September 17, 2014

Down Hill - Why Birthdays Leading Up To A Milestone Age Suck

The other day, it occurred to me I have a birthday coming up. I began to think of gift ideas I could share with my husband (he always asks). Then I realized I am going to turn 46. And I freaked out. In an "OMG, I'm almost 50!" kind of way.

This has happened to me over the past three decades. As soon as I am beyond the midway point, "sliding" toward a milestone birthday, I become full of angst.

I commented on Facebook about my state of anxiety, and found out I am definitely not alone. One friend dubbed them the "downhill" birthdays, and a lively discussion ensued. The general consensus was, birthdays in the second half of a decade suck, at least once you are past a certain age, which seems to be 20. And 50 freaks a lot of people out:

Yeah, I always found that the "downhill" birthdays were a lot more shocking/difficult/whatever than the milestone birthdays. 29 was horrible for me, but 30 was no big deal.

The "downhill birthdays" (that is great!) are definitely a bit harder than the uphill ones.

Hit 46 yesterday and couldn't agree more. Much harder than 40 or 45. Bummer.

Yes, in July, when I turned 49. God help me.

I just turned 47 and yes it does feel worse. My sister said something the other day about me being "almost 50" and if looks could kill she'd be gone.

I was given (without asking for it) the senior citizen discount at Wendy's today. I turn 50 in November. Usually I'm all for saving money but ........ in this case I would have spent the extra thirty cent!

My husband turned 50 this summer, and he seemed to take it all in stride. Although he was pretty quiet about the whole thing. And when I asked if he wanted a party, he chose a family vacation instead.

I know: age is just a number. And by no means I am insinuating I am not comfortable in my own skin. Yes, I am getting grey hairs. I have wrinkles. Parts of me are saggy. But I'm enjoying the best decade of my life so far. I'm not complaining.

I’m aging, and I’m totally cool with it. I’m happy with how I am. Where I am in my life. And I don't seem to be alone in that respect either:

Now I'd rather be 55 than 45. Don't fret. You might have more fun than you would have dared in your forties!!

If you're happy and healthy enjoy every day blessed.

You are not getting older; you are getting better; and consider the alternative.

Age is an attitude.

This is true. But it seems birthdays with a six, seven, eight and nine appear to have some sort of psychological effect on people. Once the milestone birthdays arrive, we're fine. We celebrate and revel in our age. It's the approach to 30, 40, 50 and beyond we dread...

What about you? Have you experienced this? Do you ever freak out about your age, and if so, does that tend to happen in the "downhill" period?

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