Feeling My Age

Friday, September 16, 2011

I remember my grandmother telling me that she always felt like she was 18 years old in her head no matter how old she was. I definitely understood where she was coming from, as I'm sure many of you do.

Lately, I've been feeling exactly my age--44.

I have a the job of a 44-year old person. I sit at a desk in a cubicle in the city after commuting in on a train with a bunch of people like me.

My life as a suburban homeowner involves issues 44-year-old persons deal with: septic pump issues, hurricane preps, basement flooding. I'm very lucky to live in a lovely home on a lovely property in a lovely town, but it's a place where the average age of people is probably 44 and they're focused on earning a living to support their family.

Dealing with the sickness and then death of a parent is something many 44-year-olds face. I had to take on serious matters of making treatment and end-of-life issues. I now spend much of my personal time dealing with estate logistics: selling the house, getting rid of mom's stuff, and dealing with finances. That my boyfriend (who's all of 3 years older than me) is dealing with issues of a similar import (divorce of a sibling and placing a parent in a nursing home) reinforces my own age.

Younger people (20- and 30-somethings) bug the crap out of me. They just seem so frivolous and naive. And they're totally unfamiliar with so many of the cultural references of a 44-year-old, like Bo Derek and Bruce Jenner!

I feel like I no longer exercise for the joy and accomplishment of it, but rather because it's what people who are my age do to prevent the spread they've allow to creep on from expanding even further.

I do know that much of this is just a phase. My mom's death was a super big event in my life and it takes time to work through the emotional and logistical fallout. The issues my boyfriend is dealing with will settle down too. I will at some point renew my interest in my fitness activities and a healthy lifestyle. And I will live in a place where I can more easily access the activities and people that bring out my younger self and earn my living in a way that is a better fit.

For now, though, my 44-year-old self is slogging away and looking forward to that time when I'm young again in body, mind, and spirit.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Oh sweetheart.

    It's funny. I was at a brunch with friends and we were talking about aging parents. One guy mentioned a 90+ year old who is gone now but used to live near him, and would walk around the block every day. One day, John walked with him and they struck up a conversation. Mister 90+ said, "I have walked every day of my life. I used to have a bunch of friends who didn't. I'm the only one who's still here."

    We can't prevent death and decay. But we can put it off and put at least some of it on our own terms.

    Hang in there, and know you are loved.
    3526 days ago
    You are too young to be feeling old. I would love to be 44 again! (I'm 53...yikes!) You've been through some rough times here will get better.
    3527 days ago
    That next to last paragraph is exactly true. Nothing like grief to temporarily make us old and careworn. And as you said it will pass. Meantime that exercise you described is one thing that will really help move along the dark times and bring on the pink clouds once again. This was such a moving blog. Glad to see you again too.
    3527 days ago
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    Wow.. our lives seem almost the same.. I just lost my dad whom I took care of these past 3 years, and I'm handling his estate.. My boyfriend is taking care of his mom who had a stroke, and now is showing symptoms of alzheimers.. and I'm 47! However, at this stage of my life, I decided to go to nursing school. After taking care of my parents these past 3 years, it seemed to be the thing to do. Of course I'm the oldest one in my class (besides my professor), but oh well. I look around at these "kids" and realize I have more life, more spark, more energy and more enthusiasm than half of them combined.. Not a bad deal.. I think our attitude determines our outlook and how we feel about things. It's been a rough road for me these past 3 years with losing my parents and taking care of them both during their illnesses, but I'm determined to get through it, and through nursing school with a smile on my face.. I refuse to get old in my head, even though my body is pushing 50!
    3528 days ago
    3528 days ago
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