ShifaybdayRecently, I saw a funny cartoon entitled “The Seven Dwarves of Menopause” and they were duly named: Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Sleepy, Bloated, Forgetful and Psycho!

Having experienced all these states, I’m either approaching early menopause, or it’s some deep seated anxiety about my birthday! This birthday I can’t say I’m in my early anything anymore. I think the old-fashioned, polite phrase would be to describe me as a woman of indeterminate age.

Okay, you can call me vain, but when the young man in the grocery store called me “Miss” instead of the usual “Ma’am,” I beamed at him. I think I really scared him! My children have learned that the revelation of age is Mommy’s prerogative. That Mommy being born in the 20th Century is not the same as when dinosaurs walked the earth!

Here’s my two seconds of moan time. Please indulge me because it is my birthday. My body is grappling with gravity and I wish I could plug myself into a power source to have one-tenth of my children’s energy. Be gone fatigue. Oh, dearest body, remember when you were a bendy pretzel, instead of peanut brittle? Okay, you can stop the moan clock now. No more moaning. Bendy pretzel is my ohm in yoga and my fabulous, older yoga teacher is my role model, along with the two 79 year olds in my yoga class, who could kick my butt in the bendy pretzel department. Ladies, you are truly my inspiration.

It’s truth time. I set out to teach my kids that life is the glass half-full variety, which means to embrace life and enjoy the present. I can’t in all conscience then be half-empty in my own approach.

My birthday wow is to welcome today and every day. And, instead of fear, I embrace and enjoy the wonders of my age and all the wisdom and experience it brings. As my children look forward to getting older, I need to remember that feeling of joy, too. Fully embracing the moment means I’m alive and living; each birthday is a celebration of my print on this earth.

So, if I don’t want to drink sour lemonade on my birthday, I need to embrace my lemon cheesecake moment instead. I chose lemon cheesecake!

Susan Shifay CheungSusan Shifay Cheung has turned her hand to many forms of writing in her various roles, over the years, as corporate trainer, management consultant, journalist and writer. You can contact her at

  • Amy Hunter

    I hope your birthday was delightful! I too choose to live in the moment and enjoy all that life gifts me! I LOVE lemon cheesecake, and pretty much all cheesecake if I’m being truthful! I’m closing in on 42 and couldn’t bend like a pretzel if my life depended on it! But… there’s a ton of stuff I CAN do even better now than when I could bend like a pretzel. Here’s to the next phase! I think it’s a better one anyways! Love your blog.

  • Joy Spencer

    You are just great being YOU! I embrace your sense of adventure and sense of humor! I’m so glad that our paths have crossed… I wouldn’t change YOU in any way! So CELEBRATE that birthday with vigor and embrace each moment of each day!!