Today is my birthday. And not just any birthday. My 45th birthday. Let me be the first to say – YIKES! Where did those 45 years go?! I will admit that a year ago, I would have never put myself on birthday blast like this. Since the age of about 34, I’ve met most birthdays with the same excitement of going to the dentist for a root canal.
I would begrudgingly plan yet another birthday dinner with the “girls”, or in the case of my 40th, plan a trip home to Alabama to avoid the obligatory girls birthday dinner. Though, I have attended plenty of 35th, 40th, 45th and 50th birthday festivities for my lady friends, not once in all my adult life did I do a big blow out birthday celebration for any milestone birthday. All because it was a constant reminder that I was single for another birthday (we won’t even mention the dreaded holidays).
I’m not sure how being blessed to turn another year older became a thing of such trepidation, just because I was and am single? Maybe it was the pressure and outside validation from society, friends, family with the age-old (pun intended) question of, “How can you be so fabulous AND still be single?!?” And I would think, you’re not helping and BTW do you say out loud to marrieds on their birthdays, “How can you be so fabulous AND still be married to that jackass?!” I know that there are lots of other single women out there who felt the same about their “spinster birthday”.
Of course, birthdays and New Year’s are always a time of introspection and reflection on what we have or haven’t accomplished since the last one. And inevitably, if I was single or not at least dating someone to say nothing of it being a successful relationship or not, that would become my benchmark for a happy birthday. All in spite of what I may have accomplished since the last birthday. For example, by the time I had my 42nd birthday, I had just closed on and started to renovate a brownstone in Brooklyn – all by myself. Instead of taking pride in that pretty awesome accomplishment, it was marred in my mind by being single and having to do it on my own. When I reflect on that now, I know I was nuts! Absolutely cray cray!!
This birthday is different. Different because I no longer feel like there’s anything to dread, maybe because I’m on the other side of my unfulfilled biological clock that once drove me to considering coupling off – by any means necessary. When birthday aafter birthday it didn’t materialize, it was another reminder that somehow my birthday wasn’t worthy of celebration. Now, on my 45 birthday, I see the blessing in simply being alive with two of my three parents still with me, all of my siblings, nephews, nieces and a host of friends and loved ones to share it with. I’m also, thankfully wiser and on a mission. A mission to let every single woman of “certain age” know that not only is it okay to be a single woman over 35, but to offer her a place to embrace, discuss and celebrate themselves here at The Spinsters Union.
For the record, I’m not saying that I don’t want to meet the right man, because I do and will when the time is right, however, I know that I won’t have to delay my self-ebration because happiness is right where I am now, with or without a man. That said, I have no dinner or trip planned to ring in my special day. I just want to be in the moment and enjoy my own company, the very thing that I have avoided for the better part of my adult life. I will definitely plan a dinner or party later in the year, but my celebration is truly coming from the inside out this year.
I’m looking forward to the next half of my life with excitement, wonderment and immense gratitude. I hope that all of us approaching a milestone birthday or any birthday, will do so with joy and purpose for another year to do things that matter to you, and hopefully help and inspire people in the process. I took that joy and purpose for granted in the first half of my life, but I won’t in the second half. I hope you’ll find that here at The Spinsters Union. That would be the best birthday present ever.
Happy Birthday to ME!!