I was reading Angela’s recent birthday article and something struck me… something in the sentence “about being one year older and the celebration being overrated”. I started wondering when did birthdays stop being exciting and age become just another number? I can remember one of my sons when he was younger, telling people that he was “5 and a half” when they asked his age… not just 5. And as time passed by a few weeks later he was “almost six”. I wonder what people would do if I said I was 37 and a half. Usually I cop out and just say mid or late 30’s. But if I’m being honest… the correct answer is 37 ½. And why shouldn’t I be honest? When did I start letting a number define who I am?
My mom (well I won’t say how old she is since she’d probably give me that mom-look that said “I can’t believe you put my number out on the internet” but if I’m 37 (and a half) then you could probably guestimate a number that would be close) is still beautiful, energetic, and happy at her age. And if I look around at other women that are older than me… well it doesn’t look like any of them hit a wall at 40 or 50 that made them any less amazing….
And what about all the other numbers in my life that seem to define me… size, weight, income, time, etc…
The focus should be on whether I am healthy for my age not whether the size on the pants I want to purchase are the same size as I bought a couple months ago. How many times have I put a pair back because they were too tight in “my size” although probably would have been fine in another size up. Or become silly happy when a size smaller than “my size” fits me.
Do I really need to be able to run faster than a 10 minute mile? Is it worth my knees screaming at me when I do? And what do I gain from it? Bragging rights? Maybe a 10 minute pace is good enough? I’m pretty sure I’ve passed the age for being an Olympic hopeful – so shouldn’t the focus be on being smart, pacing myself, and ensuring that my legs will still be able to hold me when I’m 100?
And as for time… well I know I look back on photos of high school and college and think oh gosh to only look like that again. But back then I remember only wanting to look like someone else. At what age does acceptance come? Acceptance for who I am, where I’ve been and what I’m going to become?
I’m tired of numbers… tired of trying to make them “fit” me. I will no longer let them define who I am or what I will become. I’ve decided that I am more than just a number…