Three times a year, my bestest friends Stephanie, Daria and I go to dinner to celebrate each of our birthdays. Since I have a December birthday, we've added a 4th dinner just for Christmas. We met in 1974, our first year of law school and have been through many a crisis with one another. At first, our dinners were all about dating and getting jobs and, well, dating, and not eating dessert! A little therapy advice thrown in for good measure. We tended to select restaurants that wouldn't break the bank. Fast forward and dessert is always on the menu! Our conversations focus on retirement plans, our own and our parents' health issues and how we can cope with them, and other, more serious, topics. Friends getting divorced, whose child is sick, coping with cancer -- the hard stuff of life. Occasionally we'll even discuss politics. We still try and spot famous folks in the restaurant (as we now select only the finest places), but we've grown up. We have no choice but to accept the sad fact that when you turn 54 there's no denying that you are an adult. Time is starting to run out on all the "when I grow up" dreams. I'm really not going to quit my lawyer job and work at Nordstrom's! I'm not going to have a second baby, I'm not spending every summer taking my son to exotic places. On the other hand, with age comes knowledge that my husband is a sweetie pie, my son is maturing in a good way, our retirement looks as secure as anyone's retirement can be (well, not counting real rich folks). And, of course, with age comes the money to buy stamps!!