I reached the milestone of forty years of age last July. I promptly learned that you should NOT watch the movie “This is Forty” the night before your fortieth birthday while drinking Jameson cut with Budweiser. This is particularly true if close relatives reveal that they obviously wrote the lead characters based on you and your spouse. The movie is funny as Hello-Kitty on water skis; but also pretty sad at times. You might end up crying uncontrollably to your entire extended family.

SQUIRREL: Also, if you do not have brothers DO NOT watch “American Pie” while pregnant with your first son. Doing so may also results in uncontrollable tears and a feeling of being completely unprepared. Learn from my mistakes people.

Back on topic: I further learned that I should maybe not speak my fears of aging in my out loud voice to my mother. Apparently doing so results in great amusement… on her part… in the form of laughter… not the kind done WITH me…

My mother is a very pragmatic woman. When she finished, and realized that I wasn’t also laughing; she proceeded to tell me, quite logically, that I need to come to terms with my looks fading and my getting old. Truthfully, I think she might have found me hilarious because she is sitting next to me thinking… “HOW ON EARTH DO YOU THINK I FEEL?? I HAVE A FORTY YEAR OLD DAUGHTER!” So, I wasn’t laughing, but I don’t actually think she was laughing AT me.

As usual, mom is right. Which is both comforting and super annoying. Unfortunately, logic has very little to do with emotion.

I’m scared. I’m scared because being attractive is part of how I identify myself. I’m scared because I devote a great deal of time and effort into my fitness. I’m petrified of my body not working properly. Pushing hard blesses me a sense of strength. I’m not myself without a proper daily sweat and lungs on fire.

Then there is also my mind! Holy hello-kitty what will I do if I lose my mind? Which, by-the-way, is balanced carefully on a frightful precipice. Clearly.

I lose my keys and phone on a minute by minute basis. Can this get worse? Smart is a major way I identified myself, (not wise… obviously… someone who mixes Jameson with Budweiser is either genius or terribly unwise, or both). What would it be like if I lost “smart?” Stupid people DO seem happy and oblivious, so maybe that will work out.

Anyway, I am well aware that I will age. I am confident, (way down deep in my heart and totally not in my head area)… that God will give me the tools to find a new identity when the need arises. So, Why am I sharing this fear? Because sometimes, when you say something in your out loud voice, it gets a little less scary. Moreover, when you hear someone else speak your fears, you feel a little less alone. That is the point of sharing.

Therefore, I am writing to all of you that share in my fear of aging. I am writing to all of you that are trying to find a new way to identify yourself. I am writing to those that are beating themselves up because they think the fear is petty and invalid. Your emotions

are not invalid and you are not alone. You face a challenge that you must conquer.

So, remember: the amazing moments pictured in this blog could never happen if we didn’t age. I have been blessed to know and be close to great-grandparents, grandparents & parents alike. Pictured here is my maternal grandmother, my mother, myself (about 16 years ago), and my oldest daughter; just hanging out on the front stoop enjoying a beautiful day. How blessed am I? How blessed are my children? We are blessed beyond words…