This is Forty-Five

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I’ve never been a huge fan of birthdays. Another year has passed. I am another year older. I have a few more grey hairs and a few more wrinkles. I have that thing where you walk into a room and can’t remember why you went in there in the first place. I have random black hairs popping up on my chin. My hands look old. What the hell is there to celebrate?! Birthday celebrations have never, ever seemed like a good idea to me. Ever. Even before the grey hair and the wrinkles, I have never truly felt like celebrating my birthday.

Well, Saturday is my 45th birthday. I remember a time when that age seemed so old to me. Ancient really. But now at 45 it feels good. 45 is good. Young enough to feel fantastic and healthy but old enough to have acquired some strength and wisdom. Young enough to date 30-year-old men but old enough to know it’s just good fun. Young enough to make a career change if I can work it out but old enough to not make any sudden moves. At 45 I find myself single, free and truly in the prime of my life. So much to celebrate. And for the first time, in a long time, I do feel like celebrating!

So how does one celebrate one’s 45th birthday? It’s not 40. It’s not 50. It’s not that big of a deal but still it feels worthy of a somewhat significant event to mark the occasion. I thought about planning a drunken night of karaoke with friends. I thought about planning a fancy multi-course dinner. And then it came to me – I want to host a Saturday brunch with a group of fabulous women in my life!

Saturday at 11:00 a.m. I will meet up with 7 amazing women at a local, yummy brunch spot in downtown Chicago. We will catch up on each others lives. We will laugh. We might cry. We will eat bacon. We will drink mimosas. We will celebrate. This group of women have lived their lives. Three of us have been divorced. One more is right in the middle of it. One is a dedicated and fantastic mother and wife. The rest of us don’t have children and are currently single. Two are cancer survivors. One is a triathlete. One runs marathons. Most of us have lost someone close to us. Two are in career limbo. We have all experienced emotional pain. Three of the ladies are older than me. Three are younger.

And here’s where I find myself at 45. I feel silly for not embracing celebrating my birthday in years past. I finally understand that birthdays are a celebration of life, not a marker of aging. On Saturday, I want to celebrate not just my time on the earth but the energy and spirituality that connects all of us. And I am so thankful for the amazing women in my life. As we lift our mimosas we will toast to life and love and loss and birthdays! Cheers.

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