Something happened. It is kind of horrible and wonderful all at the same time. I am trying to find the right words to use to talk about it but I’m almost speechless. But here it goes….I turned 45!!!

45!!!!!! How the heck am I 45???? I looked in the mirror this morning and thought, “Is this the face of a 45 year old?” I guess I am showing some wear and tear but I don’t think I will ever be one of those women who “do something” about aging. (Well….I do dye my gray hair.)

I started to look at my face more and I said to myself “You don’t look 45, go have a nice day and don’t sweat it!” But then I put on my glasses….because we all know there is some weird point after you turn 40 that your eyes start to go.

Um, maybe my glasses should have stayed off! I AM showing some lines on my face. Are they wrinkles or just the storyline of my life?

On the left side, there is a deep-set wrinkle. As much as I pull my skin it won’t go away. I think this is the frown line I make every time I’m sick. 44 was really a rough health year for me. I spent week upon week in pain struggling to know if I was going to get through this particular flare up of my Crohn’s disease. It has left more scars on me than just this wrinkle. It has been emotionally hard to be in this loop over and over in my life but I am determined to continue fighting the battle. I don’t have a choice.

The good thing is also on my left side there are some crinkly lines by my eyes. I know these creases well. These are my laugh lines brought on by my husband. Every year I am with him, I see more of these on my face. He is my smile and my joy. He has found a way to bring out parts of me that I never knew existed and frankly he is what it means to be loved by someone.

Moving on over to the right side of my face, I see a little brown blotch by the side of my mouth. Hmmm, what does that represent? Oh wait, that is some of my breakfast that I didn’t wipe off. Ooops. I guess that also represents how my love of food has grown and my love for writing Felt Like a Foodie. Even not feeling well this past year, my blog has allowed me to take cooking classes, go on an amazing cheese tour of Wisconsin and watch James Beard Award winning chefs cook.   It is a gift I don’t overlook. (Unlike overlooking wiping my mouth when I eat.)

I see other smile lines that I know are from my friends and family. Every year I am lucky enough to keep adding to the list of people who care for me and in turn who I care for too. They can be new pals that pull me into their own circle of friends to someone I’ve met at a food event to a new baby in the family. It is amazing sometimes to look around and know you love so many people and so many of them love you back.

I do have a pretty big groove between my eyebrows, which shows that my mind is always thinking. I am thinking of the gifts that life has given me and hoping that in some ways I can pay this world back. I am thinking of things that I have done that I want to make better. I am thinking that growing older is something I should rejoice in because my life’s road has been fraught with illness. (Now I am thinking who the hell says “fraught?”) I am thinking that every day is as happy as I make it and I am in control of how my tale ends.

Whether I view them as wrinkles, creases or lines, they are telling a story with every smile and every frown. I get why people may want to hide them or make them disappear but I see it as tearing out a chapter in a book that is still being written.

As I take off my glasses again, I see smoothness to my skin. It is a blank piece of paper for another year. Life will add to the story in the way it sees fit and I hope I can just look at myself and continue to tell the adventure of a very fortunate life.