Sunday, February 2, 2014
So this week, More Than Cheese and Beer chose "ageing" as her topic for Sunday Confessions. At first I thought she said "anger". That would have been much easier. I have anger towards a couple of people and a few things right now. But we'll save that for another day.
I wasn't really sure how to approach this one. I mean, sure, I'm getting older. I remember the first time I found a gray hair, and then a few years later a gray eyebrow hair. I couldn't believe it! I never thought about my eyebrows going gray. My mother told me to wait until I found a gray pube. Wtf? Those go gray too? Well, good thing I shave, that's all I can say.
Later this month I'm going to be turning another year older, God willing. Honestly, I'm looking forward to it. I have always loved birthdays. I remember when I turned 30 and most of my friends were going through some sort of early mid-life crisis, I planned a whole weekend of partying for myself. The ex and I were separated and working on a divorce. I had 3 of my best girlfriends visiting from out of town - DC, Jacksonville and Colorado. We had an "Around the World" party at my place on Friday and I rented a limo for a night on the town on Saturday. I bought myself a hot little white dress for Saturday night. I had a blast.
A few months later I met my hubby. He was 24, about to turn 25. The difference between how we handled our birthdays was incredible. He couldn't believe he was turning 25. I thought he was either going to have a heart attack or a nervous breakdown. I planned a celebration at a local bar with some of our friends. Cake, balloons, Jäger bombs. Good times.
When my best friend turned 30 she was a little freaked out too. I wasn't able to be with her as I had just been with her a couple months earlier for her wedding. But she was a little unsettled by it. No nervous breakdowns or anything like that. But something about it didn't sit well with her.
I love (nice) surprises. I like being taken out to dinner. I like getting presents. I like being spoiled. It doesn't happen all that often, so I figure my birthday is the perfect time.
Last year I was 1 day overdue with my now 11-month old. Needless to say there was no wild and crazy night on the town. But I was fine with that. I was hugely pregnant with horribly swollen sausage feet, gut wrenching heart burn and a frequent need to pee.
A friend of mine just posted the cover art from Green Day's Dookie album with a caption about it being 20 years old. I was in 9th grade when that album came out. Part of me can't believe I am old enough to have been in high-school 20 years ago because it seems like just yesterday. The other part of me feels like it was a whole lifetime ago. Which I guess it was when I think about everything I have done since then.
As a kid I remember always wanting to be older. I wanted to be able to go out and do the things my older brothers and sister could do. I wanted to be a grown-up. I wanted to get married and have babies. I wanted to be able to stay up late and eat as much ice-cream as I wanted. I was always told "When you're a grown-up you can do whatever you want." That sounded so awesome!
I know a lot of people who would trade almost anything to be a kid again. Don't get me wrong, I would love a break from the responsibility from time-to-time. The bills, the work, the stress, the kids, the dogs, the housework, the laundry, the cooking. The luxury of a soak in the tub or to be able to pee without interruption. To be able to settle down on the couch on a Saturday afternoon with a good book and a blanket. To be able to watch whatever I want on TV without worrying whether or not it is "appropriate". To not have to worry how I'm going to make this month's car payment or electric bill. To be able to go to bed and know that I don't have to wake up for anyone or anything.
Then I think about how lonely and quiet my life would be. The hectic craziness of being a mother and a wife and all the responsibilities that go along with it are what make me happy. Everyone wishes for a vacation or some time away every now and then. I couldn't imagine my life without my babies or my husband.
Yes, I hate the sleepless nights when the kids are sick. The hubby's snoring drives me insane. I could kill the dog when she barks and wakes up the baby. But I'm even less fond of the idea of not having those things in my life. Don't get me wrong, I had a great time when I was younger, single and childless. But I'm over all that. I don't look back and long for those days again. I look back and think about how I'm glad I had the opportunity to do the things I did, travel to the places I've been etc. (I do have to say, I'm sure glad things like Facebook weren't around when I was in the height of my partying days in college.)
I don't wish for the "good old days". Those days, although fun, were empty. Sure they were full of parties, and boyfriends, and beach days, and happy hours, and ladies nights. But they weren't truly fulfilling.
Ladies nights have been replaced with all nighters with the baby. Happy hours have been replaced with Tae Kwon Do and Soccer practice. Beach days now consist of dragging tents, and chairs, and floaties not coolers of beer. First dates have been replaced by snuggles on the couch once the kids are in bed.
And I wouldn't change any of it. (Except my flat stomach, un-wrinkled skin and boobs that sat where they were supposed to without extra help back. I'd take those back.)
So this year, as I approach the big 3-5, I look back on my younger days and appreciate them for what they are. A time in my life that everyone goes through. A lot of mistakes and bad choices and a hell of a lot of fun. I am glad I am having another birthday. Turning a year older. I embrace each year that passes.
Ageing. Aging. Doesn't matter how you spell it, it means the same thing. We're all getting older. One day, week, month, year at a time, and I'm OK with that.
After all, celebrating another birthday is better than the alternative!