Thoughts on Turning 46...


Well, I’m happy to report that after a day of being 46 years old, life is still pretty fabulous!  I’m not typically a big birthday celebrator (when it comes to my own birthday)… I’ve been known to tell my husband and friends, “Let’s not make a big deal out of it this year.”  I’ve even left town a few times and visited my sister Erin in Chicago to avoid the fuss.  I’ll bet many of you are the same—you prefer shining the spotlight on others and being out of its bright glare.

This year has proven to be a little different.  While I still eschewed a party in lieu of a simple backyard barbecue for our family of four, I’m kind of proud and happy to be “aging gracefully” this year.  In the past year, I had so many wonderful moments—times when God’s presence in my life was so tangible I felt I could reach out and touch it.  Who wouldn’t want another year to experience His grace and mercy?!

As a classic “Type A” personality, my birthday has always ranked up their with Lent, Advent and New Year’s as a time of introspection and goal setting.  This year is no different.  I took some time yesterday to journal my thoughts on beginning my “late forties” (although Greg claims we can still say we’re in our “mids”).  I set spiritual, physical, relational and mental resolutions for the coming year, things I’d like to refine and change about myself, relationships I’d like to enhance.

One area of particular concern for me in the upcoming year is my health.  Perhaps it was my recent bout with non-invasive breast cancer that has lead me to embrace turning 46, but that experience was also a “wake up call” that taking care of myself physically is a gift I give to my family.  So my one birthday present to myself was a trip back to Weight Watchers – I’ve been a Lifetime member since my 40th birthday, but am embarrassed to admit that I fell off the wagon completely this year.  So I’m sharing with you that I’ll be working that “program” and am hoping to make you part of my accountability team and support network.  Jumping on that scale for a weigh-in is never fun, but now that the pain of doing it for the first time (well, the first time again!) is behind me I’m optimistic that trying to regain control over my fitness level and portion control will be a good part of this upcoming year.  Hopefully on June 15, 2010 I will look back without regret on this particular commitment.  Honestly for me, it’s less about a particular number on a scale than about how I feel physically and emotionally.  If you are struggling with weight issues, please know that you’ll be in my prayers as I walk this particular part of my journey.

How do you like to celebrate your birthday?  Any tips from our “age enhanced” readers on enjoying your late forties?


About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.


  1. I like the term “age enhanced”, but I’m thinking “vintaged” is the way I’d like to celebrate the fine wine of the middle years!

    I can relate to both the cancer walk and the journey at WW! This summer marks 13 years cancer free for me, and each year I get is a gift! And this summer also marks one year with my new hip… WW helped me lose weight before my hip replacement, and now the further slimming down needed for good health — now that I can take long walks and enjoy exercise again!

    Breast cancer and a congenital joint malformation were both beyond my control — but ultimately they led me to a deeper walk with Him “in who we live and move and have our being!” (Acts 17:28). God can use anything to bring us closer to him — even counting points at WW!

    And that’s the point of this whole post: To enjoy your late forties — GRATITUDE!!!!!!!!

  2. ILisa, I loved your piece on turning 46.

    I turned 50 last August. I have friends who also have turned 50 and they are, in short, devastated. They speak endlessly about aging, gray hair, aches and pains (not really physical ones), and being depressed that they are “50” let alone “46” “36” or “26”.

    I am a later life mom – son 13 and daughter 7.

    And I am blessed.

    Blessed with health (although shaving a few pounds off would make a world of difference), blessed with family, blessed with a roof over our heads and food on the table. I am blessed in the Lord. If I am blessed once more I will be one day, one hour, one minute closer to my next birthday in 2 months. Or, I may be blessed and called to the Lord. (Although, Lord, I would like to be here with my husband and family!).

    I thought long and hard about turning 50 and one thing kept coming to my heart. What do I want my children to remember about God and aging?


    I went out and rented a jumping castle! It was a surprise for the kids and family/friends who had come for a pot luck picnic!

    Joy. In the Lord.

    Oh, Come Holy Spirit!

    I want my kids to remember how joyful life in Christ can be.

    Do not fear aging, bumps and wrinkles. They are perfect in the Lord.

    And yes, When no one was around….

    I jumped….

    and flew!!!

    Happy Birthday!

  3. Mark Szewczak on

    LOL….late 40’s…those were the days….I am, as your husband would say, still in my mids…in my case 50’s (56) and I do realize more and more that with age comes wisdom that is earned and given as a gift during the course of a life. It struck me that Wisdom is so important there is a book of the Bible with that title. Wisdom is a gift of the Spirit that fully matures as we mature. Lynne and Pat have it right about gratitude and joy. My own dad passed away suddenly at 49 from a stroke so I have “outlived” him. Every day seems to be blessed in some way for me, living beyond that point as yours will be after your health issue this past year. It doesn’t end or grow stale. So we all need to remember that the gift of age is God’s way of saying we have a chance to do more on His behalf: for others, for ourselves, filled with gratitude and joy!. And when we reach the end of the race and get the crown, I can’t wait for the celebration banquet that never ends! God bless!

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