I’m forty-one years old. I don’t feel forty-one years old in my heart and soul but my body has been feeling it. My father acts like every inconvenience of aging is the Universe’s personal judgment on him, not a natural part of getting older that millions of other humans are dealing with. I’m not my father but I have got to admit there have been a couple “What the fuck” or “Nobody told me this is a thing…” moments. It is kind of funny and kind of ridiculous.
For example, did you know that as you get older you can’t sleep in? I used to be able to sleep until 2:00 PM but now the longer I sleep, the more pain I am in. It’s not like my brain even allows me to sleep in anymore. The only sleeping in I do is heavily medicated and waking up after that I expect to see bruises on my hips and shoulders I am in so much pain. I need to do the hospital roll to get out of bed those days too.
Coughing can lead to injuring yourself in your forties apparently. After a bad coughing attack, I pulled a muscle in my back and irritated my crumbling cervical discs. I am actually enthusiastically watching home medical device commercials nowadays. That doohickey that can help you put socks on – someone get the inventor a Nobel Prize!
Let’s not get too detailed about digestive and reproductive changes either. But stuff definitely gets weird. I don’t know if I have an allergy, IBS, endometriosis, or perimenopause but I’m tired of trying to figure it out. I have backup options and supplies stashed at home and at work. It’s like middle school all over again. Speaking of, my goddamn skin! It has become dry and flaky plus I break out at least once a month. I don’t mind the lines and wrinkles, I mind the red bumps that appear on my nose and forehead! This week I have been dealing with foot spasms/cramps from who knows what. According to WebMD, it could be a pinched nerve from a herniated disc or diabetic neuropathy. I’m going to try getting new shoes to help the situation. But those were fun anxiety inducing options, thanks WebMD!
A couple weeks ago, I wound up explaining to my co-workers why the Challenger accident was a big deal since they weren’t alive when it happened. It is a fun running joke on my team. Any dig about my age gets a pouty face and a hearty laugh from me. Sometimes I stop and think about all the changes and styuff that has happened in my lifetime – it is wondrous and a little exhausting. When I try to turn my attention to what could shift in the future, I mentally give up. Flying cars, civilian space travel and tricorders would get me excited! Aging isn’t all downsides though. I grew up with thin stick straight hair that could barely hold a curl. Now, I have a wavy mop on my head peppered with cool diamond white strands. When I wake up, I look like Goku. Having the hair I always dreamed about is definitely a bonus.
Basically, aging is a weird ride in a body that sometimes cooperates and other times decides to hurt randomly. Considering that I never thought I would live this long, I appreciate the newness of even the inconvenient stuff!