“I’m turning 40 this year,” I say out loud to my reflection in the bathroom mirror. Fortunately, the woman in the mirror shrugs her shoulders and laughs because for some reason it’s just not a big deal. Sure there are a few things that do give me pause about entering into the forty-something zone. Like the fact that I’m older than Daniel Craig, the newest James Bond. While I fully comprehend that he is portraying a “younger” James Bond, there is just something so totally wrong with 007 being born in 1968, a full six years after Sean Connery first introduced himself on-screen as “Bond, James Bond.”
Nevertheless, thanks to the Boomers who have crossed this threshold before me, at least we now have all sorts of products, surgical procedures, diets and exercise regimes to maintain (or regain) youthful appearances. But, I like to think Mother Nature already had her own remedy to reduce the appearance of aging. Why else would we all need reading glasses? It’s her way of preventing us from seeing the wrinkles and imperfections when we get up close to each other. (She is a woman, after all!)
But there are the other tell-tale signs of aging that can’t be helped by Botox or bad vision. Each year I discover a new food that doesn’t agree with me, and my knees don’t seem to work quite the same way they used to. Then there’s the fact that my friends and I can’t carry on a conversation without discussing mortgage rates and the housing market or referring to news anchors and presidential candidates as “hotties.” On top of that, I had a shock the other day when I hopped into my car only to find that all the radio station buttons had been set to talk radio. When did I do that?
There are, however, some things that I am truly thankful for as I turn 40, like not having a husband who will throw me a surprise birthday party. I’m sure having a husband would actually be quite nice, but I’m definitely not a fan of the surprise 40th birthday party. I don’t know about the rest of you, but if I’m going to celebrate, I want to look spectacular, not surprised. And, unfortunately, “spectacular” takes a lot more work than it used to.
One benefit of aging I truly enjoy is that my ability to embarrass myself continues to lessen each year as I get either too tired or too busy to care what other people think. But at the same time, my ability to embarrass my son is on the upswing, and it’s proving to be a rather useful behavioral management tool. I hear that in a few years, I’ll be able to embarrass him simply by existing.