Thursday, February 25, 2016

I'm Forty-five For A Moment

I turned forty-five last week. Forty-five, caught in between forty and fifty. I'm still not sure how that happened. One day I was twenty-five with a newborn son, and now I'm forty-five and he is twenty. In the blink of an eye.

At least I have my midlife crisis all over and done with. Not that I was planning on heading into a midlife crisis at forty-three, mind you. I'm not sure that anyone actually plans on having a midlife crisis, I'm just glad mine's behind me. And for the record, I didn't buy a Porsche, though I did buy a new Highlander last fall (which doesn't count because it took me freaking forever to make up my mind to buy it).

Forty-three was a hard year, in fact it was pretty awful for a few months. But ironically, I came out of it much healthier and stronger than I was when I went into it. Dan's death was a huge wake-up call. In the midst of all the chaos, I started taking care of myself. I ate a lot better, I exercised regularly, I lost a ton of weight. I actually enjoy working out now, and I cope so much better with stress because of it. Skinny jeans don't scare me any more! At forty-five, I'm fitter than I've ever been, physically and mentally. Quite honestly, I never thought I'd be saying that (especially the skinny jeans part).

I have to admit though, I have gotten a few more wrinkles and grey hair since I was forty-three. Well, the greys are hidden, the wrinkles not so much. To be honest, I hadn't really noticed them, mostly because I can't actually see without my glasses on (it makes it much easier to live in denial). But then one day I looked in the mirror when I had my contacts in. Dear Lord! Where the hell did they come from?

And this is how I found myself in the drugstore looking at anti-aging creams. Who knew face cream was so freaking complicated?? I asked the skin care consultant, who was all of twenty-three (if that) which one was the best. I explained to her that I had just turned forty-five and had discovered some wrinkles. Her response was to ask me how bad my face sagging was (seriously are you freaking kidding me? I said forty-five not eighty-five, thank you very much). Fortunately for her, she agreed sagging wasn't a problem yet (thanks for that) and led me to the appropriate line of products. She showed me the best ones, explaining to me the different options (and this was when Katty bailed on me because she was trying quite unsuccessfully not to laugh). "Think of it as taking a road trip, they'll both get you there, one's just going to take you longer. You can take the scenic route, or you can take the highway." I don't need the goddamn highway, I need the freaking autobahn! And obviously the freeway to anti-sagging while I'm at it.

I make jokes about being old all the time, but I really don't think I'm old. Mostly I just use it as an excuse for a bad memory, when really my memory isn't that bad, I'm just disorganized. I chalk that up to being creative. I'm sure there's a study somewhere that proves creative people are more disorganized, if I were more organized I would have saved a link for it. I've decided one of my goals for this year is to TRY to get more organized. Emphasis on try, Rome wasn't built in a year after all.

Last year when we moved into the house, I found a card at the bottom of a box of Tupperware I was unpacking. I'm not sure how it ended up at the bottom of a box of Tupperware (I told you I was disorganized) but there it was. I didn't recognize it at first but when I looked at it, I realized it was the card Dan had given me for my forty-third birthday, just a few months before he died. It was a classic Dan card. He found it highly amusing, me not so much (he would actually still find it highly amusing). I really can't make this stuff up.



Sometimes you find things when you need them the most.



I'd been so sad that week. Moving into the house alone was so much harder than I'd expected. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself because my life was literally and figuratively a mess, and then I found this card. Talk about perspective. He was right (of course he was). I'm still here. I got to be forty-three (as shitty as parts of that year were), and forty-four and forty-five and hopefully many, many more. Life really is a series of moments, some happy, some sad. If we're lucky we get a lot of them. I don't ever want to waste any of my moments. I want to make the most of every year I get.

We all complain about getting older but we shouldn't. Old age is a privilege denied to so many. Being forty-five really is so much better than the alternative.

So hello forty-five, I'm alright with you. Wrinkles and all. But if you could hold off on the sagging for another few years, that'd be great.

"Half time goes by, suddenly you're wise. Another blink of an eye, sixty seven is gone. The sun is getting high, we're moving on.."~John Ondrasik

One Hundred Years

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