Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Thoughts on aging as a woman...


In all fairness I like to think I am a pretty easygoing girl. I like to think I can roll with the punches (as long as they're not below the belt) and take life as it ebbs and flows.

But lately I am faced with the prospect that I am indeed NOT as relaxed as I would like to think I am. In fact, I happen to be wound rather tightly at this particular time in my life.

I hit the last of the mile stone birthdays, 25 and am now a quarter of a century old. That in and of itself is a difficult thing to process. I am no longer young enough to be "young and stupid" but I am not old enough to be "mature and composed" so I exist in this grey area. What other birthdays do I get to look forward to? 30 - Whoop-dee-do I am officially no longer in my twenties and allowed to panic that I haven't yet figured out my life/gotten married/bought a house, etc., 35 - Only five more years until the big Four-O, 40 - Every person in their twenties annoys me because I don't have their skin elasticity and I know it's only going to sag more.

Not to be completely pessimistic. I do know that there's a lot to look forward to in this great life of mine.

1) Credit card debt...it's like the flu you eventually will get it and no matter what you do to prevent it, you will get it again.

2) Children...little versions of myself and the person who donated genetic material for it's creation, who will eventually learn the words "No!" and "I hate you!" and "I want that!".

3) Stretch marks...from having the child who resents me for most of its life and then moves out. Permanent physical reminders of the blessed event for the rest of my life rendering me unable to wear a bathing suit.

4) Crash Dieting...to remove the the baby weight in a vain attempt to recapture my former "figure" and realizing that no matter what I try to do not everything will go back to it's original location on my body without major surgery.

5) "Mom jeans"...I don't know exactly why women over the age of forty adopt these horrible hybrids of 80s fashion, but it's inevitable. Sadly I see these women in Cosco buying them in bulk, checking to make sure that the waist line actually reaches the middle of their torso and that the cuffs stop just above their ankles, and that they are tapered to stone-washed perfection. It's like a black hole, they somehow suck you in.

6) A Mini Van...fight it any way you want and buy yourself an SUV and try to trick the neighbors into believing that you're a "cool" Mom, who doesn't need to roll in a mini-van. But eventually all women have to face the fact that they bought the larger car to accommodate soccer gear, bake sale confections, Mom jean sprees at Cosco, and car seats. SUVs are just boxy versions of the Mini-van, you might as well give it up and go buy a Plymouth Voyager.

7) Gardening...I dread the day that I wear grubby old clothes and big mismatched gloves while pruning, watering, clipping, raking, planting obsessively well into my older years. Call me crazy but isn't it a bit frightening that daily conversation eventually slips from anything that is relevant to actual life and deteriorates into an advanced discussion of how ones hydrangea's are doing and how you got rid of all those pesky slugs without hurting your roses?

8) Menopause...lets not forget this great milestone in any woman's life, finally our monthly struggle against nature's cruel fate of bloating, crabbiness, cramping, and overeating is taken away in a mere two to four years of hot and cold flashes, more cramps, more overeating, violent mood swings, embarrassing public sweating/crying, weight gain that will NEVER go away, and decreased sexual desire due to loss of hormones.

All of life's stages are beautiful gifts that we should cherish and be thankful for.

I suppose my anxiety mostly stems from the knowledge that I don't really know where my life is going. Though I am thankful that I have encountered people along the way who have shaped my development, and I am thankful to those who constantly show me what it is to be a good friend. It's comforting to know that we are all going through this together and that 20 years from now, we'll all be bitching about the same things.

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