Older, not wiser

Tomorrow is my birthday and (because I am born in that dead period between Christmas and New Years) I can say that I am 47 today, and in a week I’ll be able to say “I will be 50 next year.” This was always a nice sort of trick that worked well in my favor when I couldn’t wait to be 10 or 16 or 21 but then it sort of lost its magic around age 30 when I was convinced that I was behind on every single thing in life. And then in my 40s I’ve sort of ignored age because 40 is the new 30 according to people who are 40, but 50 feels a lot like the time in life when I should maybe start to become “serious and more mature” but I just spent the morning looking for the perfect place to display my newly-arrived taxidermied squirrels doing the Lindy Hop and then I sort of realized that becoming serious and more mature wasn’t actually an option for me even if it was something I’d ever wanted.

And that’s just fine with me.

135 thoughts on “Older, not wiser

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Happy birthday, my birthday was yesterday it was always a way to be a year ahead in class. Not terribly helpful but yep, it’s horrible to be born between Christmas and new year’s.

  2. Happy Birthday Jenny! I turned 50 this year, and I still play with Breyer Horses. 🤣

  3. When I turned 50, my slightly older and much wiser sister-in-law congratulated me for “losing your give-a-shit”. It was, and still is true. Congratulations and welcome to the club!

  4. I turned 50 in April 2020, right when everything shut down. My blow out bash for turning 50 turned into a Zoom Happy Hour.

    Despite that, I think you should NEVER get more mature. Your current maturity level is perfect, and what we adore about you. You make me laugh. You make me cry. You ROCK.

  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! and come on, who wants to be so mature & grown-up anyways. it’s more fun to have lindy hop squirrels.

  6. Wow, same birthday as me! Happy birthday! I’m celebrating mine in quarantine because apparently being vaxxed and boosted and masked everywhere don’t mean shit to Omicron. Stay safe!

  7. I’m a New Year’s baby, which is great because the whole world parties with me! I’ll be 64, which is one year closer to 65 and a lot of senior discounts. Bring ’em on, baby!

  8. When I was about 17 or so, my best friend and I asked her grandmother when you start feeling like an adult. She just looked at us and said “You never do.” I’m 65 now and I can say that she was absolutely right. I still feel pretty much the way I did at 17. Except for the little aches and pains and the Medicare card in my wallet, that is.

  9. Happy birthday! Someone famous (I’m blanking on who) said “Growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional” or something like that. It stinks having a birthday between Christmas and New Year’s; mine was Sunday so I understand that pain. To counteract that stinkiness, you should have as much fun as possible. I love your new squirrels!

  10. Sooooo maybe I can’t add but if you’re 47 today, I don’t understand how you’ll be 50 next year. Either way, HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY! I hope you enjoy it to the best of your ability.

  11. if you’re 47 today, that means you’re 48 tomorrow, and in a week you’ll still be 48 so the next year you’ll be *49*, not 50. I think. Mathing is hard.

  12. My spouse’s birthday is also tomorrow! He did the same thing when he was younger. Also, neither of us has any plans to ever become mature or serious, so I support you and your swinging squirrels.

  13. Happy Birthday Jenny!

    Quoting Jimmy Buffett- (who just had another birthday on December 25th)
    “We’re growing older but not up.”

    Hang on to the not grown up attitude with all your might. I’m 68 and still not a grownup.

  14. “50 feels a lot like the time in life when I should maybe start to become “serious and more mature””
    🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
    Just turned 64….. it doesn’t work that way. Never surrender!!!!

  15. Wait until you hit 75! You truly have no more S****s to give. Plus I still have a lot of taxidermy and prep still think it’s strange.

  16. You are my birthday twin! We have the same Birthday down to the year! I’m still going to say I’m 47 until tomorrow – the 29th – at 730am EST. 😂. Happy Birthday to you!

  17. Happy Birthday 🎉
    50 actually made me a lot sillier so enjoy every minute in any fashion you like! Lindy hop with those cute little buggers ❤️

  18. Happy Birthday, birthday twin! I’m holding out at 47 until 730am EST tomorrow (29th). 😂. Out of all the others that share our birthday, I was thrilled when I saw your name listed!! And… I won’t be rushing the big one two years from now. 😉 Cheers!

  19. Happiest of Birthdays, dear one.
    I am 61, my grey hairs are blue (REALLY blue, like bright obnoxious blue), I sing and dance in the grocery store when a really great song comes on, and, am I am a firm believer in not being a serious adult.

  20. Happy birthday Jenny! I’m glad you’re you just the way you are. We think you’re perfect! And it also shows those of us in the same boat that we don’t have to pretend to be something we aren’t. Strangelings unite!

  21. Happy happy birthday! Today is my husband’s and my 30th anniversary. A good day all around. And my best friend said in her HS graduation speech: “You’re only young once, but you can remain immature forever.”

  22. Math major here (though more a calendar trick? than a math trick)
    48 on Dec 29 2020
    49 on Dec 29 2021
    50 on Dec 29 2022
    (Father has a Dec birthday but he is 94 and has forgotten this part and tries to just subtract the years.)

    I kind of had a freak out at 29 (maybe because of all the things they say you should have done by 30?). Smooth sailing from then so far (am 59 so we will see I react to 60… lol).

  23. I’ve been 50+ for 2 years and I’m not sure what “mature” means! None of my good friends do either! Happy Birthday!

  24. Happy birthday, Jenny!! Enjoy your day!
    Age doesn’t really matter unless you’re cheese or wine…or a banana. One day makes a big difference if you’re a banana.

  25. Happy birthday! My 50s is when I’m realizing that I’m not ready to be old, so I’m not! And neither are you!

  26. Happy birthday, Jenny!

    I’ll be 51 in a little smidge over 2 months, and I can assure you that being mature and serious is highly overrated!

    Be you, for as long as you can. Screw what anyone else thinks.

  27. I love being in my 50s. I care a little less about annoying things that don’t matter. Yeah!

  28. Cute squirrels!! Happy birthday (and early Happy New Year)! I think if you suddenly became ‘serious and mature’ we would all question whether you’d been replaced with a clone or something. We all need a healthy dose of weirdness and many of us find it reading you!

  29. I turned double nickels this year and realized I had outlived both my mom and sister, so that’s something I guess. Every year is a blessing. With age comes more wisdom, supposedly, so I’ll keep hoping for that!!

  30. Same b’day as me. Such an odd time of year. I hit 50 already and can report back that it seems better than 40s. But I’ve got a long time left in this decade of life, so we’ll see. It’s disturbing that some people think you are wrong in your “I’m 47 today…” thing. Wow, I’m sad for humanity right now. You’re clearly correct, and it’s not even that complicated. Happy birthday!

  31. Happy Birthday!! 🍰 50 isn’t so bad. Getting older beats the alternative. I will be 53 in February and I am still able to smile with my teeth, so… #winning!! 😉

  32. Please dont become more serious and mature!! That would ruin everything!! Serious and mature people dont have Beyonce chickens!!

  33. Jenny!!! Happpy Birthday! Also I found the perfect Christmas movie for you. “The Great Rupert”, which aired here under alternate title “A Christmas Wish”. Not to give anything away, but I believe Rupert is played by a stop motion animated taxidermied squirrel. He has some great clothes in the opening scene, also, though he plays most of his scenes in the nude.

  34. Wishing you many happy returns of the day. I’m 66. For years (generally at the dojo where I train, throwing—or being thrown by people often less than half my age) I’d say I was through with growing up ; “ now I’m growing down.” This year, tho, oldness has snuck up on me. (Or maybe it’s just what long haul Covid is like.) Even so, the world and its inhabitants are endlessly interesting, and that seems to me to be the key to youth or agelessness or happiness….And i think you have a key like that, too. ❤️

  35. When I turned 50 I called it my Hawaiian birthday and encourage everyone to do the same! I have no f#CVS to give AND while that was 11 years ago I still hang on to never growing up. Somewhere I read, paraphrasing here bc memory, and…. lack of memory wins bc I already forgot. Stay young in mind and maturity and be yourself bc everyone else is taken – that isn’t what I forgot though. Husband’s birthday was the 27th, oldest grand was 28th (big 16!) one son in law is the 30th and another is the 31st. December is busy.

  36. Eh, I’m 48 now and decided a decade ago that I’ll never be a “grown up” like I imagined adults to be. I mean, I work, pay bills and taxes, even manage to wash my hair – but not like the super serious adults that predate the 50’s. I’m just gonna’ roll with that. Enjoy your squirrels. I have two in the freezer for skinning practice (It was a bad squirrel year where I live.)

  37. Before I turned 50 a coworker told me that 50 is when your body starts to give out. I turned 50 and the next day a crown fell out. A couple weeks later I got frozen shoulder in my left arm. I’m 54 now and there is always one body part or another that isn’t cooperating. So, live it up now and save the seriousness for those few minutes you realize you are stuck on the toilet because your hip won’t work.

  38. Growing older isn’t optional. Growing more “mature” is. And where’s the fun in that?!?!?

    And I turned 50 in July and it’s not so bad… 🙂

  39. Happy Birthday! My birthday is today. I feel you on having a birthday during that “dead time.” The squirrels are amazing! Maturity and seriousness is overrated. Not for me.

  40. Ah, don’t worry about it. I turned 50 a couple of weeks ago and spent a while this afternoon explaining to strangers how much joy I get from wearing socks patterned after Big Bird’s legs. We should fight turning into “Grown Ups” in St. Exupery’s meaning of the word.

  41. Happy Birthday! I love the squirrels dancing.
    I turn 56 in February. In New England that’s the height of nasty, cold, wet weather. Everyone is burnt out from Christmas socializing and Christmas spending and having Valentine’s Day coming up, and then a birthday, means you usually get shorted for either Valentine’s Day or your Birthday. I have another family member who has her birthday around the same time, and she agrees with me on that thought.
    When I turned 50 I decided that I would no longer care if other people thought I was silly or if they judged me for having fun, or not coloring my hair, or other inconsequential things.
    My elderly mother believes that being a little old lady gives you permission to be more yourself, and to care less about what other people think, and you can get away with a lot more. I like that thought. License to be “all out of F**ks to give.”

  42. 57 here and maturity nowhere in sight. Age is the groaning and popping that happens when you get out of your chair. It has nothing to do with how much fun you can have or things you can get into. Happy birthday, Jenny. May there be many more taxidermies squirrels doing the Lindy Hop in your life. (Did these come from the book, “It” by any chance?

  43. Happy 48th Jenny! You’ve tickled my funny bone with the math – that only those in the ‘dead period’ as you put it – are able to do! Lindy Hop squirrels are amazing, btw.

  44. Love those squirrels. My birthday is the 30th. I will be 51. Still waiting to celebrate last year’s birthday properly.

    My brother was born the 27th . . . a few days before I was a year. In my family it was always Christmas. Then the king’s birthday. Then mine. Leftover cake and all that comes with coming in last.

    Happiest of birthdays to you.

  45. I, too, live in the Twilight Zone of birthdays…yes, it is happening but everyone would really like to ignore it and please, not mention it much less plan a celebration. “Here’s your Christmas AND birthday gift” Yeah, sure, ok, not really happy, just so you know. OTOH, I and you and all of the others get to be a YEAR younger for a long time and that is something we can celebrate.
    Happy Birthday, !!!

  46. Sorry, Sis, not feeling you today. MY birthday is January 1. I will be 60. Maybe I would love to be as young as you. Don’t remember. Sixty is something I cannot comprehend.
    Happy to be alive, though, mostly.

  47. Well, my birthday is Christmas and I am now 71, so I get what you mean. I am fairly sure I will always be 19 although somewhat more mature than when I was technically 19. I liked music better then, though. Anyway, enjoy your squirrels (hey!! my niece who moved to Austin in the spring has made trips to San Antonio to see a college friend, and **went to your store** so I am now jealous of a beautiful 27-year-old but SO happy for her to have been there.

  48. Happy Birthday Jenny! My daughter shares your birthday – she turns 34 tomorrow.

  49. Those squirrels are the bomb! Happy Birthday Jenny…May this new year be a blessed one!

  50. Happy birthday! Life is too short to be serious and mature. How could you not smile or even giggle every time you look at those adorable dancing taxidermied squirrels?! They’re good for the soul.

  51. Happy Birthday, young whippersnapper (please don’t read that as creepy as it sounds. It’s just an expression). Maturity stopped being appealing a long time ago, and it really isn’t for everyone. You help us smile through the sun and the rain, and we all love you for it. Thank you for being you so well.

  52. Happy Birthday, Jenny! Who the hell wants to get more “mature?” That is no fun at all.

  53. Ooh…I had fun figuring out your weird calendar/math problem. I had to say it out loud and look at my planner before I got it!
    For those who still think she’s lying…”I am 47 today and in a week I’ll be able to say “I will be 50 next year”

    Today 12/28/21 she is 47
    Tmr 12/29/21 is her 48th birthday
    in a week it will be 2022 and she will have her 49th birthday on 12/29/22.
    Thus in a week she can say she’ll be 50 next year and mean it (50th birthday will be on 12/29/23)

    I need to lie down now. Haha! Happy Birthday, Jenny!!

  54. Jenny,

    One day when travel for fun is a thing again you need to make a pilgrimage to the Gopher Hole Museum in Torrington Alberta (@worldfamousgophers) – we went a few years ago and always recommend a visit. One look at their Facebook or Instagram and you’ll see why!

  55. Happy happy birthday!!! I turned 51 on Christmas Eve, so…I feel you. Holiday birthdays are weird and not great. I made up for it by going indoor skydiving. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

  56. Please don’t ever feel you need to change for me, change only if you feel the need and want to! Happy Birthday!

  57. I’m 51 year old wife and mom and I still feel and act like a dirty pirate hooker. The year I turned 50 I let everyone know that I am no longer putting up with any bullshit. I have fun and I don’t give a DAMN.
    Live it up! Xoxo

  58. Ah, there you are, with your birthday in the taint between the holidays! I think I shall party to celebrate you, ya vivacious goddess!

  59. <3 Happy Birthday……"it" is only a number…..keep active, physically as well as mentally, you will forever be you <3

  60. Happy Birthday! My birthday is also in the dead zone, new years eve baby. No one wants to celebrate your birthday on new years eve, they have plans, with fireworks, that are not for you. Thinking about going on strike and claiming another date for my birthday.

  61. today was my grandmother’s birthday- she died in her 80s and was born in 1898… don’t think she ever did the lindy, but pics of her in the 20s are stunning! happy birthday 💜

  62. Hey birthday girl… Congrats! I have read your new book, “Broken”, twice… And I just had an appointment yesterday to be assessed for TMS… Because of your book chapter… Thank you for being brave and trying it and writing about it… I was so touched you could travel with your daughter and your husband… fingers crossed it helps me! Thankful that it helped you. Keep CRAZED cool!

  63. As I keep telling my kids no one ever really grows up we just learn to fake it and eventually we realize even that’s not necessary.

  64. Happy Birthday! I’m 59, & sometimes I feel like I’m getting younger (not physically, obviously) But in the fun center, & the IDGAF centers of my brain (guess which one’s bigger)
    So I have a giant potty mouth, an odd sense of fashion, & arthritis in my hands. It’s pretty good

  65. Happy Birthday!! Love the squirrels and I’m fine not maturing right along with you 😛 I got a 3D printer for christmas and I printed a toy robot just because 😛

  66. I’m going to be 71 on Saturday. I recently realized if I don’t feel mature by now, it’s not gonna happen.
    I read somewhere that adulting is like folding a fitted sheet; everyone thinks they know how but
    nobody does it very well. Happy birthday, Jenny. Enjoy your day.

  67. First – Happy Birthday!! You obviously still have your math skills. And that’s all that matters because then you can probably continue to afford dancing squirrels.

    Like a few people here I had to think hard to figure out your math – but of course you are right (and of course I didn’t have to tell you that). In one week it will be the new year and you will be 48, but in 2022 you will have another birthday and turn 49, so the following year you will turn 50 – so you can indeed, in a week’s time, you will be 50 next year [key being very very late “next” year] (it will just be almost 2 years before that happens). Now my head hurts – and I have a degree in math!

  68. Happy Birthday! My 38th birthday was December 21st and in a few days I will be 40 next year. Ugh.

  69. Happy birthday!! See, being 50 is painless!! It’s like going into the deep end of the pool, that’s all!!

  70. Happy Birthday!! Being “serious and more mature” is SO overrated, I mean, seriously, who wants that😁👍🏻

  71. My birthdays is Thursday. Commiserating with you on the joint Christmas/Birthday gifts. No one ever got me squirrels though! Happy Birthday Jenny!

  72. My goodness! So many people decorate for your birthday! And when it’s over, celebrate with fire works! It’s a multiday celebration! My cousin was born on the 4th of July and when very young, though the town fireworks were for him.

  73. I love this so much. Also, because I roll weird, I have a great story for you. My boss shot a coyote that had been killing his chickens and chasing his dogs. He had it stuffed and brought it to the office. It was a beautiful animal, and the taxidermist had him positioned so that it’s eyes were focused on the ground about 3 feet ahead. (Amazing taxidermy as well.) Well, my boss was the kind of guy who didn’t need anything which made Christmas gifts extremely difficult to come up with. So I went on line and found taxidermy ducklings and placed them right in that sight line so when Carm walked into the office he found his coyote and PREY! Yes I am twisted. And yes, he loved it.

  74. Happy Birthday! From another lost between Christmas and New Years baby. My birthday is the 30th. One more year until 50 for me and I won’t stop playing and learning till they put me in the ground!

  75. Happy Birthday, Jenny! You bring such light and laughter into the world. Thanks for that.

  76. Happy Birthday! Today is my sister’s birthday too. She is 76. My best friend’s husband’s birthday would be today too. He died of Covid last year, even after being super careful.

  77. Happy B-day…a day late as I always am. Those squirrels should make you SMILE every time you see them……who cares how old you are ??

  78. As a friend of mine said on her 30th: “I’ve spent the first 30 years doing what others wanted of me. The next 30 are doing things for me!” I’ve spent the last several years learning how to do just that. After far too many years pretending to be a mature adult (it never quite fit), retirement’s given me the time & freedom to be who I am. As for you – happy birthday! Just relax & be Jenny, cuz that’s who we love!

  79. I celebrated my 50th birthday this year with so much joy in my heart because surviving five decades of everything life throws at you, while still holding on to hope for the future, is an accomplishment.

  80. Happy Belated B-day! And growing up is way over-rated. The squirrels are hilarious. Keep on keeping on! 🙂

  81. Hey your birthday is almost on the same day as mine which is December 30. I hear ya, it’s a crazy time of year to be born! But that’s ok, I see it as two-weeks of awesome gorging and drinking, so woot! Happy belated!

  82. The 29th is my birthday too and I used the same “next year” tricks when I was a kid. Now I’m a kid at 70 I know the “Trix” are for kids but Tricks are advantageous at any age 🙂 Happy birthday my astrological sister.

  83. I know you normally give your tax’ed animals great funny names, but speaking on behalf of Lindy Hoppers of the world, would you please consider naming them Frankie and Norma? (Frankie Manning, Founder of the Lindy and Norma Miller, Queen of Swing)

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