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At 28 I stopped looking forward to birthdays. It wasn’t angst, just indifference. I had bigger fish to fry: a career to sort out, a marriage to build, and at some point, children to bear. Our 30s were a reckoning for us all as we barreled toward adulthood. Clubs and bars were replaced with mortgages and pre-schools, and as I recall, we never looked back — and for some unknown reason, I stopped keeping track of my age.

I can’t say the same of 40. Approaching 40 stirred up the same dread you feel when you show up to class unprepared for a midterm. I panicked. It forced upon me reflection, analysis, and worst of all, regret. I no longer saw a road ahead full of adventure and possibility; instead, turning 40 forced me to take inventory of my life. And this personal audit? Well, I was found lacking. It was an awakening.

These last few years, when asked my age, I find myself doing some quick math. The power of denial is a force to be reckoned with. My husband is also afflicted with this type of denial memory loss. So much so we spent this year thinking we were 42 years old. Typically people lie about their age; you know, make themselves younger. Somehow we managed to make ourselves older. Basically, we stink at math and our memory is shot.


How do two reasonably healthy people forget their age?  I don’t know. But as we blew out B’s birthday candles, we did some quick math again, double checked it with a calendar, and realized we had been mistaken all along!

The whole notion of forgetting one’s age is preposterous to our kids. But realizing we are a year younger than we thought does not seem so unusual to some our friends, who anecdotally, tend to forget their age as well.

We’ve since enrolled in Lumosity — a website designed to “improve brain performance and enhance memory and attention.”

The memory exercises, when one remembers to do them, are supposed to be quite helpful 🙂