Rising Like a Phoenix

But sleepy as a sloth

Source: Wikimedia Commons

When I was 18, the thought of turning 40 was the worst thing I could imagine. But then I reached 40, and now even that is in my rearview mirror. So, while it doesn’t feel cool to be in my 40s, there’s only one alternative: the grave. Guess I’ll take this then!

Don’t you hate it when you’re filling out a demographics form and you realize that you’ve jumped into the next age bracket? 45–54?! C’mon! Couldn’t they break it down into two-year options? 45–47 I don’t feel so bad about. But 45–54?! Fifty is so old! But it still beats the alternative.

Here are the two benefits I’ve discovered to being over the hill: I’ve got a few more bucks and I’m all out of Fs. No more Fs to give. I spent all of those in my 20s and 30s, and I gotta say, it feels good to be in the red.

If a friend asks me to go to a dance club, I’m like, “No. Sorry, not sorry.” If my husband asks me to go see a band play? That’s a hard pass. I am so over standing for hours in a hot, crowded room that wreaks of sweat and hot dog farts while my ear drums take a beating. I finally feel confident stating what I want and do not want, and if anyone has a problem with it, oh well!

I feel like I’m turning into the person I was always meant to be. Especially after reading an inspirational quote that I really took to heart: “Do something every day that scares you.”

Hence, my midlife crisis is less of a crisis and more a series of dares. Starting a new job and trying standup comedy are at the top of the list. Next up: fight a bear!

Unfortunately, one of my goals just isn’t possible for another 10 years. Why do I have to wait until I’m 55 to move into an assisted living facility? I want assisted living now! They should be cool with able-bodied middle agers taking up residency in their apartment complex. I don’t want to wait until I’m so old and frail I can’t enjoy having my life be assisted.

Let the young and fit carry my groceries upstairs, cook me dinner, and feed me. I’ll delegate everything I possibly can. I’m not too proud to accept help. 

I’ve been self-sufficient since I was 16 years old. I’ve been working since I was a teenager. I’m tired! In my case, 45 is the new 60…

Suddenly Old

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The moment you realize you’re old. It comes for all of us.

For me, it started when I asked the twenty-something hostess for plastic cutlery to go with my take-out. She met my gaze with a blank stare.

“Cutlery?” I repeated.

Still, she looked confused.

“A fork and knife?” I mimed eating.

“Ah! Yes!” she said, offering me a sealed packet of plastic cutlery.

I must have sounded as extravagant as the upstairs elite.

It makes me uneasy that my primary care physician is younger than me. Not because I fear she lacks adequate experience, but simply because my doctor isn’t supposed to be younger than me.

It looks like a chess match is under way in my medicine cabinet there are so many bottles of supplements and prescriptions. Mammograms and colonoscopies are suddenly a thing. My knees creak. I’ve got a turkey wattle forming under my chin. The flesh where my biceps should be swings back and forth when I use a hair dryer. Where did that extra skin come from?

All I can do is try to take these realities in stride just as I must when my three-year-old tells me I look like a dinosaur and my husband tells me my hair smells like a goat.