This is 35.

photo 3-5

This is 35.

This is what 35 looks like.

More accurately, this is what a grainy, mostly-in-the-dark iPhone photo of 35 looks like.

It was my birthday this weekend.  I love my birthday.  The beginning of September signals new back-to-school beginnings, and as a school-loving Type-A, September was something to look forward to.  Throw a birthday into the mix of excitement, anxiety, and anticipation, and you’ve got the perfect combination for someone like me.

But this year felt different.  The tides have shifted, the tables have turned, the timing has changed.  I’m not a kid anymore, I’m not a twentysomething, and I’m rounding the bend to 40.  If you’re reading this in your 40’s, you’re probably laughing at me.  If you’re in your 50’s or 60’s, you probably think I’m still young, and if you’re 70+ I’m sure this all seems trivial.  But to me, a change has come.  This is the first year that I’ve ‘felt’ my age, or rather, felt my aging.

35 is children.  35 is a husband.  35 is a career and a mortgage and lots of real-word-really-big responsibilities.

35 is too-old-for-that-skirt.  35 is wrinkles.  35 is bags under the eyes and slower recovery and much more fatigue.

I recently read that people are at their most-stressed at age 35.  I believe it.  I am acutely aware of the fact that my brain feels 21 and my body feels 51.  My world has ramifications and consequences and pressure.  My world has two little people counting on me, and they actually think I know what I’m doing.  My world has moved past sleeping until noon, weekend afternoon movies on the couch, and eating dinner at 9pm.  My world has become RESPs and age spots, property taxes and achy knees, retirement planning and knocks on the bathroom door. 

35 is slobbery kisses.  35 is a hug whenever I need one.  35 is 8 years and 80 more.

35 is understanding.  35 is acceptance.  35 is love.

35 is pretty.  Damn.  Good.

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6 thoughts on “This is 35.

  1. Laura says:

    Happy 35th Ashley. Ash, if your body feels like 51, then maybe it is time to not push it so hard. I am not a Doc, but if your body is complaining, then it rest a bit.

  2. Erick & Carol Landmark says:

    Dearest Ashley, oh! to be 35 again!!! Enjoy!!!!!!!!1 Very well written!! Hope you got my Birthday card and had a wonderful day!!, xo, Auntie C

  3. George McMenemy says:

    Ashley: I enjoyed your thoughts on age 35. The knees I can relate to in a big way, but they still are running good. George

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