As you approach a birthday you are dreading, ignore the voice in your head that pretends you want to hide, lay low, and make it like any other day.
It is not. It is your birthday. And if you refuse to acknowledge it, in all its glory, you may end up feeling… well… old.
Typically, I have no problem with birthdays. They are an excuse to be a princess, kick back a little, go out, and do something fun.
Not so at forty-six.
Forty-six is dangerously close to 50. My skin doesn’t glow. My knees ache when I run. And construction workers don’t even look up when I walk by.
So at 46, I was feeling unusually grumpy about my birthday. I made no special plans for that day or evening.
Big mistake. “I am 46, I am 46, I am 46, I am 46” reverberated even louder, because it was not balanced out with “and we get to go out tonight!”
So I have a new game plan.
1) For the week leading up to my birthday, I am going to remind everyone it is coming. Instead of me hearing “I am 47, I am 47, I am 47,” all my friends will. That will translate into a bunch of fun emails and calls on the big day, and I will be grateful that the day was mine even if all the self-PR is obvious and slightly tacky.
2) I will celebrate myself by doing something that makes me happy: a hike or a long day by the pool with a book.
3) I will go out to dinner with anyone who will come with me – my husband, the kids, my parents, my sisters, my friends, or even their kids. It does not matter who or where, but I will not cook or do dishes ever again on July 16.
4) I will polish my toenails. Nail polish makes feet look younger. Or at least it says that the old lady with the pretty toes is young at heart and can still bend over to polish without falling on her face.
I’ve got my game on for forty-seven.