Fabulous at… wait, how old am I?


I turn 43 today. It’s interesting and uninteresting at the same time. I still feel strong and fit, but I hear my mom when I sneeze or bend over to pick something up. I also have a harder time remembering how many candles should be on my birthday cake, much less how old I am on any other given day. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I celebrated turning 40?

Last week, I spent some time studying my reflection and looking for signs of the older woman I was becoming. My hair is far from the blond it once was, but it’s turning more brown than gray, which makes me think a nice silver or white could really brighten things up again. I didn’t notice any serious wrinkles yet, but my Search and Destroy mission did uncover a nice set of jowls taking shape. This discovery helped me understand why my husband keeps asking why I’m mad all the time if I’m not smiling — it turns out, I really do have “resting bitch face,” and now I know that my newly acquired jowls are to blame.

So, despite a pandemic and the discovery of jowls, 43 seems rather unremarkable so far, and I hope it stays that way. It also appears to be the year that I purchase a facial massager, start compulsively Googling “how to stop jowls from sagging naturally,” and try to learn how to sleep on my back — you know, to help gravity do the job for me.

I feel pretty lucky that’s all I have to worry about right now, and that I can instantly reverse these signs of aging by finding something to smile about.

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Heidi Van Heel

Heidi Van Heel

Writer, freelancer, and believer in magic living in Minneapolis. In my free time, I love reading, exploring the great outdoors, and experimenting in the kitchen.

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