The Birthdays Just Keep Coming… Am I (Shudder) Middle Aged?

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Birthdays.

They are such fun and so exciting when you are a kid. And I have to say, I was pretty ok with them up until the last few years. I was not upset to turn 30. But I turn 40 in a couple of weeks and it has been a bit of a struggle.

Why Do Birthdays Bother Me Now?

Birthdays signify milestones. You are a legal adult at 18 and can buy alcohol at 21. The milestone for 40 is a baseline mammogram. Yippee.

As I turn 40, I admit to feeling old which I realize is a bit ridiculous. I refuse to think of myself as middle-aged. For me middle-aged is 50 or 55, but that only works if I live to be 100-110. And I have no doubt that I will feel differently once I am 50 0r 55.

And it is not that I think that I am dying or anything. It is that I don’t know where I belong.

Throughout my life, I have fit pretty well into groups. The young 20-somethings that can party until 2AM and show up for work the next day. Then I was part of the newly married, but childless set. That one was a bit tricky because we waited so long to have kids that a lot of my friends were moving onto the married-with-children category long before we did.

Where Do I Fit In? 

Now I have a young child, but am nearly 40. A lot of times, that is a hard mix. Do I fit in more with the 40-something moms whose children are early- to mid-teens? Or do I fit better with the younger moms whose kids are my son’s age, but are a solid 10+ years younger than me?

I believe that friendships can cross any and all boundaries, age, gender, etc., but it would be nice to think that I actually fit somewhere. In an effort to put myself out there, I am joining everything you can think of. I just signed for a knitting class and joined the PTO for my son’s school.

Maybe that is my version of a mid-life crisis.

Perhaps… Growing Older Is Making Me Better? 

I know I am not alone in this struggle.

On a positive note, I’m finally working on that goal list I have had forever. I have wanted to learn to scuba dive and take a rafting trip for the last 10 years. Now, it is actually on the schedule. I am taking up new hobbies like calligraphy and bullet journaling.

Sure, I am worrying about wrinkle cream and getting my hair colored regularly. But these days, it’s not necessarily for vanity—it’s so that no one mistakes me for my son’s grandmother.

I am also paying more attention to my health. My older sister was just diagnosed with a heart condition and may need surgery. She is 11 years older than I am, but it still set off alarm bells that I need to be more vigilant myself. 

So maybe it really is all in how you look at things. I am hoping that in a few weeks when my birthday is over, I can keep the motivation that it has provided and lose the negative connotation that it has for me.

Maybe age really is just a number.

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Becky is a Colorado native who lives on the east side of the Springs with her 4 year old son Sam, her husband Matt, and 3 dogs and 1 cat. She has been married for 15 years. She has worked in healthcare management for her entire working life and transitioned to working for herself from her home office 4 years ago. She is grateful for the flexibility that self-employment offers but still wishes for more hours in a day to get everything done. Becky has trouble saying no and loves to be involved with a cause or a purpose. If you need someone for a committee or to get things done, she is your girl. She still makes the time to be there for friends and family. When she is not caught up in the busy-ness of her life, she loves to cook, bake, read, craft, watch movies and, of course, write. She is obsessed with cooking shows and loves to try new recipes. Her husband is her willing guinea pig for her creations.