‘OMG I can’t believe you are 47.’: Mom urges ‘I’m alive to live this life to the fullest, and I will do just that’

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“Universe: OMG I can’t believe you are 47.

Me: It’s okay, age really is just a number.

Universe: You spent your birthday dinner covered in root beer. Your watch was stuck to your arm you were so sticky.

Me: Oh, believe me, I remember. It was a bumpy start, but you know what? I’ll forever remember my 47th birthday dinner. Lots of lessons learned for our kids. Not to mention the amount of laughter…it turned out to be a really joyous night. Did you see my cake?

Universe: Aren’t you getting tired of being tired?

Me: I don’t think there will ever be a day when I’m not a little bit tired. But, as long as I’m alive to feel tired, it’s okay.

Universe: Didn’t I overhear you calling a periodontist the other day? Are you worried this is the beginning of the breakdown? After all, you are 47.

Me: First of all, what’s the number got to do with anything? Second, you need to take a seat. For your information, yes, I did call a periodontist. My gums are a total wreck, and I probably need to have a graft. But, I have a wonderful dentist who fit me in to look at my mouth, and she assured me it wasn’t anything life-threatening. She also put me in touch with a great periodontist. She’s amazing! It’s not ideal to have another procedure, but when you have the right people around you, it makes a huge difference.

Universe: Okay, okay, but what about your nose? I was there when you had that appointment. Sis, no offense, but your nose is a total wreck.

Me: Have you ever heard of a HIPPA violation? I think you need to stay TF out of my doctor appointments.

Universe: I heard what she’s going to do to your nos—

Me: Stop. It could be so much worse. Again, I’m in such good hands! You know, there’s a really good argument to be made about mixing business and pleasure. I mean, relying on friends or people you know for professional support. I reached out to a friend for my nose consult, and now I couldn’t imagine seeing anyone else but her. She’s amazing, too. Essentially, yes, my nose has fallen, and it can’t get up…thankfully she can fix it, and I’ll be able to breathe normally again.

middle-aged mom drinking out of a mug
Courtesy of Melanie Forstall

Universe: Do I need to remind you that you are still living in a pandemic and just went through a category 4 hurricane? The university where you work literally shut down for three solid weeks and now you have to make all that up.

Me: You don’t need to remind me of anything. Every morning when I make sure both kids have masks on is reminder enough. But hey, I’d rather them be in school face-to-face every day than at home trying to learn virtually. It’s really a small sacrifice. And not to mention, attitude is everything. If I’m okay with it, they will be too.

As for work? I’m just thankful I have such an amazing job. It will all work out—it always does. Maybe you should try being more faithful and less worried.

Universe: Okay, okay, but aren’t you getting tired of how busy life is getting with your kids’ schedules? I mean, the girl swims some beastly schedule 4 days a week. Then she’s got all those meets to compete in. The boy is busy, too. Not to mention homework, cotillion classes, and didn’t you just schedule family pictures? I’m pretty sure it’s going to rain.

Me: Here’s the thing—it’s always going to be busy. No matter what, who, or when, there will always be something to do, and I’m lucky that I get to do it. These things are not things I have to do, they are things I get to do. Don’t you already know that my husband does a lot of carpooling? I’m really lucky.

There’s a difference between have to and get to. I’m lucky to be on this earth to watch her swim, watch him in the gym, hear about cotillion, help with homework, and have a family to take pictures with. Rain or shine. It is all about how you look at it.

Universe: Well—

Me: Let me stop you right there. You can throw all of this and more at me, but it’s not going to matter. This is how resilience is made, and attitude is everything. I’m learning to lean into the madness and uncertainty. I also know that nothing is for sure, so we make the best of what is offered to us. Always.

Universe: But—

Me: You are wasting your time. Yes, lots of physical changes happen around 47, but there are a lot of other changes, too. Things like confidence, laser-like focus on what really matters, and intolerance of crappy behavior.

Life is good—no matter how busy, uncertain, or challenging. Have you met my kids and husband? I hit the jackpot with them. Don’t even get me started on my awesome friends. I am one lucky woman. I’m alive to live this life to the fullest, and I will do just that. Every day is a good day; even with really bad gums, a wrecked nose, and a crazy carpool schedule.

Hang in there, y’all.”

Mom with her kids smiling outside of house
Courtesy of Melanie Forestall

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Melanie Forstall of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. You can follow her journey on Instagram here and Facebook here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more stories from Melanie here:

‘What the hell is that? Is it POOP? How did it survive the wash cycle?! Wait, can poop be sanitized?’: Mom hilariously recounts ‘heart-stopping’ moment of confusion, ‘Hang in there, y’all’

‘I blurted, ‘I’m already ready for school to start!’ I’d forgotten how to act normal in public.’ Without hope I’m lost.’: Mom says of extended summer, ‘I’ve had plenty, thanks’

‘We left home on our bikes and didn’t return until the street lights came on. Growing up as a kid in the 80s totally prepared me for this.’: Mom encourages kids to have 80s-style independence

‘She’s 12 years old and has her first job. Four days a week. I don’t know about you, but I know for sure I wasn’t doing this.’: Mom proud of 12-year-old for first job, ‘There is not a sliver of my younger self in her’

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