I have a milestone birthday this month and, I’ll admit, it’s a hard one to grasp. I’ve been glossing over this number for a while, but now that It’s upon me, I realize that I need to face the facts and (wo)man up.
So I’m here to say, loud and proud, that soon I’ll turn 49.
What? You thought I’d say 40 or 50 or something else? Why is 49 not considered a conventional milestone birthday? It’s not a “big” one. It’s just 49, right?
To tell you the truth, this has been my way of thinking for a while now. I’ve been saying that I’m “practically” or “almost” 50 for at least a year. I’ve been skipping from 48 to 50 and not even giving the time of day to 49.
Then I realized what I was doing. Not that I was making myself older – I could really care less about that – but that I wasn’t relishing in the gift of being 49 or even in the gift of the present. What in the world was I thinking?
Each day, week, year, and decade are a gift. Why would I give up the gift of being 49? There’s a lot of work to do, traveling to be done, wine to be had, and chocolate to be eaten this year. If I skipped 49 I’d miss a full year of my kids growing up, and we all know that they are growing up too fast anyway. If I skipped 49 I’d miss the opportunity to look back on the past decade, one that has been full of new opportunities, old friends, new adventures, rekindled interests, and amazing moments.
I see people “wishing away” time and have never understood it. People lamenting and saying things like “I wish my kids were older” or “Things will be easier later when…” I often get upset with this mentality. Why wish away anything? The time we get to spend with our kids is as precious and fleeting (though hard, and I’ll admit that some days I struggle not to wish away time with a 13-year-old girl) as our own time on this earth is. I read a quote recently that resonated with me:
“Make each day count. After all, you spent an entire day of your life on it.”
Whatever age you are I suggest that you embrace it. Worried about turning 30? Relax, 30 is a breeze. Feel too young in your job and want to be older? Young, fresh ideas are needed everywhere. Don’t rush it. Almost 50? I’m almost with you, but, for now, I’m glad to be 49, and I’ll spend an entire year enjoying it.