OK, so try as I might to keep this a big secret, I have realized I need to stop fooling myself and fess up that I am not the youngest mother on the block.
Far from it. VERY far from it.
Let’s just say I pushed the boundaries of normalcy when it came to getting pregnant and having my beloved daughter. I have always said I am not a young mother, I am a mother of a young child. And, my friends, there is a BIG difference between the two!
Contrary to what you might have heard, ladies, it IS a big deal to have a baby in your mid-forties, and not only for the miracle of still having an egg that’s up to the task. It’s just that when you get older, your body changing (and degenerating) is really a thing. Many of the changes that have been happened to me as I’m aging have come as a complete surprise. Why on earth have I not heard about some of this stuff?
Who knows? Maybe its the company I keep. Maybe I didn’t listen to closely to my mother. Perhaps my observation skills aren’t the best.
WHO HAS BEEN HOLDING OUT ON ME?
Well, whatever the reason, I am dumbfounded that women don’t talk about these mysteries of aging. Maybe we so hate the thought of losing our youth we don’t want to utter any sentiment connected to it. Or perhaps we are so focused on preventing aging we don’t have time to talk about what it’s like when it finally hits.
Well, I am not going to let the same thing happen to you. Because I believe I have a duty to inform, here, dear readers, is What To Expect When You’re Aging:
Hey baby, you’re HOT: When you feel like you are standing in front of an open oven and you are nowhere near a kitchen, you might want to look up “peri-menopause.”
Hair in the most unexpected places: Now I know you won’t think this will ever happen to you but yes, at some point you will have a course, dark hair at least 1/2 inch long coming out of your nose. It’s going to happen so you might as well prepare yourself with a good pair of tweezers and a nose hair trimmer. In fact, a nose hair trimmer was one of the first appliances my husband and I bought together after we were married. How romantic. Does anyone know when the chin hairs start? REALLY looking forward to those. By the way, try not to overdo it on the nose hairs. I recently found out they play an important role in blocking bacteria from entering our airways.
So THAT is why I have been getting sick so much!
Lack of caring about the latest fashion trends: Oh, yes, I did buy these pants 17 years ago – thanks for asking! At least I am wearing something. I get a kick out of the recent “no make-up” trend, which I have personally been rocking since the late ‘80s. And thank God that long, straight hair is still a thing.
It is, isn’t it?
Showers Are optional: One side benefit of getting older is that you don’t smell as bad. Really comes in handy on those busy days. I discovered long ago, in the days before dry shampoo, the joys of washing your hair every other day. Lately I have been pushing that to every 3 days. Do I hear 4?
Going “Nordic Blonde”: Over the years, I have been blessed with a streak of gray that continues to widen. One stylist remarked my hair was turning “Nordic Blonde” and I have embraced the term ever since. My streak came in handy my daughter’s first Halloween – she was a Dalmatian puppy and I rocked Cruella DeVille. But seriously – a streak?!
Aches and pains: At some point in your life, if you are not careful, you potentially could be in pain all of the time. Sensible shoes, Tylenol, Ben-Gay, body pillows and a soft-yet-supportive mattress all become your best friends. When these things stop working, you befriend your local chiropractor and massage therapist.
Though I use most of these tools, I have found that prevention is the best cure. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but the only thing that keeps me pain-free is daily rigorous exercise followed by stretching. I also need to avoid sitting for long periods of time and eat as cleanly as possible. Discovering which foods lead to inflammation in the body was a real eye-opener and my body is good at telling me when I have behaved badly.
A moment on the lips…: When I was young, I got a kick out of reading “A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips” on someone’s refrigerator magnet. Well, I’m not laughing about it anymore.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. When you’re young, say in your 20s, your metabolism is pretty high and you can easily get away with “I’ll just have one more” of whatever your particular weakness is. You might still be able to do this in your 30s, as long as you go for a run the next day. But after menopause, your metabolism slows down to the point of being non-existent. At the same time, your mind and your taste buds have been so conditioned to your favorite treats that they will not leave you be until you have given in. Which leads me back to “a moment on the lips…”
Inability to sleep through the night: No joke, I am writing this at 4 o’clock in the am. Sleeping for a solid 8 hours at this point in my life is like winning the lottery. There is no sure-fire formula and you never know when it’s going to happen, but it feels so good when it does!
Hitting the sack at 8:00 pm: See above.
Here comes the freight train: Now, this is really embarrassing but since I am laying everything out on the table, here goes: In the past year, I have started to snore. My husband and I always considered ourselves fortunate as neither one of us snored and I can’t believe it’s ME who is the one bucking the trend. I assumed that the reason was I had gained a little weight, but a quick internet search revealed that snoring can actually be a thing after menopause. Apparently the decline of muscle tone that occurs with aging also affects the muscles in your throat. GREAT.
Wrinkles: Oh, I guess the experts were right about covering up with a hat, long sleeves and sunscreen. Oops.
Time goes by much faster: Remember the movie Groundhog Day? Well, I experience a form of this phenomenon on a weekly basis. My hubby and I will sit down to watch our favorite show and it seems like we had just seen it a day ago. Time is slipping away so fast I can hardly stand it.
You value time so much more: As you age, you become keenly aware that time is so precious. Life is so precious. Because you begin to measure time by the time you have left, you get better and better at evaluating how you spend your precious time because you know you only have so much of it. You begin to be more selective about what you do with your time, limiting it to the activities and people you are passionate about. You might even begin to treat the people and passions in your life with more love and respect than you ever thought possible. And you certainly become much more motivated to do all you can to preserve this gift of life you have been given.
Yes, though I have had some rude awakenings, I am thankful for aging’s gentle reminders to live my life with intention and thankfulness, because life, wrinkles and all, is such a precious, precious gift.