As I sit here contemplating what message I want to convey to my throngs of readers (using the loosest definition of 'throng' possible), I am smacked upside the head by the number. 45 is serious. 45 is mature. 45 doesn't take nothing from nobody. 45 is really starting to sound not so young.
Where has my youth gone? That youth spent covered in freckles and sunscreen as well as possessing a naivete that was as endearing as it was unattractive. That youth who donned a spectacular head of hair as a last ditch effort to be taller despite all evidence to the contrary. That youth who always had a racquet in his hand, a smile on his face and story to tell, often at the same time as he was being chased by packs of wild dogs.
Now many of you may be wondering who do I think I am kidding, as it is not as if 44 was so young sounding either. (Who I may or may not be kidding is totally confidential by the way.) And you are right, I've been a full-fledged, (library) card-carrying adult for many years now. So what makes 45 so ominous? I don't have all the answers, it just does.
So what am I going to do about it? Whine and whinge and type excessively long sentences? (Perhaps) Huddle in the corner of my room, moaning and crying and clutching my teddy bear? (who keeps professing she's actually my youngest daughter) Perform an interpretive dance covered solely in blue acrylic paint that will invariably leave my kids scarred throughout their teens? (hey, it's bound to happen regardless).Take a stand and then go for a walk once standing? (hate to waste a good stand) Continue asking rhetorical questions out loud all the while smiling because I think I'm pretty funny? (a man has to live)
But instead of running away from my issues (have to rest my tender Achilles' tendon in case you were wondering), I've decided to confront this whole birthday thing head on after taking the necessary safety precautions (three words: peat moss padding). That's right, this year, as my body ages like a true cheddar (I was going to go with the more cliched fine wine reference but I decided to keep that one in my pocket for now), I've decided to be bold where those that know me would expect me to be weak. I've decided to buck trends, right wrongs, eschew things that need eschewing and embrace those I love no matter how real or imaginary they are at the time.
Instead of worrying excessively about the numbers that comprise my biological age, I've made the conscious choice to cease all excessive worrying no matter how boyishly cute it is. I mean I can't do anything about my age, or at least nothing currently legal in Canada. I may as well grin and bear it (or grin and bare it if in the mood for skinny dipping), laugh in the face of adversity (don't judge me, adversity has been laughing in my face for years) and giggle like a schoolgirl (bucket list, people, bucket list).
The thing is, I still feel young, I do. I have an energy and a bounce and a verve that feels no different today than when I was 30 aside from being totally exhausted and sore all the time. And I may (fingers crossed) finally be gaining some of the highly-anticipated wisdom that has been promised to me for years. Not that I'm going to become excessively wise anytime soon (I don't have a long or distinguished beard to stroke anyways) or wow anyone with my expertise or wit or stately gate, but I do feel incrementally more "bright" or "smart" or "less likely to be taken advantage of" than in the past.
With the passing of this birthday, it's no longer automatically assumed that I have no idea what I'm talking about (it's still assumed, quite correctly much of the time, just not automatically). People actually look to me for guidance or directions and not sarcastically or out of sympathy, or just not as blatantly as before. I am fully and firmly ensconced in adulthood and there is no turning back. So, as melancholy and misty-eyed as I am (it's seasonal), I am healthy and happy and ready for whatever the next year brings as long as it isn't pneumonia or leeches.