I mean, really?! How can it be that I will be forty years old in less than two months?

I’ve seen it coming for some time now. It started gradually enough.

Slowly, but surely, the daring nighties and satin bras took flight from their lavender paper lined home. The unmentionable drawer is now teeming with mammoth, cotton bloomers in shades of white, off white and gray (for those rare date nights). Bras are utilitarian these days– the farther they can keep the girls from pointing south, the better.

My Cosmopolitan and Glamour magazines have long been replaced with More, Prevention and other pubs geared toward the “older” generation. It just makes more sense to know the best way to great colon health than the most exciting public place for an intimate encounter. Those kinds of things left the radar after two kids anyway.

Also, I’m very happy to see that everyone is on a high-fiber-tons-of-grain bandwagon. Having a grocery cart filled with Fiber One Bars, Flaxseed, and triple-bran cereals isn’t quite so embarrassing these days. Strategically separating them in the cart between the shampoo, produce and pork rinds helps, too.

I’ve actually embraced the notion of being in a higher age bracket. It won’t be too much harder to bubble in the next option in questionnaires. At least I can still read them without the aid of reading glasses.

And I can still get around pretty well. Athletic Conditioning class at the Y has helped tremendously. And how many dangerously close to forty year olds do you know who can sprint, lift weights, jump rope, and run flights of stairs for a solid hour without puking? Okay, maybe most of the other people in my class – and probably most of the people who come to the Y. But that’s not my point.

My point is, even though I’m obviously older than I was twenty years ago. I’m actually stronger (even though the muscles are hidden under a layer or two of fluff). Being able to keep up with my kids on the playground, and sometimes beat them in a foot race, is an unbelievable feeling.

Yes, I’m almost forty. And I say “Yay!” to that. I’ve earned these wrinkles, and I display them proudly (plus, most of the creams and gels I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on over the years just don’t work!).

I’m blessed with an incredible family and exceptional friends who encourage, challenge and love me. I’m also closer to my Lord than I was twenty years ago. Sometimes growth has been a mere crawl, but I’m getting there.

I wouldn’t change being forty for anything. Okay, maybe one Friday night I’d like to stay up past midnight without having to hibernate for two days to make up for it. Other than that, I’m good.

So I’m counting down the days to my birthday, but not with fear and trepidation. I will greet it with a renewed sense of adventure for life. I vow to challenge myself spiritually, physically and mentally – even if that means running up an extra flight of stairs every now and then.