I’m 46. I will be 47 in January.
And as I write this, I am very aware that my age has everything to do with my sandwich-situation. If I were just a few years older, I probably couldn’t have pre-school-aged children. If I were any younger, it would be a little weird to have a mother-in-law in her eighties, unless I married a real geezer. This—MY life as it is—could only happen to someone who is 46—give or take a year or two.
No wonder I don’t know very many people in MY situation. I honestly don’t know that many people my age. I’m demographically between booms. The Baby-Boomers are a little older, and while I am technically a Gen Xer, I’m one of the old X-ers. I remember the 70s because I’m old enough to remember them and young enough to have never done reality-altering, memory-erasing drugs.
There just aren’t as many of us, and for the most part, that has worked to my advantage. For starters, it wasn’t very hard for me or anyone in the Class of ’85 to get into college. The last of the Boomers had just graduated and universities were pretty desperate for students. Did they even bother to look at SAT scores or read those entrance essays?
The biggest advantage for me, however, is that Boomers slowed aging. They extended adolescence to thirty, and being younger than they are, I’ve spent my adulthood believing that I would never grow old. In fact, I think I am 18 until I walk past a mirror.
This morning, however, I came to a painful realization. I may be peri-menopausal. Deep sigh. My sleep is erratic because I’m always too hot or too cold. I’m easily agitated. And there’s my weight. I swear I put on ten pounds in the course of one day.
I’m not sure what to do with this realization–except accept it. There really isn’t anything to do, is there? That and just get on with my life. Maybe I should change my diet more—beyond the fasting. I never have PMS except when I am on my high-fat, high-sugar, alcohol and caffeine diet. Seriously, if you eat and drink crap and then complain about cramps and mood swings to me, I will preach diet to you. Please don’t be offended. I am talking from my own experience only. And of course, I should exercise more. That’s just good advice for anyone walking around in a human body, right?
But mostly, I think I am going to cut myself a little bit of slack. Sure, I don’t get PMS unless I’ve been abusing my body with all the wrong foods, and I didn’t experience any of those mood swings that are common during pregnancy. In fact, I lament not taking those opportunities to be bitchy and cry “hormones.” I’ve always believed my body handles hormonal shifts exceptionally well.
With this shift, however, there are a few other factors—oh, I’m never alone, I’m surrounded by people way needier than I am, I feel trapped a lot—yeah, those factors. So, I’m going to cut myself some slack and just keep looking to the future.
Things are about to turn around whether I’m headed towards the Big M or not. My daughter is starting Kindergarten, and I’m optimistic about hiring more help for my mother-in-law within the next few months. I will probably be able to afford childcare for my son one day every other week. A pedicure could be in my future.
Yeah, that’s what I’m telling myself. I’ll get a pedicure and all will be right in my world. Feel free to laugh at me.
(Oh, and since I told you my age, let me tell you about my husband. He’s eight years older than I am. I’ll let you do the math. If you know him and you are just now learning his age, I know you are probably a little freaked out by it. I bet you thought he was ten years younger. He has no gray hair and his eye-sight is still perfect. It’s okay to hate him for a moment. I do.)