December 22, 2054
My Dearest Tracy,
Happy 46th Birthday! I know what you’re thinking right now. You’re thinking – whoa when your mother was 46 SHE WAS old. Because people in their 40s were OLD. And maybe you are even thinking as you drive by the colleges in your neighborhood that those college kids look about 13 years old and that you are MORE THAN OLD enough to be their mother. Also, you worry that they aren’t wearing a heavy enough coat for the weather.
Well get over it.
You should see what 86 looks like. Oh honey, you just cannot even imagine how it is when you feel about 29 years old inside and then you pass by a mirror and wonder who the hell that old person is with your eyes staring back at you. Well, by my age let’s just say that I’ve peed myself more times than I’d like to admit because of that scary old lady who now shows up in my reflection. And I know you’ve started to feel that way about yours. That you expect to see your perky 32 year old adult face. But now…
Well get over it. Because at 86, well 46 is youthful. It’s the prime of your life. And it’s time you started enjoying it more. So here’s a little list of 10 things I want you to appreciate now and continue to think about as you age. Because things really start to go to shit eventually, and peeing yourself actually becomes such a minor inconvenience.
1. See those wrinkles all over your face. Maybe starting down your neck. Oh honey – those are nothing. Just minor beautiful marks of age and wisdom. 40 years from now you might lose small kittens in your wrinkles as they are so deep. Please stop buying the latest and greatest creams and lotions and embrace this natural process. Spend your money on good wine and time with friends instead. Oh – and by the way you did it! You aged “gracefully” and “gratefully” if you will, and you never did do botox or get any nips and tucks that sadly continue to get more popular. The best remedy for wrinkles is laughter. Laugh more.
2. Do you remember the other day when your husband said “Hey Trace, you have a little chocolate smudge on your face?” And you were all like “DUDE – don’t touch my fucking face!” Yeah, because it wasn’t chocolate but an age spot that showed up on your cheek? Well maybe it’s time to just get used to people trying to wipe chocolate off of your face, because that is the first of many spots to appear. Also, this gives you an excuse to just eat all the damn chocolate that you want.
3. So your butt is starting to go south, huh? Oh poor dear. And your knees are saggy. You look down and wonder how your grandmother’s knees became attached to your body? You can run 50 miles a week(You DO!), do 1000 squats, yoga, CrossFit, and eat right – but gravity is REAL. Who gives a shit though, right? You are fabulous just how you are and it’s time to embrace it, and sure maybe giggle about your body at every age. And don’t bitch to me about gravity until your 32AA boobs miraculously reach your belly button. Think about that for a moment.
4. Sex. Have more. Sure it changes as you’re getting older. You’re tired because you ate dinner at 4pm and went to bed by 7pm. Or your kids never left home. Good news – yours DID leave home! Sure you don’t look like you did when you guys first met when you were 29, but who does. And who cares. Enjoy it while you’re still flexible and not worried about breaking a hip.
5. Don’t ever stop exercising. Ever. Little secret – you no longer run a marathon in under four hours – but you still run marathons. Exercise will always keep you young and fit and mentally present. I mean there was that one time you went for a run and kind of forgot where you were – but we are blaming that on menopause.
6. Don’t live in a world of denial and vanity – and just buy those damn reading glasses. Stop making your kids read everything for you, borrowing glasses from friends, just ordering the special, or stop reading all together. Embrace the readers. Get cool readers – hell even Anthropologie sells reading glasses. Don’t suffer and do without for vanity ever. Oh, by the way Anthropologie is no longer in business. I guess $200 velvet fedoras adorned with vegan leather plumes are no longer in fashion.
7. Wear whatever the hell you want to wear. Except purple. Don’t ever wear old lady purple or a damn red hat. There’s not an age when you should not wear certain items – short skirts, tank tops, bikinis, high heels. Wear what you are comfortable wearing and show off those amazing legs for as long as you want to, dammit. Societal rules be damned. Sport that bikini if you want to. The human body is gorgeous – in all of its imperfections, wrinkles, and sags. Embrace it and never cover up the grace and beauty of aging. Flaunt it and live a wonderful life without worrying about comparing, covering, or cowering.
8. Travel more – sorry, even if it means going into debt. Even if it means blowing all of your retirement savings and pissing off your children because you will leave them with nothing. Even if it means living in a one room apartment with your 40 cats. The only way to really continue to understand the world is to see the world. Don’t stop taking the journeys your started in your 20s – because by your 80s you still won’t have seen it all. But try. Continue to travel to help others. Continue to travel to experience new places, cultures, and food. Continue to travel to unwind and touch all of the oceans.
9. I hate to tell you this – but this whole internet things just continues to get bigger – with more and easier ways to connect with friends and strangers. Don’t ever be a stranger to technology. You can talk about the good old days when Facebook was all the rage for the middle aged people. But it’s not anymore. In fact there’s a Facebook museum thing you can visit and pull up your wall from 2015. It’s adorable. Stay current – it keeps your mind sharp and makes it easy to spy on your grandkids.
10. Keep trying new things. Don’t ever get set in your ways. I see it starting for you already. People are interesting creatures how they migrate to what is easy and comfortable. Don’t do that. Don’t atrophy your body, spirit or mind by routine and the predictable. Try new things, go new places, have sex at 2pm on a Thursday, take up snowboarding, go back to school and learn something new. Read new and more books. Give back to others in new ways. Challenge yourself.
Honey, you have 60 more years of a beautiful life to live. 46 is still young with years left to discover the beauty of yourself and the world. Don’t let the mirror scare you or control you – because what we have to give – our human gifts – come from the inside. And that my dear is still oh so young and fresh and ready to do big things.
Live a good, honest, big life. The best is yet to come. No regrets. Hell – that tattoo you get for your 65th birthday is still your favorite.
Happy Birthday, Tracy.