Age is Just a Number Blog Series – Whitney Dineen talks turning 30 and then 40
I’m stoked to get the Age is Just a Number Blog series rolling. First up is Whitney Dineen. Whitney is the author of She Sins at Midnight. Her post shows that contrary to popular belief, sometimes life gets better as we get older. (Hooray!)
The morning my mom turned thirty, she slammed back two martinis before lunch, ostensibly, to inebriate herself into submission. Even as the proud mother of two (beyond adorable children), wife to one, homeowner, budding gourmet cook and journalist, she needed sedation to handle this milestone.
Enter me. I always assumed that by the time I turned the big 3-0, I’d be head of the P.T.A. , proud mother of between two and four stellar offspring, happy owner of a state of the art minivan and still manage to keep my size six 6 rear end in quarter bouncing shape. I would do this by playing competitive tennis at the local country club where I would be dining 1-3 times a week; the fact that I had never played tennis never entered into my fantasy. Oh, and I’d have a cleaning lady. Cause with my rigorous duties as June Cleaver, there would be no time to clean my own toilets. I think I might have had a gardener too, but I’m a bit fuzzy on that.
The reality was a radically different animal. I was married to the man of my dreams and had been for eight years. So yes, score one for me! My svelte size six butt was buried deeply under what I like to call think of its protective layer, my size fourteen butt. My children were still in egg form so there was no need to own a minivan, the P.T.A. didn’t want me without kids and still had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. Happily, my husband and girlfriends threw me a surprise party so I could join the family tradition of tying one on to “celebrate” entrance into my fourth decade of life.
In great contrast to my misery over turning thirty, turning forty was full of joy! I was happily pregnant with my first daughter after several miscarriages. I decided minivans were ugly and I didn’t really want one. The dream of playing tennis and having a size six derriere seemed so foolish as if not to even matter anymore, and while I did have a gardener, I valiantly cleaned my own toilets. When I turned forty, I was convinced that life couldn’t possibly be any sweeter.
Here’s what came next. In the last five years, our house came perilously close to burning down in the San Gabriel fires, my father-in-law died, we packed up our lives and moved to Oregon, we added another healthy pregnancy and daughter to the mix, my butt never did get smaller, I am my own gardener, I still clean my own toilets, and my husband was diagnosed with stage four cancer.
This is what growing older has taught me about life. Age is just a number, not a deadline on happiness. Health and love are the most important forms of prosperity you can own. Who cares how big your butt is?
Link to She Sins at Midnight:
“This whirlwind comedy/drama…centers on Lila Montgomery and her high school crush, a hilarious cat fight with a Hollywood starlet and her award-winning romance novel nobody know about. This fun, quick read examines the envies and dissatisfactions in women’s lives, reassuring reader that no one’s life is truly perfect.” –Kirkus
While attending the University of Illinois in Chicago, Whitney Dineen was discovered by a local modeling agent and began an unexpected career as a plus-size Ford model. She modeled in New York City before moving to Los Angeles with her husband.
When she wasn’t modeling, she was in the kitchen, baking delights to share with friends. Soon, her friends began asking her to send baskets of her wonderful candies and cookies to business associates, agents and production studios. Word spread like wildfire, and the rest, as they say, is history. Whitney’s sensational creations are still in great demand by her loyal celebrity clientele (www.WhitneysGoodies.com).
During “The Hollywood Years,” Whitney was bitten by the writing bug and started creating characters that are inspired by strong women with a great sense of humor.
In addition to her love of chick-lit, Whitney has also written a series of adventure books for middle readers The first of which, Wilhelmina and the Willamette Wig Factory, is nearing completion.
Whitney and her husband, Jimmy, have recently relocated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest to raise their children, chickens and organic vegetables.
How Do You Know? – December 2nd.
What if you were approaching the end of your thirties and all of the life milestones you took for granted in your youth suddenly seemed out of reach?
On the eve of her thirty-ninth birthday, Maggie Piper doesn’t look, act, or feel much different than she did at twenty-nine, but with her fortieth birthday speeding towards her like a freight train, she wonders if she should. The fear of a slowing metabolism, wrinkling of her skin, and the ticking of her biological clock leaves Maggie torn between a desire to settle down like most of her similarly-aged peers and concern that all is not perfect in her existing relationship. When a spontaneous request for a temporary “break” from her live-in boyfriend results in a “break-up,” Maggie finds herself single once again and only twelve months from the big 4.0. In the profound yet bumpy year that follows, Maggie will learn, sometimes painfully, that life doesn’t always happen on a schedule, there are no deadlines in love, and age really is just a number.
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Whitney. I thought this post was pretty awesome and a testament to how our priorities often change as we get older and there’s nothing wrong with that 🙂
I think Whitney is spot on about what really matters- we can see it so much more clearly as we get older, and it’s easier (for me at least) to let go of the things that just aren’t that important.
Hi Ashley – I agree. I’m definitely getting there, although it still doesn’t come naturally yet. I have to remind myself not to “sweat the small stuff.”
Great post! I love the line age is just a number, not a deadline on happiness…
I am ashamed to admit though I do care how big my butt is…
Don’t be ashamed, Hilary. I still care about that, too. A little vanity never killed nobody 🙂