I’ve finally hit the stage in life where I have to check that box “40-45 years” when I’m filling out a form, and I’m rapidly approaching the stage when I will be checking the next box down on that list. And, although I really and truly feel like I am at the high point in my life – physically, spiritually and emotionally – there are still a few things that get me some days.
These are the things that no one tells you about middle age. The things, like the little things of parenting (like getting barfed on and how many years you really will go without a good night’s sleep) that you really can’t believe or appreciate until you actually experience it. Event if someone told you, and no one will, these are the things that sneak up on you and smack you in the back of the head with the realization that you really and truly are middle-aged. Even if you still feel 23 in your head… you’re just not. Not anymore.
Here are a few of the realizations I’ve had lately:
Even though the kids are old enough to sleep through the night, I still don’t. I don’t know if it is the conditioning of the last ten-plus years of waking up sporadically to settle little ones back into bed (although, to be perfectly honest, SuperMan usually did that. And that is part of why he is SuperMan to me.) I think, more likely, it has to do with the middle-aged hot flashes I have and the fact that I can’t seem to get comfortable at night. One minute I’m freezing. Five minutes later, just after I’ve drifted back off to sleep, snuggled comfortably under the blankets and cuddled up close to SuperMan, I’ll wake up drenched in sweat and absolutely, positively certain that I have a volcano in my bed. I throw the covers back, run away from the heater that is known as my husband and cling to any cool spot of sheets that I can find. And then, of course, I wake up (what seems like) five minutes later, freezing cold again. *sigh*
And it doesn’t get better in the morning. Middle age is right there waiting to smack me in the head every morning when I get ready for the day…
In the shower, I’ve found that it is more and more hazardous to undertake some personal grooming habits. Now that I am not that good at seeing up close without glasses, things get a little tricky. Glasses are not particularly helpful in the shower, so shaving becomes rather hazardous. Do I go with the stubbly look under my arms or risk slicing my arteries as I try to shave the little hairs away? And have I gotten them all or are there a few stragglers that will be waving along with me at my friends?
Once I’m out of the shower, makeup application becomes a challenge, too. I think I am approaching that point when makeup becomes less of a camouflage and more of a beacon pointing out the wrinkles and lines. I stretch my eyelids to apply my concealer, only to find that when I apply the shadow all the little groves become emphasized. *sigh*
Certain body parts don’t work like they used to, either. My joints seem to have a mind of their own and have become weathermen – announcing the changes in barometric pressure with amazing accuracy. My wrists let me know when I have spent too much time on my computer, which is too bad since that is my job! I’m now good friends with all sorts of ace bandages and splints that I never knew I’d have.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I really, truly feel that this is the peak of my life. I’m happy, I’m healthy and I’m loving where I am. It’s just that these little things tend to sneak up on me and remind me that even though I feel young in my mind, my body isn’t as young as I wish it was.
Are you finding any surprises as time marches on?