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Posts Tagged ‘aging’

 

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Another year…

Another year… and another birthday has passed. Holy cow, I’m getting old. I have decided that the older I get the more opinionated I become. I vividly recall a conversation with my Dad years ago about the progression of age and attitude. I said Dad… I’ve got it figured out and this is how I see it:

  • You are 15-18 and everyone does NOT understand you so why bother trying to explain it? Specifically your parents and siblings, they’re pretty much the dumbest of all.
  • Twenty, you’re in college. You know everything (different from above because you know that you know everything) and the most common question at holidays is “how is school going?” You don’t realize how amazing this years are until they are a reference point.
  • Your mid-twenties, you are starting to discover more and more about yourself. You are trying to make a life for yourself, independently, and you start to realize you don’t know everything but in your self-assessment realize everything wrong with you is definitely your parents fault. You should probably call them and explain it to them.
  • Next there is 30 and your skin is getting more comfortable. I would like to go out on a limb and say the next five years seem to be the best five. They are just not that complicated… yet. Your family is developing, whatever that consists of… canines, felines, spouses, children, etc. The roof over your head is possibly under your name and the transportation is all at your cost, and a bit more humble than the transportation you had at your parents house. Your social network is evolving — and not the virtual one, the real thing.
  • 40 is here and you have resigned to the fact it’s okay if people don’t like you. You are who you are and you like you. Your closest family members have accepted you for who you are and you begin to see the value of those closest to you in life. You start to realize what a pivotal role certain people play in the world, and specifically your world. It’s good. Opinions are there but you don’t put as much weight in them. Gravity begins to defy your world and impact your wardrobe a little bit…
  • 45 means 50’s right around the corner. Other people’s opinions of you matter less because you get who you are, you realize where you are in life and that you may/may not be where you dreamed you’d be at 25. But… you are sort of okay with it. You gain perspective but lose vision and memory… ever so slightly… but you don’t tell anyone and those cheater glasses… they are just in case you might see a menu in the dark or someone leaves a rare phonebook attached to your mailbox. Gravity defies you even more and you are making a conscious decision to concede to your weight gain/shape change or give it the old college try for one more time.
  • 50…. I have no idea. I am still a few years away. But… I can only imagine. It’s probably going to be pretty good — attitude-wise anyway.

Funny thing is, I still feel young. I feel smart, energetic (most of the time) and I feel like I am really living the dream even though I joke often using that line. I’m proud to say I was born in the 60’s… just barely, but I was and I am loving living through the eyes of my children as I listen to their laughter and stories of heartache. Growing up is fun, and hard, and a lot more in control than you ever realize, until afterward.

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Shad, Me, and NYC

Shad, Me, and NYC

Well… I have got a half of decade to go. But, my body is feeling old, probably 60. The 40’s are interesting – it’s the time that you REALLY realize that you only get one vessel to take care of, to live your life in, and keep healthy. It’s been since I turned 45 that I started realizing my husband might be onto something with his crazy eating habits. I think they are soooo far out there, so over the top, so ridiculous and so expensive. He takes the attitude of pay now or pay later, it’s the right thing. I have recently starting accepting that his $11 jar of sauerkraut might have some really healthy attributes which are worth the 3 12-packs of Coke I could have bought. Or, maybe, the grass-fed beef actually does taste better than the regular stuff OR even that it’s probably a good idea to stop drinking so much Coke because like so many others my body is dependent on my sugar intake. You would think from a history of diabetes in my family I might have learned that one by now, but, it seriously took the last 25 years for me to look closely. I justified my Coca-Cola consumption by the fact that I don’t have any other vices. I don’t drink coffee. I rarely drink alcohol. I don’t have that other “thing” that I need, so Coke was it for me.
I have consumed less than a 12-pack since October. I had thought I would have shed the weight had I ever committed – unfortunately that was not a benefit. I do have to say, now that I have cut the cord, I feel a bit better and strangely aside from a headache for a day because of the caffeine withdrawal, it hasn’t been all bad.
I think when you are in your 40’s you realize a bit more that you are actually in control. You don’t have to like the things you are “supposed to like” or do the things you are “supposed to do”, you can just be who you are. You care a lot less about what people think and realize having your own opinion holds weight because it’s just that, your opinion.
From a courage perspective I like being a few years from 50, it’s empowering. From a I should have taken better care of my body perspective, I don’t like being a few years from 50 at all. Each day it’s another wrinkle or roll, and not the ones that you look at on your face and attach a story too or a smile too. It’s the more prominent side of aging flesh that you realize you can no longer shove in a shirt, or a bra, or even a pair of pants. I cringe at the thought that one day that might also say socks and shoes. God gives you this amazing blessing to work with, buy you sure can end up paying for your ignorance.
I try to share some of the important pieces with the kids. I let them know the fundamentals of just taking care of yourself, and Shad definitely is working on the nutrition side. He does an amazing job at keeping so much of today’s government funded corporate excuse for food out of our pantry and focuses on things that are more natural all the while educating them on why. I know it doesn’t always make sense when your peer group is not necessarily doing the same but hopefully it will make a difference for them. We both have confidence to share with them and ideas about how to be proud of who you are and what you do so it doesn’t take them 45 years to figure out what I am finally figuring out.
Enough of a night time rant, 45 is cool, and if I can walk 50 will probably be even cooler.

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