A week ago Friday I posted a status update on Facebook.
I was poking fun at being a walking cliche.
Instead, I caught hell for daring to call myself middle-aged. I’m serious. Five different people felt the need to tell me that I wasn’t allowed to call myself middle-aged.
I’m sorry – allowed?
You know what? I am *exactly* middle-aged. The average life expectancy for a woman with MS in Canada is 77.2 years of age. I’ll say it again – I am *exactly* middle-aged.
You know what else?
I’m happy being middle-aged.
I’m not kidding. I have ZERO problems turning 40. I’m excited about 40.
I thought I knew everything in my twenties. I knew almost nothing. My thirties were hard. They were a decade learning to bear far more than my fair share of sorrow and grief and tragedy with grace.
You know what forty is? It’s when I’m old enough to know who I am and what I want. I’m old enough to ask for what I want. I’ve learned who my friends are and how to pick them. I’ve learned to say yes and to say no and when to do both.
There were times I wasn’t sure I would get to this age. I’ve earned those wrinkles and the sore knees and the fact I can’t stay up all night and go to work the next day. I’ve worked hard to get to this age. I got to this age by living and sometimes – a lot of times – that was hard.
I’m sick – to death – of our endless fascination with youth. I’m bewildered that anyone would have the unbearable audacity to tell me I wasn’t middle-aged, that I had to stay young. I’m happy to move past being young – it was sometimes great when it lasted (see note knees and staying up all night). Now it’s time to let that go and move on to the next phase. There will be some crappy parts and I can see that there are going to be some fantastic things.
I’m not afraid of age. Age is not death. Age is not defeat. I’ll say it again. Age is not defeat. Age is a hallelujah victory. Age means you made it – not just to another year, but to another phase.
You stay obsessed with being young. That’s fine. You do you.
But don’t you dare tell me what to do. I’m middle-aged. I don’t put up with that crap anymore.