Aging Gracefully?

40th-Birthday-Gag-GiftOn Friday night I was volunteering for a young adult event, sitting at the registration table between two college interns aged 21 and 20.  I’m 40.  First, I realized quickly I was old enough to be their (very young) mother.  And that made me feel uneasy. They assured me I didn’t “look 40.”  Super sweet but the reality is, I am 40.

When I left the event around 9:15pm, they said, “Why are you leaving so early?”

My response: “I’m 40 and tired, and that’s the beauty of aging – you can leave an event early if you feel like it.”  I went home and watched an episode of Tyrant on Hulu.

Last night a late 20-something guy wrote to me on OkCupid and said, “There’s no way you’re 40.  You’re 30 at the most.”  I loved it.  But it also annoyed me.  Because I am 40.

I’m not saying I want to be treated like an older person, but at the same time, I have 40 years of life behind me.  I started working full-time around 24, so I’ve got 16 years under my belt.  And if you think about my first job at age 11 as a babysitter of 3 boys, I’ve been working for nearly 30 years.

It’s a tough age to be single.  Someone with kids once said he wasn’t sure we could date because I don’t have kids.  I’m basically too old to have kids so that ship has sailed.  Yet because I don’t have kids I can pick up at a moment’s notice and meet a friend for dinner or drinks…if I’m not working or volunteering.

Is age but a number?

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