44 years ago, I sprang into this world early. I’ve been early for most things ever since. I get nervous about being late and I guess I started that from birth. I am marking this grand occasion by…working as usual. I did take a short break and visit my favorite coffee place, but most of my celebrating happened 2 weeks ago when we went to pick up the puppies, so today is more like a regular day.
I did buy my first set of reading glasses, which I guess is the first sign of my acceptance of middle age.
I found myself squinting and holding a bottle of flea shampoo at a distance to read it last week and decided it was time. I got the fancy blue light blocking ones and I’m hoping I won’t feel TOO old using them.
There are days I feel like I’m in my 20’s again, with so much better health and fitness than I’ve had for years. Then, there are days my body reminds me that I’m not in my 20’s anymore and furthermore, that it has a lot of dumb stuff I did in my 20’s to remind me about. When I fell last week, x-rays showed osteoarthritis in my knee, where my body is adding in some extra bone to try to stablize things. According to the x-ray of my foot last month, it’s doing the same thing there and x-rays of my spine a couple of years ago showed it happening in my spine. My body is trying to build bone spurs here and there to stabilize joints where cartilege is breaking down…just part of the normal process of aging for most people. I begin to think more about choosing activities based on how sustainable they are…maybe that half marathon just isn’t worth the wear and tear when I want to be doing other activities for years to come?
I also realize this year more than last that I’m entering a new season of life. My children, who needed me so intensely…now prefer their own company or the company of friends their age. It’s as normal and natural as the aging of my joints, but like my joints, it still aches a little. Soon, they’ll be off on their own adventures, doing their own dumb things in their 20’s that their bodies will remind them of in their 40’s and I will be watching from afar. I’m so proud of the young adults they’re becoming, but I do already wonder where the time went.
My husband and I start to scratch our heads wondering…what do we do when it’s just us? For us, it’s never been just us. He entered the picture when the kids were very young, but very, very present and jumped feet first into child rearing. There was never any time when we were a young couple without kids in tow. He was already in his 40’s and I in my 30’s and we were parents from the beginning. Should we go on dates and try to do this all backwards? I’m definitely not wearing uncomfortable shoes, though.
For me, I think the most defining feature of middle age so far (and those older than me are probably already rolling their eyes that I should have any idea at this point) is not really knowing where you fit anymore. At this age and stage, I sometimes feel like I fit with people younger and sometimes with people older. I no longer fit so well with people raising babies, but I’m also not near retirement, either. It’s definitely another awkward in-between stage, like late teens, where you feel a little gawky and like you’re not one thing, but you’re not yet another and you just have to stay in that state a while until time catches you up.
Proof would be that I can still lift heavy weights…and I can apparently also fall down stairs needing a life alert. I can run stair laps, but also consider that maybe we should move into a ranch to save my knees.
And, LL Bean catalogues start to look pretty darn nice because isn’t that a cozy cardigan for reading in?
I mean…I do already have the reading glasses on the way!