I have arrived: the middle-ages. At 54, it is obvious to me that I have arrived. The middle-aged body is here. I see it in my photos; I see it when I look in the mirror; I see it when I put on swimwear.

And I like it. 

But there is one part of my middle-aged body I like the most. 

I wondered when I was about 35 years old what my middle-aged body was going to be like. I knew that I had some power over it at that age, and I was diligent then to work out consistently, doing focused weight training; I ate healthfully, took good care of my skin, and tried to get plenty of sleep. But I knew there would be some changes even all that could not stave off. Eating all the great nutrition in the world is not going to keep one from aging. It’s just the way it is. So, at that point in time, I wondered what the changes would be and when they would begin to show up. 

I don’t have to wonder anymore, many of them are starting to come into reality!

And I have to tell you that I am excited to be moving into the middle-aged years. There’s a certain freedom that I have heard about which comes with these years, and I can feel that freedom. There’s a lot of relentless pressure put on women (and a lot we put on ourselves) to stay pretty, to stay sexy, to stay desirable as society deems that to be, and in the middle-aged years, some of that pressure relaxes, if one allows it to.  

I know one thing about myself—I am not the type of person who wants to go in for cosmetic procedures here and there to delay the inevitable effects aging will have on my body. I welcome the aging process with grace and contentment, knowing that I’m doing my part: staying hydrated, sleeping enough, continuing to eat well, and exercising consistently. 

And what is it that I like most about my middle-aged body, you want to know? 

I’ll tell you—it’s the big smile on my face that is there nearly all of the time now. I love that smile. And I love the laugh lines around my eyes and mouth. I’m happy, and it shows up more on the middle-aged face. 

I love that!