Sometime over the past few years, the bags under my eyes stopped going away after a good night’s sleep. The lines around my mouth remained even after I had stopped laughing.

Sometime over the past few years, the bags under my eyes stopped going away after a good night’s sleep. The lines around my mouth remained even after I had stopped laughing.

A few extra freckles popped up on my arms. My hands began to look a little veiny. Certain body parts no longer could be considered “perky.”

Presumably, the hair on my head started to gray as well, but we’ll never know for sure thanks to my every-five-weeks-and-not-a-day-later appointment at the salon.

I’ve officially gotten to the age where my friends start lying about their age. They’ve been 29 for five, six or seven years now.

It could be depressing, this farewell to youth. But I’m committed to embracing it. I may possibly be the one woman on the planet who is perfectly happy to offer up her real age – so long as it’s correct.

I celebrated my 34th birthday this week, just a month after my little boy turned 3. Birthdays are still very high on his priority list, even if they are not his own. So he was quite happy to help sing “Happy Birthday Dear Mommy” and blow out my candles – which is good, because I could use the extra wind power these days.

But where he was not particularly helpful was in telling people how old Mommy is. He knows that his sister is 1 and that he is 3, so I told him that I would be “three-four.” Big mistake, because it appears that numerical order has no real significance for the 3-year-old set. So sometimes I was “three-four,” but most of the time, he told perfect strangers that I was “four-three.”

Wrong answer, kid. The only bonus is that he said Daddy was “seven-five.”

Now I’m confident that I will be perfectly proud to be 43 years old when I actually am 43 years old. For now, I don’t need nine years of my life skipped over. Although I do enjoy seeing strangers look at me with the obvious thought, “Wow, she looks really good for 43!” I’m not entirely sure they would be saying I look really good for 34.

At the end of the day, I really am happy with whatever age I am at that moment. It’s a special time, regardless of whether you look or feel like you did when you were 25 years old. Sure, 25-year-olds can wear bikinis without stretch marks and play volleyball tournaments until the wee hours of the morning without visiting the chiropractor the next day.

But for me, I like the wisdom that comes with aging. I appreciate the perspective, the values and the priorities that come with each passing year. It’s all exciting. Each age has a purpose, and I intend to fulfill it.

For me, the coming year will be less about the body parts that creak going up the stairs and more about the ones that can soothe a crying child. It won’t be about the way I look in a swimsuit, but about splashing with my kids in the pool.

Because the truth is, the lucky ones make it to see 80 years old. And there’s not a single 80-year-old out there without wrinkles and a little sagging. What they know is what we all should have been realizing for the first 79 years of our lives: Our bodies are a container.

It’s up to us to live in it.

Contact Elizabeth Davies at edavies@rrstar.com.