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Senior Correspondent

This weekend officially marked a slight "lean over the middle," of a decade in my life. And, despite an apparent resemblance to Maxine, I am poised to have an outrageously wonderful rest of this decade.
I must admit to taking extreme exception to all of the Maxine innuendos flying around. Frantically flipping through the Maxine gift books, cards, post it notes and email cartoons my dear family and friends have so unceremoniously shared, I became obsessed with Maxine. It's like everyone got together and decided to Maxine me for my birthday! So I decided to take a little break from celebrating my birthday to research this crabby old chic.

For those of you not familiar, Maxine is an irreverent, crabby, middle aged cartoon character launched in 1986 who has become a celebrity. She has her own Facebook page, greeting card line, stick it notes (sticky notes with attitude), books, calendars, website, clothing line and more. Subscribing to her page gets you her daily online comic. Maxine's theme seems to be "older, wiser, and just generally more annoying." One book's subtitle is Maxine's Guide to Aging Disgracefully. Fully armed with Maxine's wisdom on life, love and aging, I am starting to warm up to this tough old bird. After careful consideration, I have decided to take some tips from Maxine. For example:

  • She sees herself as witty and brilliant. 
  • She is into leveraging her apparent flaws; she has created multiple streams of income from them.
  •  She has been there, done that and forgotten most of it.
  • She is defiant and doesn't sweat the small stuff.
  • Maxine is just fine with who she is and if someone else is not, tough! Maxine's maaaaaaavelous, dahhhhhling.
  • She shoots straight about the challenges in her life's journey from Spring Chicken to Tough Old Bird.

Of course, Maxine is not a "real person."  And yet, she has become comic relief for more than 220 million fans throughout the world. She was created by John Wagner who was inspired by his mother, maiden aunts and his grandmother, who paid for his first art lessons. 

No matter what your age, remember, your age is just a number. And while that number is certainly a fact, it does not have to define you. What would you really, really, really like to do if age were not a factor?  For example, my Uncle Dick, at 87, wanted to increase his speed on his bicycle from 12 mph to 15 mph. He figured out how to do just that and enjoyed 15 mph evening rides. 

Challenge yourself with Maxine's great question, "Is it Old in Here or is it Just Me?" 

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