I Turned 46 Last Friday

Over the Hill candle

I’m still getting used to saying that: “46.” Just a week ago I was 45—I’d finally gotten used to that after almost a year, and now 46.

Lately, birthdays have been kind of weird for me. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m still a “young parent”—Anna is less than two months from her sixth birthday—or if it’s just because I don’t look my age—despite the scattered grey in my beard. Maybe it’s because I was in grad school when other people my age were working and raising children and now I’m in that 20s and 30s stage when many of my contemporaries have sent the kids off to college. Maybe—in the case of this year anyway—it’s because I’ve lost so much weight and gotten so much healthier that I feel better than I did a year ago.

Whatever it is, I don’t feel 46—or at least I don’t feel like what 46 is supposed to feel like. I don’t feel closer to 50 that to 40, or closer to 60 than to 30, or closer to retirement age than drinking age. But I am.


It’s not even a cool number, like 42—the answer to the question of life, the universe, and everything. I was really hoping to get some insight out of that year. Didn’t happen.

The only thing the least bit interesting about my age is that it always corresponds to the number of the current Super Bowl. Does that mean I can write my age in Roman numerals?


Nah, that makes me feel ancient.

But my birthday was good. Got to sleep in a little bit while Julia put in a few hours at the office and Anna spent the morning at Grandma’s. Then we all went over to the local pizza buffet for lunch and Anna played in their indoor play area for a couple of hours. After that, we returned home and shared chocolate cupcakes that Julia and Anna had baked Thanksgiving afternoon.

It was a good day. I got to spend it with my family, and that’s what matters most. It almost makes up for turning 46.


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