Approaching my 35th birthday I planned on posting some dismal reflection on aging.
I had all sorts of ideas floating around about why I was less than thrilled to embrace this next milestone. 35 is harder for women than men, I think, because if you happen to have a baby after this birthday you will be categorized as “advanced maternal age,” and though the cut off is for the most part arbitrary, it puts me on edge.
More than that, with each birthday I can’t help but recognize that I am just that much closer to the end of my life. Death will surly visit me as it does everyone and each year marks my body’s decline until one day it won’t be able to do all that I want it to. As a Christian I have a hope in Jesus who has defeated death, but still the pain and loss that comes with the end of life is real and frightening.
I found myself wishing for a life without calenders, a life where a year passing is marked by the seasons and a day by the sun rising and setting rather than being obsessing over day planners and to-do lists. I’d welcome a life where the date of an event remains a fuzzy memory and can only be recalled in terms of its relationship with the moon.
So with all these thoughts spinning in my head and with moving boxes still piled up to my ears I went to bed on the eve of my 35th birthday prepared to feel pretty glum about the whole thing.
Instead I woke up to my little girl’s giggles, she was up at 6 am, so excited to celebrate with me. My family brought me both a balloon and flowers and my husband planned a fabulous day including a trip to the beach and ended it with artisan pizzas (my favorite dinner choice) and blowing out a candle stuck in an ice cream sandwich. I couldn’t have asked for a better day.
I was reminded again that amidst all of this aging crapola I was grateful to be alive. Life is short, and every day I have a choice to make, I can spend it grumpy because it isn’t what I wish it was or I can celebrate it as the gift that it is. So here is to turning 35 or 25 or 85, let’s receive all that this year brings, and let’s do it together.