The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.”
– Lucille Ball (1911 – 1989)

I ❤ Lucy. She was a real trail blazer. And I concur with her sentiment on the topic of age. 😉 I try to be honest most of the time. And sometimes I am too successful in this endeavor (as my friends will attest). I could probably stand to eat more slowly. Growing up with a 6’4” brother turned eating into a competition for resources when I was kid, so I have some unhealthy neural connections when it comes to eating (aka, I’m wired to wolf down grub). [That totally sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? I mean, you’re buying this explanation for why I eat too fast, aren’t you?]

I have not, however, ever lied about my age. Yet. Come next Monday, there is a statistically insignificant chance I will know the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. But mostly, I’ll just get older. The option to lie about my age is becoming increasingly attractive. But that kinda negates Lucy’s first piece of advice, “to live honestly.” Ah well, you can’t have everything. I will miss being honest.

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
– Chili Davis (1960 – still kickin’ it)

I’ve been trying to do a little self-reflection and figure out what is next for me on this great blue marble. I’ve learned a lot about being true to myself and the benefits and costs of doing that. I’ve learned a lot about the value of friends, when to ask them for help and when to offer it. I’ve learned a lot about politics of family and the ripple effects decisions we make when we are young (and stupid) have on our long-term relationships with the ones we love.

I haven’t quite figured out how to navigate my career. I haven’t quite figured out how to appreciate others whose opinions are vastly different from mine (thus wrong) (and stupid)…(just kidding) (mostly). I haven’t quite figured out how to edit myself in social settings. Though I have figured out that after several glasses of wine, this is not possible on any level. I sometimes feel that because I haven’t figured these things out, I haven’t really grown up. I know it’s optional =), but it seemed like my parents were way grown-up by the time they were my age. Am I really as grown-up as they were at 42?

Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician.
– Unknown

I look good for my age. No really, I do. [Should you disagree, please refer to the previous paragraph, second sentence.] But some of my bits are changing. Some are changing color (my hair), some are changing size (my feet), and some are changing…altitude (no comment). I always thought I would age gracefully. I suppose we all think that when we are young. Ah, the faith of youth, the fortitude, the folly.

I don’t even know what that means, “to age gracefully.” Does it mean that you let time wash over you without resistance? *raspberry* My dermatologist and I have other plans. Nothing invasive, mind you. I’m not interested in that kind of plan. Yet.

The first hundred years are the hardest.
– Wilson Mizner (1876 – 1933)

For some reason, my age is getting to me this year. The last time I felt like this around my birthday was when I turned 30. The exodus from my 20’s triggered a flashing “You Need to Get Your @%#& Together” sign in my head. I followed that sign. And I got my @%#& together. Now I have a sign flashing in my head that reads, “Where Did Your @%#&” Go?” Uh…I swear I just had it. I’ve been looking for it for a while now, but I can’t find it. Maybe it’s with my car keys. D’oh!

Even though I will be on a @%#& hunt for the unforeseeable future (ew, that sound gross), I am happy to be healthy, safe and employed. And I keep reminding myself that from here on out, I will only get older. There really is no secret to staying young because there is no staying young. Sure, 42 ain’t 20. But it ain’t 70, neither. So kick it up while you can! Preferably in attractive (and sensible) heels.

What about you readers? Have you ever struggled with birthdays?