Happy birthday to me. I turned 37 on Monday, and it was different this year. Everyone always says things like, "Do you feel any different today?" or "What does *enter age here* feel like?" or "One more year closer to 40!" or "Are you OK with it?" Here is my response to all of the above questions. It feels, I feel great!
I once saw an interview with an older Hollywood actress. (I am sorry that I can not remember who it was. I tried searching some that I thought it was with, with no luck. To make things easier, I am going to name this actress Jane.) Anyway, the basis of this interview was that in life, and even more so in Hollywood, your age is a BIG deal. You are judged on what you can do, how you look, and how you perform. Jane said that she doesn't believe in "age." That when you associate a number or age with someone or something, that it, or we, in turn start thinking that we have to be or act that age. And to take this thought even further, as humans, if we act our age, we are going to start feeling aches and pains, get wrinkles, and live like that age. I love the fact that Jane has actually lost track of her age. She had to really stop and think about it because it truly did not matter to her. She was going to live how she wanted to, even if it was associated with someone much younger than her. That way, when someone asks how it feels to be our age, you can answer you don't know. Instead you can act and start taking on the characteristics of whatever age you want to feel like. I am not saying that I should go out and start acting like I am 21, by getting drunk and dancing on tables. I am saying that I seriously do not feel like what people think 37 should feel like.
What does 37 look and feel like? I think that the perception of the average woman at 37 is that you are a slightly overweight woman who has given up on losing "baby weight." That you could be insecure in your relationship, as it seems that this is the age that many get a divorce. That it may mean that you are either pre-menopausal or on some sort of drug for either lack of sleep, depression, anxiety, or hormones. Or maybe you are having a mid-life crisis of some sort...whatever that means. Anyway, I am here to say that if this were a multiple choice test where you have to check all that apply, I would be checking "none of the above."
I am physically stronger than I have ever been in my life, and I have the muscles to prove it...and they aren't, what we like to call D.M.O.....display model only. I use mine and have a 166 pound overhead squat to back it up. I love my husband and I am still in love with him, because apparently there is a difference. He is my best friend and the person that I choose to spend time with. I am not hormonal. I am on no drugs. I sleep very well. I eat better than most. I work out six times a week. I make sure that I challenge my mind in some way every single day. I am also just as happy sitting by the fire watching a movie with my family, as I am going out with a group of friends.
So, what age do I feel? I don't really know. I know for a fact that I am a better me than I was at 27 and at 17. Maybe I feel 37, but it is my 37. A 37, where a woman has learned to enjoy life. Take the life crises as they come and not worry so much. Enjoy the times I can dance around the kitchen with my kids. Be proud of my husband and the things that he has accomplished. Laugh with friends at stupid jokes or cry with them during their dark times. That I can be a writer even though I always told myself I wasn't good enough. Smell the salt air at the beach and the horses at the ranch and know and love the uniqueness of each. Tear up at a birthday poem written to me by my son. Just enjoy the gifts that each year brings.
The biggest gift that I received on my birthday this year was a feeling of zen. Zen because I finally, yes finally, love myself for who I am at this very moment. Zen because I realize that everything is a process, a journey. Zen, because for the first time in my entire life, I am so very happy about....me.