One month ago today I turned 35. It ran me over like a semi-truck plunges into those yellow sand-filled barrels at the end of a runaway truck ramp. I am undeniably mid-thirties. I couldn’t bring myself to post about it until now, it took me this long to get over it. I was tempted to let the event pass without a word. So why now am I admitting my age for all the world to read? Because I think I’ve finally come to terms with this number and I think I’m kind of proud of it.
I never thought I would be the sort of person that would be caught up in “feeling old” as the years passed on. But suddenly I was faced with the reality of being in a new age bracket and I panicked. What was I? Contemplating the question brought some scary facts to light. I wasn’t youthful anymore. My biological clock (not that it ever functioned properly, mind you) was running out of steam. Were I ever to get pregnant I would now be considered in the “high risk” category. My hair has started losing that luster (and color) of my younger years and my transitional length from growing it out has started to complete that “soccer mom” look of middle age. Minimal wrinkles aside, the rest of my body has started the downward slide of decreased energy and failing limberness. Despite the desire to be able to turn heads, I could now only hope to be thought of as “looking good for my age.” And to top it off, somehow I was only 5 years away from forty.
It took me a month but I finally realized that all of those things are superficial complaints. Really, they are just silly. I stepped back for a moment to see the big picture. I caught a glimpse of my 80-year-old self looking back on this time and laughing that I ever moaned and groaned about being “old.” How she would shake her head and roll her eyes and tell me not to waste this season worrying about what was gone but to look forward to all that was to come.
Tami sent me the most inspiring card reminding me of what I’ve accomplished in my 35 years and, more importantly, what I’ve been given. It was a profound experience. How can I bemoan the changes to my physical being when they’ve come with the refining of my spiritual self? I would not trade all the feelings of youth for the experience of being a mother or completing graduate school or building a life with my wonderful husband. These are precious gifts that have only sweetened with time.
So here I am, a 35-year-old woman, happy with my life. I have entered the gates that lead to middle age, but I’m fine with that. I’m ready for this phase.
I’m not afraid of you anymore, Thirty-five. And, Thirty-six, I’ll see you in a year.
P.S. I did have a wonderful birthday which included a trip to the zoo with my beautiful babies and a hot date to Milk & Honey with my 34-year-old sweetheart.