This was a quote from a piece I read by Anne Lamott recently and I could not have said it better.
This. This is precisely what getting older is like.
I feel like a young woman with something wrong with her. Terribly, terribly wrong.
My mind — although filled with more holes than a New York City avenue — still feels invincible at times. My mind tells me I can do things that my body is almost to the point of not being able to do.
Things like trying to accomplish the Garland pose during my yoga practice or simply lifting my leg to tie my shoe. It takes as much effort for me to lean down and pick up something I have dropped to the floor as it does trying to fly. More often than not I will attempt to channel David Blaine by staring down the item willing it through osmosis to magically levitate up to my open hand.
That doesn’t work, by the way. I haven’t quite figured out how he does it. But I suspect I better if I ever want to see these things again.
I’m a fairly active 52-year-old woman. Why can’t I do these simple activities any longer? I swore I wouldn’t allow it, but nature has other plans.
My knees are bad, my hips spend half their life screaming at me from the tops of my thigh bones, and my lower back likes to light small fires. Forget about my eyesight. Even the “arm length” trick won’t help me now.
And to add insult to injury, menopause strikes in the middle of the night like a masked bandit. Robbing you of your youthful glow and replacing it with facial hair, hot flashes, and night sweats so bad and so constantthat frequent pajama and sheet changes are a necessity. Laying in something akin to a humid, tepid, salted pool is not conducive to a good sleep.
Not that I’m sleeping anyway.
The sandman no longer stops at my house. I’m like a small child waiting for Santa to arrive when in reality he just doesn’t exist. Waiting and waiting with childlike wonder. “Will he come tonight?” No. No, he will not. I don’t know what I ever did to him, but somehow I got on his “naughty” list.
And forget about the effects of alcohol. I THINK I can drink more than one glass of wine like a twenty-something and wake up the next day bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to face the world. The reality is I wake up with my brain as foggy as the Los Angeles smog in August, which just makes me want to swear off the stuff for all of eternity.
Oh my beloved wine. Why has thou forsaken me?
You know what really gets me? Young people. Actual young people. The people I forget I am not demographically equal to. When I realize that I could most likely be their mother it’s like someone has sucker punched me, taking the air right out of my parachute. It’s the weirdest phenomenon.
SO, that’s about it in a nutshell. The bottom line is I think like a 22-year-old but feel like I’m 72. Seriously. I don’t believe I have matured much past 1989. Can someone please tell that to my body? Because the memo got sent to the wrong address.
Last weekend I celebrated my birthday. I’m not shy about telling my age. I was never one of those people who felt the need to lie about it. I don’t judge you if you do, it’s just not my thing.
At the writing of this post, I turned fifty-two precisely seven days, one hour, and twenty-seven minutes ago (my mother makes sure to remind me of the exact moment I entered this world, giving me as many gory details as she possibly can short of an actual reenactment).
I’m also not gonna lie and say I embrace my age. I think I’ve gotten better over the last few years about it, but I’m not quite there. I’m not sure I ever will be. I mean, how do you embrace something that keeps going up, instead of down? Unless we’re talking about the stock market?
The last time I checked, going up in this case means we are just closer to death. I know that sounds morbid, and it is. I have been worried about it since I was a kid. My obsession with time and it’s uncanny ability to move forward like a pig with its tail on fire is probably as healthy as telling Mike Tyson his tattoo is stupid.
I know it’s “just a number,” “you are as old as you feel,” and “it’s better than the alternative.” And for the most part I agree with all of it. Except the part where I’m fifty-two. And, well, getting older.
Heck, I should appreciate the fact I wasn’t a woman living in the 19th century. I’d be at the end of my life by now. If that doesn’t scare me, then nothing will.
Except my age.
Might I remind you Luke Perry died last month from a massive stroke. He was fifty-two like me. He didn’t get run over by a bus, or was in a plane crash. He didn’t suffer for months or years from cancer. He had a stroke. At fifty-two years old. And it’s freaking me out.
I feel bad for my physician. I’m a handful as it is already. I know she must not look very forward to my annual visit, which is in two weeks. My list is as long as Santa’s naughty list of things that bother me, and what I think they may be. Self-diagnoses is what I do best, even though I’m always wrong.
These days I do feel pretty good though. I’ve recently tried reversing the aging process as best I can without actual surgery or costly procedures. I’ve started using toner on my face, drinking less wine, and exercising.
Actual exercising. Like, going to the gym, putting on one of the only pairs of Lululemon leggings I own, and building up a sweat. Because everything is better in a pair of Lululemon leggings. My daughter said so.
I do worry about having a heart attack while exercising, but it’s a chance I’m willing to take for better health and a longer life. Twenty years ago, I wouldn’t even push my baby out of my body too hard for fear of having a brain aneurism. See how I’m growing?
So, Happy Birthday to me. Maybe next year I’ll look forty-five, feel thirty-five, and act fifteen.
I have the fifteen part down pretty pat. But I’m hoping that toner takes effect pretty soon so I’ll at least be able to say, “two out of three ain’t bad.”
I’ll let you know in eleven months, twenty-two days, and sixteen hours.
A few weeks ago I took a Barre class with a good friend of mine. This Barre class really was of no interest to me.
Because I’m embarrassed to say that the most exercise I’ve had in the last couple years has been random walks around the block with the dog, and twenty (really fifteen) minutes on the elliptical at the gym during my “I’m going to get healthy” phase that lasted all of two weeks.
So, how did I get roped into this Barre class thing, you ask?
The Kid and I were spending the weekend with a friend and her step-daughter. Every Saturday morning they take a Barre class. Who were we to stand between these ladies and their routine?
Besides, I soon found out that pretty much death is the only thing that could come between my friend and her Barre class.
So we scheduled a class for the next morning. Bright and early.
On a weekend. When I was supposed to be sleeping late, drinking cocktails, catching up with my friend and doing nothing. Let me repeat…doing NOTHING (all caps, bolded and italicized in case you didn’t quite get the gist).
Anyway, when the two young’uns woke up with liquid coming out of both ends due to eating a bowl of bad Acai berries, I thought we would be off the hook. In fact, I was pretty sure we were. You know, off the hook.
Remember I said only death would come between my friend and her Barre class?
It wasn’t a lie.
I supposed if two food poisoned-stricken young ladies could muster up the energy to sit (sit really isn’t the correct word here) through a fifty minute Barre class, then so could I.
I was wrong.
Upon our arrival, I warned the cute little class instructor that I was going to look like a complete jackass to which she replied, “oh, you’ll be fine.”
She soon discovered the joke was on her.
If you have never been to a Barre class (Is this even a proper noun? Is it really deserving of capitalization?), the room looks like a long and narrow torture chamber. With mirrors lining one entire wall so that you can watch yourself looking like the complete jackass you claimed you are (I certainly didn’t want to disappoint anyone).
Oh, and there are bars. Or Barres. Running up and down two walls. The kind of bars you would find in a ballet studio.
Except this was no ballet class. Not that I’m saying ballet is any easier. But I was in a room with ballet bars. I mean, why?
The instructor had us do some stretches. I think. I’ve blocked some of it out. I’m sure my brain went into protection mode.
You may think I’m being a tad dramatic, but I’m not. It was bad. And it hurt. It hurt in places that I didn’t even know existed.
During the first three minutes, I discovered that I could no longer touch my toes. The last time I couldn’t touch my toes, I was nine months pregnant. That should tell you something.
Apparently, the purpose of Barre class (there goes that capitalization again) is, and I quote, “to perform multi-directional dynamic movements to target different muscle groups simultaneously.”
Well, let me assure you that there were muscle groups in my body that were in a deep hibernating state since 2014 and they were none too happy with me.
It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, “…a long winter’s nap,” don’t ‘cha think?
After correcting me seventeen times in the first twenty minutes, the instructor shrugged her shoulders and gave up.
There was not one move I could accomplish. I stood/sat/died there for most of the class, with my eyes averted. Looking on the ground pretending an earring dropped out of my ear.
And I don’t wear earrings.
I kept peeking around the room to see if I had a partner in crime. Someone I could be in cahoots with. Someone who was struggling like I was because, as the saying goes, “misery loves company,” and that expression could not have been more true during this fifty minutes of hell.
But nope, I was the only jackass in class. Everyone looked like they knew what they were doing and doing it well.
Even the food-poisoned young ladies.
After sweating through class, with my heart pounding so hard I was concerned the paramedics were going to be called, I realized one thing:
I am out of shape.
And not just out of shape. My body is completely deplete of any shape at all.
I am a fifty-year old woman whose body is that of a seventy-year old (I apologize to all you seventy-year old women right now, because you probably still look and feel better than I do but if I put the number any higher, I will most likely drop dead of a stroke from the thought of it).
When I get out of bed in the morning, it takes a good five minutes to warm up. My back hurts, every bone pops, and forget about my knees. Those babies are shot and are in dire need of a repair.
I can no longer sit on the floor. If I do, I resemble one of those baby elephants trying to get a feel for standing except the baby elephant has a higher success rate.
After I prayed hard for the class to end, it finally did. I glared at my friend and pretty much threatened her life. “NEVER AGAIN,” I proclaimed for the entire class to hear.
The instructor actually breathed a big sigh of relief.
There was one benefit to this class. And that is I realized how badly I need to make some changes.
If I don’t start moving my ass, I am not going to be in good shape by the end of the decade. I mean, even worse than I am now. And that scares the hell out of me.
How in the world did I let myself go? Four years ago I was running five miles three to four times a week. I could run circles around most of the young people I knew. I was thirty pounds lighter, fit, tone, and best of all I felt amazing.
I’m just a fifty-year old woman stuck in a seventy-year old body who can’t do Barre class without looking like a walrus trying to scratch his own back.
I don’t really know what that means, but believe me it can’t be pretty.
Cheers to healthier days. Maybe next time you see me, I will look less like zoo animals, and more like a woman in the prime of her life.
“Arthritis? What the heck do you mean arthritis?” Those were the words I uttered from my fat mouth when the nice physician’s assistant came in to inject the first of five doses of gel into my broken knee. When I was signing that little form that they make you sign informing you of the possible side effects, I saw the word “arthritis” at the top. So, I surmised that people who need this gel injection have arthritis. My suspicions were confirmed when I inquired. I should have quit while I thought I was ahead.
So, here I am. At the age of 47 and already suffering from droopy eye syndrome so badly that I fear going completely blind by way of my own eyelids (is that why I need reading glasses?). I have sporadic hairs growing out of my chin. I’m thinning out down below (when I say “down below” I’m not exactly talking about my toe hair). The backs of my hands have a city map running through them. My memory lasts about as long as a teenage boy embarking on his first romp. I forgot to mention the gray that just about exceeds the natural color (whatever that is) on my head, my sudden desire for stock in the company that makes Depends and the crows feet that look more like the feet of a pterodactyl. So, now you tell me I have arthritis of the knee?
I’m over it. This aging thing royally bites. Although I don’t really think I’m that old. In case you didn’t hear me, I’m only 47. Forty-seven. XLVII (yes, I looked that up). I exercise. I eat healthy. Sure I have a glass(es) of wine a night and maybe a potato chip or two from time to time. But really? Give me a break.
It’s cool. I’m embracing it. Well, kinda. When I’m not overcome with a panic attack of epic proportions that includes downing a glass of Metamucil while watching an episode of The Golden Girls. Really. I’m okay with it. I may look and feel 86 but I act 16. That’s all that matters. Right?
Hey all! Today is my birthday. Yup. April 6. Besides me, Paul Rudd, Candace Cameron, Bill Dee Williams, Marilu Henner, John Ratzenberger and a whole bunch of people I’ve never even heard of also have a birthday today. All my life I thought I shared a birthday with Houdini, but I just found out I don’t. That’s embarrassing. I also share my birthday with a couple of friends, which is totally cool but not. Get your own birthday! JK.
So, I’m 47. Or as my sweet dad likes to say, “you’re in your 48th year.” Thanks dad. I can officially say that I am in my late 40’s. Although I would really prefer not to say that ever. I don’t know why. I feel good, I’m in a good mental state (well, most of the time), I’m fairly happy with the way I look (Except my eyelids. They droop so bad, it looks like I’m sleep walking. When did that happen?). I’m doing something I absolutely and completely love, love, love. So, what’s my problem?
I’m almost 50. Sure, you may think it’s not a big deal. And on the large scale, it isn’t. It’s just a number. I need to embrace it. Sure, okay. I will. But first I need to say this: Like my eyelids, WHEN THE HELL DID THIS HAPPEN? And freak that. It is a big deal. Holy Hell. I’m almost 50.
Just yesterday I was 19, when I met my husband-to-be. DH had a grandmother (she lived to be 99 — love and miss you Mem). She was in her seventies when I met her. I used to say, “Oh, I’ve got plenty of time before I’m that old.” Well, guess what? I’m closer to there than I care to admit. I barely remember the first half of my life it whizzed by so fast. That is what scares me.
Why do I think about it so much? Because. There is stuff happening to me that makes it quite apparent that I am aging. How is a girl supposed to NOT think about it when…
I swear, I lose an inch of height a year. At my tallest, I stood at five feet five and three quarters of an inch. Now? Let’s just say The Kid absolutely LOOMS over me. I can’t even post a picture of us on Facebook without someone making that “are you kneeling?” comment. My name is Mo and I am shrinking. There, I said it.
The backs of my hands look like a road map of Manhattan. Where did you say you wanted to go? Madison and 37th? Oh, here it is. Right beneath my left ring finger. Kind of convenient, wouldn’t you say? No.
Every morning when I get out of bed, I have more aches and pains than an athlete who just finished a marathon followed by the Iron Man. No, actually, I think I hurt more than that. It takes me a good 10 minutes to loosen up in the morning. I may need a cane soon to get me to the bathroom so I can go pee.
Speaking of pee…when I go, it doesn’t stop. I think it stops. But it doesn’t. I have been known to leave a lovely trail to the shower (follow the yellow pee road). I’m sorry. I can’t help it. All the Kegels in the world don’t help.
Holding my arms out to read something no longer works. I don’t really want to talk about it. Let’s just say there are a pair of readers in every room of my house, in my car, pocketbook and on my head at all times.
My eyelids are just about reaching my boobs. Which is pretty bad because my boobs are now half way down my stomach. They haven’t quite reached the belly button though. And for this I am grateful.
I call everyone under the age of 40, a “kid.”
I think my hair has more gray than blonde. But I wouldn’t really know because I hide it with highlights. In fact, I don’t even know what my real hair color is anymore. And I have a feeling I should continue to stay in the dark about that for as long as I possibly can.
I graduated high school 28 years ago. When The Kid graduates, I may be going to my 30th reunion. Oh Dear God.
When you start running at the age of 46 and need knee surgery less than 8 months later, then maybe you shouldn’t start running at the age of 46.
I think that’s enough. Today is a happy day. Today is my birthday. So what that I may have to start adding Metamucil to my wine. Mentally, I feel like I’m 15. A 15 year old with a short term memory problem. Whatever. It could be worse. My boobs could be hanging down to my belly button.
On my Facebook page last week, I mentioned that I wear baby doll pajamas to bed. Even in the dead of winter. That’s because if I don’t, I run the risk of death by drowning.
When I got my first night sweat, I wasn’t sure what was happening to me. I thought maybe I had a bad nightmare. I was drenched. Like someone doused me with salt water. I actually had a puddle right where my boobs meet. My head was as wet as if I just came out of the shower. And the sheet under me? It was more like a Slip ‘N Slide.
I was relieved to discover that this didn’t happen very often. Just once in a while. I could totally handle it. That was about 3 years ago. Recently, it has decided to kick itself up a notch. Including the hot flashes. You know the ones. Where you swear someone lit a match to your insides and started a bon fire? Yeah. Those. And in the last 3 weeks my night sweats have produced enough water to create a small sea.
I was told that I was in peri-menopause. Peri-menopause? What the hell? I can’t be going through that already. I’m only thirt — oh — 46. And I’m not sure who told me. Was it my doctor? A friend? My mother? I don’t know. Because one of the other symptoms of peri-menopause is…ummm. Hmm. That’s funny, I don’t remember.
Even if you just started hanging around me, you quickly get the idea that I’m freaked out by the whole aging process. The changes to my body is completely throwing me for a loop. I mean, I don’t mind being in my forties. I feel like I’m all mature and stuff. Mature. Something I’ve been trying to achieve since 1987. But really. Can’t the Age Fairy just leave my body alone? What did I ever do to her?
So, Age Fairy. You are a meany. Here’s what I say to you: this old age may cause me rage but sweat and mood swings will never hurt me. Nanny-nanny boo-boo.
I’ve always considered myself “young.” I’ve never acted my age. Ever. Even now, as a mother. The Kid is constantly reprimanding me because of my inappropriate behavior. I do silly things. Make dumb choices. Laugh when someone farts.
But not only have I always acted young. I always looked young. When I was 12, I looked 8. When I was 18, I looked 14. And so on. When I finally turned 21 and I ordered my first legal glass of White Zin, the waitress stared at my I.D. for about 17 seconds then accused me of forging my birth year. I got carded for quite a while. And then, I didn’t. Huh.
So, when two “collegues” in the span of about 7 days approached me at My Retail Job asking for my advice because I am a “mature woman” I was a little more than shocked. Me? Mature? What do you mean? I looked around to make sure they weren’t speaking to someone else. Like some old biddy standing behind me, perhaps?
Unfortunately, they weren’t. “You know, you’ve been around a while. You know what to do.” I ran home both times and stared at myself in the mirror. Okay, so I have a few more wrinkles than usual, my lips are pretty much non-existent (why does that happen) and my jowls rival those of Julia Childs. But come on. I’m not old. Am I?
Hmmm. I do tend to pee without warning when I sneeze, cough or just because. I can’t remember what I did 30 seconds ago pretty much all the time. I need longer arms so I can read. My hair is going gray. I have parenthesis between my eyes. My knees are sagging. And my boobs have joined them. My body aches when I get out of bed in the morning. I need to turn up the volume on the TV to about 42. Oh. Holy Shit. I’m old. When the hell did that happen? But, I was just young the other day. I swear it.
Ok, so this old chick isn’t giving free advice anymore. If you want it, you’re gonna pay. Except it ain’t gonna be a nickle. Hey, we seniors have to make a living. And if you ask for advice and use the word “mature” in any form, there’s going to be a premium added. Let this be your warning. Have a nice day you whipper-snappers.
Yesterday the sun came out for the first time in what seemed like ages. It was really, really nice. The sun was shining brightly into my bathroom window. There was lots of sunshiny awesomeness.
Once upon a time, lots of sunshiny awesomeness may have been good for putting on makeup. But now, it just reminds us of how old we are getting. Remember those vanity mirrors we all got for Christmas when we were adolescents? There was a setting on it for “daylight.” I loved that daylight setting. When I was 14.
I proceeded to apply my makeup in the usual way. In a very bright room. Not the dark room I have been accustomed to all winter. I always thought I did my makeup in a natural way. This is basically what I looked like, minus the red nose:
I looked closely at my eyelids. Or what’s left of them. It’s hard to tell where my lid ends and my cheeks start. And with eye shadow applied it was even more pronounced. They have more folds than a baby’s thigh. But not as cute. Or as sweet. Or as darling. When did that happen? I see quite the resemblance between Droopy the Dog and me.
I felt obligated to title those photos, in case you weren’t sure.
My eyeshadow doesn’t even look like eyeshadow. It just looks like a bad paint job on a couple of sandbags.
Oh, well. It is what it is. I’m really not into cosmetic surgery but for survival, I may need a lid lift. Any day now those babies will be hanging down so low, I may be blinded. Then I will embrace my maturity and perhaps age gracefully. Maybe.