A few thoughts on turning 38
- on August 2, 2011
My 38th birthday is coming up.
That's right, I'm (almost) 38. I'm not even kidding. I'm telling God and Everyone on this very website how old I am.
Until this year, I've always been pretty "Yeah, whatever" about birthdays. I didn't ever feel old, I didn't feel like it mattered how old I was, and I was typically one of the younger members of my friend group, which is always good for feeling youthful and spry.
For the last year or so, I've been spending time with some women who are - get this - UNDER thirty. So there's that. They're all slowly hopping over the thirty fence, but boy, does watching them process this rite of passage make me feel ancient.
Also, there's the kid thing. I mean, we're pretty set on the only child decision, but as my age creeps up toward 40, it's starting to feel a little more real - a little less theoretical.
I'm never going to buy a onesie again, or a bottle, or a tiny rubber coated spoon. I'm not going to fret over if the baby crawls on time or pick out another name. I'm never going to be pregnant again, which is two parts relief and one part disappointment.
It's striking to me how different aging is for women than it is for men. Women have a biological clock - what almost feels like an expiration date. Men just age and age and get silver foxy and sexy. There is no impetus for them to worry about any particular birthday milestone more than another.
So that is how I'm going to start thinking about my own upcoming birthdays. I'm going to age like a man. I'm going to put the notions of more babies and menopause and hysterectomies and crows' feet out of my head, and tell 38 hello like a man would - with a shrug.
I mean, there's nothing to do about it, right? I'm totally against wasting emotional energy on things we can't control. There's no point in being proud of being young, or old, for that matter. It's an accident of birth, and it is what it is. Worrying about aging is like worrying about the weather. Or bell bottoms. Whatever is around the corner, is around the corner. If I have to sport bell bottoms again in the future, so be it. It's not my fault what's in style.