ve sold several articles, had several turned down and had several responses that left me scratching my head-but the main thing here is that I am writing again.

Years ago, the six pounds I put on a year ago, would have sent me into a tailspin. Now, (especially after 3 months in a cast/boot and no exercise) I figure I’m doing all I am supposed to do to be healthy, so what’s six pounds? I’m not happy about them, but I still feel as if I “clean up” rather nicely. The gray hair amidst the brunette ones are increasing, but instead of running for the bottle of dye every couple of months-I’ve decided I have so earned them! Yes, I will probably still color my hair, but because I want to give myself an emotional boost, not a physical one (re-read from the archives “A New Coat of Paint“). My laugh lines are there for the same reason, I’ve had a lot of wonderful events and some valleys to pull myself out of, and again, I’ve earned every single one of those beautiful creases. Along with this sense of self has come with a new found amount of strength to say “No, I can’t do this“. Something in my younger years I wouldn’t have had the nerve to do. I wanted to be “the good one“. My experiences have taught me well. Being “the good one” takes it toll. Doing the right thing is much more pleasing.

Becoming a different age is like starting a new novel. With a book you open it up, hopefully get hooked on the first page and continue with enthusiasm until the very last word. With any luck you then realize it was so entertaining that whatever ills and problems that went on around you weren’t enough to take away the excitement of the time spent reading. When you have finished with it, you get a brand new book and hope that it surpasses the last one in what you experienced. That it takes you to an entirely new level of realization that you did not think was possible. A birthday should be just the same. It should be the start of a new plot line. With any luck, the characters will be the same, but what happens to them and who joins in to make it more interesting will be full of surprises.



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