Another year older

A new year is fast approaching. That’s a good thing, I guess. A new beginning, new resolutions, a new start. All good things. It also means a new notch on our belt, another year older. I’m still not sure how I feel about that. Here’s something I wrote almost 7 years ago but being that its soon the eve of a new year I thought it appropriate to put it up on my blog now. Something to think about as we cross over that demarcation line that causes 2009 to change over to 2010. Happy New Year everyone!

I feel the need to rant a little. I want to start off by making something very clear – this whole thing about aging – I don’t like it, not one bit.

I haven’t been feeling so good lately. When I wake up in the morning, just getting my feet over the edge of the bed down to the floor takes an effort. And then I have to stand up! What a job! Walking’s OK, once I manage to bend down to buckle my shoes. I keep hoping that I don’t have to go uphill though. That’s a real bother! When I ride a bus, I generally get up and give my seat to any white haired old lady when there are no seats left. I figure that I have to set a good example for my 12-year-old son. But, I don’t know, they must have done something to those bus seats when I wasn’t looking because they are so hard to get up out of!

I’ve been to the doctor. She took all sorts of tests. All the results came back negative. I’m perfectly healthy, she tells me. Well if I’m so perfectly healthy, I tell her, why do I feel so shitty??!! She looks at me with amused sympathy in her eyes and says, “ Well, you know, when one gets to be your age, your body starts…..” “What do you mean, my age?” I respond. And besides, what can she know about it? She’s, what, maybe 35!

I used to be a hippie. I mean, I remember bell-bottoms before they became retro. I’m a member of that Baby Boom generation that thought it was going to change the world. We put flowers in solder’s guns. We believed in making love not war. We had as a mantra “never trust anyone over 30”. And we were never going to get old. We were going to be young forever.

Well, I thought I was doing a pretty good job keeping that age thing at bay. When I was about to turn 30 I escaped by going to Sweden to work. I spent my 30th birthday on a sailboat with this really nice guy (now my husband) sailing out in the Stockholm archipelago. It was beautiful out there. We sailed all night under a full moon – it was magical. He gave me a Queen Silvia box of chocolate for my birthday. I didn’t feel old. I felt great.

Back in hometown New York, 35 was approaching fast. I didn’t want any of my well-meaning friends to throw a surprise birthday party for me and remind me. I called that same nice Swedish guy (not my husband yet) and we decided to go to Paris together. Paris in June. I was dressed in my most sophisticated NY clothing. He was tall and handsome. No birthday cake – just Paris. It was wonderful. I didn’t feel old. I felt great.

The next 5 years passed. That nice Stockholm guy convinced me to move to Stockholm and I convinced him to get married. I was about to turn 40 and I was pregnant with our son. I felt feminine. I felt beautiful. I felt strong. I felt fabulous. I didn’t feel old. I felt great.

That was almost 12 years ago. In that time, I worked, I cleaned house, I cooked, did laundry, made a lot of birthday cakes for kids parties. But no cakes for me. One of the great things about having kids at 40 is that most of your child’s friends’ parents all assume that you are somewhere around their age – 30-something. So, I haven’t had so much time to think about my birthdays and that was fine with me. They just came and went. Life was good.

But somewhere along the line, that ol’ body of mine started getting a bit creaky. I’m moving slower. My hair started turning grey. I started needing reading glasses. My doctor said that I should consider a membership at Friskis & Svettis. Exercise?? Me?? I’ve always been thin – never had to work out to lose any extra pounds. But now my upper arms are starting to do a weird jiggle. And there’s a roll around my waist that was never there before and lets not even begin to talk about the cellulite that’s attached itself to my thighs. Can it be that I’m starting to get old? I almost can’t remember what it felt like to feel great.

But I’m not going to let it beat me. With the help of a bottle, my hair’s still red. I like to think that the reading glasses suit me. And yes, yes, I guess I’m going to have to start at the gym. Even if it doesn’t make me feel great at least I’ll feel better.

Because there’s one thing a lot worse than getting older – not getting older.

So if you see a tall, red haired old lady, with a jiggle in her arm, trying to read the bus map without her glasses, just say hi. I might even remember your name.

2 Responses to “Another year older”

  • Janet Says:

    I’d love to see you at Friskis & svettis on Tuesday mornings!You’ll feel great!

  • Claris Says:

    Happened to see this today although I’m almost a year late in reading it.

    Hah! That’s what you get for moonlight sailing in the archipelago with a Swede! I fell for that one, too! (Even had a kid at 40 with the dude, like you!) And here we are today…with aching joints and bad Swedish accents!

Leave a Reply