My last day as a 38-year-old lady.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I turn 39.

With so many of my friends freaking out about turning 40, 39 seems like a non-event. For that matter, turning 40 seems like none of my concern – kind of like circumcision. I know some people get really worked up about it, but it’s not really my issue.

I guess that means that I like getting older. I’m happier.

Actually, I was way more Zen before I found a white eyebrow today, and before I spent 2 hours talking about marketing with a funeral director.

But still. I am happy.

I’m happy, and I’m thankful for another year. I’m glad I’m not dead yet. Too much to do.

Here’s what I’ve learned – in no particular order:

  • Marrying a computer nerd means you’ll never have to set up a router again. Totally worth it.
  • Sunscreen works. Use it religiously. You’ll thank me at your 20-year reunion.
  • Having a bad dog isn’t necessarily a reflection on you as a person. Some dogs – like some people – are just a few sandwiches short of a picnic basket. Having 1 of those dogs – or people – in your family doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.
  • Order dessert.
  • Get your thyroid tested.
  • Living in an old house is a great way to hide your housekeeping skills or lack thereof. That weird smell? Old house. That crooked wall? Totally made you overlook the giant dust bunny, right?
  • If you feel like going to bed early, go to bed early. It feels decadent, and it’s free.
  • A kind, loving partner is worth the wait. You’ll be glad you didn’t settle. 
  • Being the favorite aunt is super-cool, but sometimes, not being the mom is really hard.
  • People say the wrong thing. Ninety percent of the time, they didn’t mean it. Let it go. Or at least try.
  • Expensive bras are worth it, especially if you’re a lady of a certain … biological wealth.
  • Worrying is, sadly, not an Olympic sport. Put your imagination to better use. Like blogging!
  • If it makes you feel bad, don’t eat it. (Evidently, this doesn’t apply to dogs and poo. They still eat it.)
  • It doesn’t matter how old you are – you always need your parents.
  • French onion dip on a BLT is pretty much the best thing ever.
  • No one knows what they’re doing. We’re all faking it, to varying degrees of success.
  • Because I hate cleaning my car, paying to have it detailed is worth every penny. Sometimes, it’s OK to throw money at a problem to make it go away.
  • Don’t badmouth your friend’s ex because she might get back with him and then you’ll feel dumb and she won’t forget what you said. Unless he’s a total tool, then eventually, she’ll tell you how right you were.
  • Everybody loves Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler.” And if they say they don’t, they’re lying.

What have you learned so far?

Wanna celebrate my birthday? Like noodleroux on Facebook and follow me on Twitter. Yes, I’m trying new things, even at my advanced age. I hope I don’t break a hip.

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  • Reply Green Girl in Wisconsin May 16, 2014 at 2:14 am

    You don't look a day over 30 and that's the one thing about you that disgusts me.
    Old age has taught me patience, mostly. Good shoes are worth the money, it doesn't matter what the kids are into these days, coupons are overrated and thread count matters when you're talking about sheets.

  • Reply michiganme May 16, 2014 at 2:28 am

    Happy Birthday to you!!!

    I have spent the last week reading through your archives and I'm sorry that I'm done because I enjoyed it so much. I laughed out loud so many times—you are hysterical. And touching. And authentic. I love your writing!

  • Reply Cha Cha May 16, 2014 at 3:30 am

    Ha! I dunno, Mel – you're pretty disgusting yourself! Also, I totally agree with you on the life lessons!

  • Reply Cha Cha May 16, 2014 at 3:32 am

    Wowie – thank you so much! I can't even begin to tell you how much I appreciate your kind words. Thank you!

  • Reply Becky May 16, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Happy Birthday!
    Other than a few warranty issues, I like being in my 40's far more than I did my 30's. Turns out, it really was possible to give less of a doo doo what people think about me!
    I concur on the old house as a way of hiding poor housekeeping skills.

  • Reply Holly @ Everydays a Hollyday May 16, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    All of those are true. Except I'm not an aunt. 🙁 But I have a doggie niece and nephew and they love me. Happy early birthday

  • Reply Jenny Hart Boren May 16, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Thirty nine swats and a pinch to grow an inch has a whole new meaning these days, doesn't it? Superb list; and it's nice to know that even if I can honestly say I don't like Kenny Rogers AT ALL, you're big enough to overlook it. I'm so glad I found your blog and I love reading your words. Happy birthday, kid! Many happy returns of the day.

  • Reply Cyndi B. May 16, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Happy Birthday! Hope you have a wonderful day.

  • Reply smalltownme May 16, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Well, that's a good list. Happy Birthday!

  • Reply Banjo Unfabulousness May 16, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Here is what I have learned: Dont let that dress hang in the back of the closet for just the "right" thing. Wear it NOW! Have Monday night dinner on the good china. Take pictures: with other people, by yourself. And laugh EVERY DAY.
    Happy Day of Birth Cha Cha!

  • Reply Cha Cha May 16, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    Thank you all for the kind wishes and shared knowledge. I am a lucky, lucky girl to have such wonderful pals. Thank you!

  • Reply slow panic May 17, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Hope you had a fantastic birthday. I'm with you on the expensive bras and the old house/cleaning theory. completely.

  • Reply Ilyanna Kreske May 19, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Happy birthday! Hope you had a fantastic day.

    I have learned: housework can wait. it's okay to put myself first sometimes. talk less, listen more.

    Many. many joyful returns of the day.

  • Reply Laura May 19, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Happy belated Birthday to you! You are awesome, and I have enjoyed reading for years (although I hardly ever comment.)

    I am learning that whatever age I get to doesn't feel nearly as old as I thought it would. But youth really is wasted on the young – I wish I had my abs back and the ability to quickly rebound from one too many glasses of wine.

    I needed to read this:

    Having a bad dog isn't necessarily a reflection on you as a person. Some dogs – like some people – are just a few sandwiches short of a picnic basket. Having 1 of those dogs – or people – in your family doesn't mean you're a bad person.

    One of my dogs can be a total insane asshat.

  • Reply Laura May 22, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Belated Happy Birthday! I will be joining the ranks of the 39-year-olds in a few weeks. I've learned to keep writing and when you think you've said it all, write some more. And also, it's okay to wear jeans to a cocktail party!

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