HOLY SHIT! I'M 45.

I am one of the most ridiculously vain people I know. I’ve had my breasts returned to their pre-pregnancy glory, my face frozen and filled, my tummy tucked, and my ass lifted. It’s been a looooong time since I was a natural blond.

Watching my body age is as fascinating as it is horrifying. With menopause looming I find I am enchanted with babies, which is very strange because I’ve never really liked them (even my own whom I love). It’s as if my very last egg is making it’s final plea for procreation. On the one hand, I can’t wait to be rid of the nuisance of my period. On the other, I feel despair knowing that yet another door will be closed forever.

I’ve never wanted or even liked being needed. Yet, as my children reach adulthood I realize that as a “stay at home” mom I have defined and justified myself and my existence based on my ability to meet their needs. Evolutionarily, maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be, but once they’re grown and gone I’m gonna need a whole new reason to get out of bed. Hence VERVE...

Now I worry about my marriage. Despite never having been a “child centric” couple, much of our relationship has been focused on the mutual goal of getting our kids educated, experienced and independent. What will be our joint objective now? We got a taste of what our new life will look like this summer, when for the first time in 18 years, my husband and I were alone in the house for two full weeks. Because I’ve read so many books, seen so many movies and heard so many stories about marriages falling apart once the kids move out, I was both worried and curious about whether that fate would befall the two of us.

......But we had so much fun! What a relief! Granted it was only two weeks and we knew there was an end date, but it left us feeling optimistic about there being another chapter in our lives together. Phew.

At 45, I find myself debating whether a short skirt is too “young” for me to wear. I sometimes think I should cut my hair. I have started to take my long term health seriously. I have quit smoking and am up to date on my annual pap smear and mammogram (I hope you are too). 

Literary fiction no longer grabs me the way it used to. Now I am hungry for “faction”. I’m discovering my friends as the individuals they are and not simply as the moms they were. Best of all, I laugh (mostly at myself) to the point of incontinence more than ever before. With age I’ve become somewhat cynical and yet I continue to grow more liberal. I finally feel like the woman I want to be and not the girl everyone else wanted me to be. I say what I believe and I expect people to believe what I say. I look after my mom instead of the other way around. I can still do the splits.

I don’t know what I expected 45 to be and feel like, but I do know that I didn’t expect it to be this good. Middle age is totally worth the wrinkles... 

Article by Anna Quick-Palmer

emmie cosser