Today’s my 47th birthday. I’m now older than I’ve ever been, and younger than I’ll ever be again. A few weeks ago, my friend Susan and I were talking, as we often do, about what it means to be women of our age in 2010. We are so fortunate to have the lives we have, and to have filled our lives with the people we have found over the years, and to have the luxuries of time and companionship to discuss these issues. One recurring theme in our conversations is the recognition that we are not held to the assumptions and expectations that our mothers faced. When she was my age, my mother had three children out of college. I have one child entering 6th grade. When she was my age, my mother had been married for 26 years. I’ve been married for 14 years. When she was my age, one of my mother’s daughters (not me) was already married. I have no daughters, and my son is only 11 (and still single). At every age, my mother has been surrounded by women whose lives paralleled hers. They were, and continue to be, each other’s confidantes, reality checks, and group consciences. Many of those friendships still endure, and they continue to define my mother’s life in a wonderful way. At every age, my friends and I have made every possible choice and followed every possible path that presented itself. The amazing range of professions, locations, partners, accomplishments, interests, experiences, and views that define us makes it impossible to describe a “type.” I jokingly told Susan that rather than defining ourselves as middle aged ladies, we should begin to think of ourselves as role models. Given what I’ve been saying in this post, I really have no idea what that means. But bear with me. Let’s get a whole bunch of us to be role models–Not because we’re doing everything (or anything) particularly well, but because we’re all out there doing things.