When you are little, each birthday is a grand celebration. "What will it feel like to be eight?" you wonder on the eve of your eighth birthday. You are thrilled to hit the double digits at age ten, and full of wondrous anticipation when you turn sixteen: "Will I fall in love this year?"
When you are old, each birthday is a grateful celebration for continued life. If you aren't dead, you are thankful and filled with joy at the opportunity to live each ensuing day. Anyway, some old people say they feel this way, and they are the ones I want to be like.
However, between youth and old age, there is a time when we do not embrace our birthdays. We are not near enough to death's natural portal that we think to be thankful for the gift of life, but we have a dark and heavy feeling that our best years are over.
That is middle age.
And the best years aren't over. I'm going to list 20 good things about middle age.
1. You have learned how to roast a turkey.
2. You are an experienced driver.
3. You are not a slave to peer pressure.
4. You are past the pregnancy days.
5. You are past the getting-up-many-times-in-the-middle-of-the-night days.
6. You have some life experience under your belt.
7. You can afford to do some of the things you've always hoped to do.
8. You don't have to go to school.
9. You know what you are good at.
10. Your kids can tie their own shoes.
11. Your kids don't need any help with bodily functions.
12. Your kids sleep longer than you do.
13. Your kids can drive and sometimes even pick things up for you at the store.(!!!)
14. You can have intelligent conversations with your kids.
15. People sometimes say, "Ma'am" to you and mean it.
16. You understand Dickens.
17. You can go out with your spouse and not hire a babysitter.
18. Your tastes are defined.
19. People judge you on things other than your appearance.
20. Rather than thinking you are wiser than you really are, you are probably wiser than you realize.