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Family Matters: Happy Birthday to Me

Birthday CakeLast Thursday was my birthday.

Never being one for trying to hide my age, I’ll just go ahead and tell you that I turned 41.

Age is just a number, after all.

Truth be told, I love being 41 more than I loved being 21. I was too tired to remember 31; I had two kids under age 2 then.

Finally at 41, as opposed to 21, I love myself. It doesn’t matter that my thighs are a little heavier, the grays in my hair are a little more numerous or that my laugh lines are really wrinkles. I like me. It took a long time to get to that place. It hasn’t been an easy journey. I’m my own biggest critic. I feel guilty about pretty much everything, and I spend way too much time obsessing about how to control each nuance of my life. Now, at 41, I can look in the mirror and see a friend. I see someone who works really hard. I see a good mom (oh yeah, I make parenting mistakes all the time, but I have to give my children fodder for their future therapy, after all). I see a great friend and the decent person I try to be (yeah, I have also made mistakes there, but I can also say I’ve learned from them). I see someone who doesn’t try to stifle their intelligence but doesn’t lord it over anyone either. I see a person who has thrown all of herself into her children. I see a tireless (or is that tired??) volunteer. I see someone who can finally take a compliment (most of the time). I also see someone who values her own worth. I didn’t see any of that at 21. I saw fat, flab, insecurities and a person who did not love herself as much as she wanted others to love her.

I like being 41; it’s going to be a happy year.

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