So for today, my 51st Birthday, I remembered last year how I blogged about turning 50 and how it was really affecting me and it was – a lot! This year hasn’t been that horrible, I mean I’m still managing the 3 areas that plagued me last year; Fashion concerns, Men-o-pause and Health issues, but I just know how to maneuver them more gracefully now.
Age is really just a number and I feel like I’m still in my 20s, mentally that is. Not physically, emotionally or spiritually. All those areas have greatly improved and there is the happy dance I can do. Emotional maturity, in sobriety, is where the growth is. I’m managing my emotions much better than I did last year and as I can feel it. I don’t react, I don’t flip out, I don’t snap – as much as I used to. Not saying all those things have been lifted from me, like the obsession of alcohol was over 13 years ago. This whole life thing for me is all about progress and striving to do better the next day. I can brush off my mistakes easier and keep going forward. I can change the script on how I think life issues, problems, grievances and joys should work out – and that comes down to trusting God.
In case you didn’t happen to read my post from last year, I thought I’d share the full post – as most of it still rings true for me, at 51! So, Happy Birthday to me!
Is 50 the new 30?
I don’t know where that came from or who thinks it’s actually true or what media outlets are throwing the half decade a big party; Today; http://www.today.com/health/americas-favorite-age-its-50-new-poll-says-8C11144329, but as someone who turns 50 in a few days, it’s an emphatic No!
So I’m going to preface this post with three things; One: I am only sharing what is going on with me. Two: This is not meant to be a laundry list of my angst’s, just my personal observations. Three: I normally write about recovery and sobriety, but this is about my Emotional Sobriety! And the only other thing I will say is that after I share this article I won’t complain or mention the half decade milestone again. Ever.
Instead of writing in normal paragraph form, which now I’m too lazy to read, (this must be another upside of turning 50) I will break it down into 3 areas:
I’m getting ready to head out to Palm Springs in a couple weeks with some other hot 50 year olds to celebrate us, and we rented a swag house with a huge pool. I just went bathing suit shopping. I am having a funeral for the skimpy stringy bikini. I can’t anymore. I weigh the same I did a few years ago, but the middle now is a pouch with wrinkles. No matter how many planks or crunches I do (I could do a few more) the pouch has dropped its anchor. In addition to the bathing suit horror, is the arm flab. Can I continue to wear sleeveless? Spaghetti straps? That’s on a case by case basis for now. I find myself wearing the cute jeans still, but with the flowy blouse, the oversized sweater and the cute wrap over the T-shirt. No need to belt that shit up anymore. I’m also getting grayer by the day. I used to go 3-4 weeks until a root touch up was needed, now it’s about a week until they highlight themselves out of hibernation. The hair mascara is my new BFF. Last but not least is my Granny Panties. I can assure you my husband are less than thrilled. I’m not actually wearing the full on granny, but it’s getting there. I like the panties that cover most of my belly. It’s more comfortable. It’s all about the comfort for me. No more thong or cheekers or anything that represents a doily. Can’t do it.
So really, what’s on pause? Is it my lack of libido, is it the brain fog/memory eraser or is it my psycho-ism? I’ve been able to manage the psycho-ism and the libido (mostly) by HRT. But my brain fog tortures me every day. My word association is nowhere to be found and remembering if I just brushed my teeth 10 minutes ago seems to be the new normal. Yeah, I hope this pause picks up again – very soon. I heard it’s here to stay for 5 years? WTF? I will be 55 by then and I will have a whole host of other issues to harness by then. I’m beginning to think it’s all one big conspiracy. For what I don’t know, but it makes sense to me today. As far as the Psycho-ism, when my Menopause arrived hard at my door step I was a bi-polar freak. I was whiny (more than normal), I was depressed and I cried at everything. I mean everything. Lucy not eating her food (she’s a dog), losing to my husband at tennis, and watching a TV show that didn’t have the ending I wanted. Yup, tissues were tucked into my long sleeve t-shirt for all.
I’m a generally quite a healthy person. Until recently. My body aches are an everyday normalcy, I need to take out a loan for my dental work and I’m wearing a Thermacare wrap almost daily for my lower back. What gives here? It’s all just wear and tear. I’m not 25, 30 or even 40 anymore and I’ve beat up my body a lot through the years. But this is my lot right now. I’m saving the best for last. My worst one is the Incontinence! Who can’t make it to the bathroom anymore? Me! I find myself leaking pee right before I get to my commode? Yes, it’s arrived. Albeit, it’s too soon for me to be at Costco investing in a lifetime supply of Depends, but a panti-liner will have to suffice. For now.
So as my laundry list continues to grow, I also realize that for once I can also finally breathe… Ahhhhhhhh. And realize NONE of it matters. Does it matter if I look good in that bikini? Does it matter that he didn’t call me? Does it matter that I didn’t get around to traveling the world? Does it matter I’ve never bought any real estate? Does it matter that I made a bad career misstep? Does it matter that I didn’t have children? (Well, maybe, but no time to obsess on that now). I am at where I am at. I know I’m enough and I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got. My excitement for the future is that I’ve got another 25+ years to try and achieve some of the above.
Let’s talk about the benefits. The biggest one is having the wisdom I have today by going through my lost 20s, my disappointing 30s (until 37, that’s when I got sober) and my coming of age 40s. I’ve loved a lot of people and I have lost some along the way. That’s ok because today I get to be married to a man I love, I get to have a career that challenges me and pays the bills. I get to have a loving family, an adorable pooch and the sheer joy from of knowing that it is enough. Speedbumps and all. The icing for me is I get to have the most amazing group of friends; real intimate friendships with women. These lovely ladies hail from all over the country; some are part of my authentic sober posse and some I’ve known for over 30 years! How lucky am I? I’m lucky that I get to age with these women and share the sweet, as well as the sour.
As a good friend of mine, who is over 50, shared with me today at coffee, “You are never going to look as good as you look today”. That put it all into perspective for me, no more looking back, it’s all about looking forward and accepting that this is where I’m at and it’s not a cruel joke from the universe, a lot of people turn 50 and live to tell about it! Chin up sister!
I am just filled with gratitude that is a party for me next week celebrating my Birthday milestone in all its glory and fabulousness that I can embrace. I just hope I can get to the bathroom in time.
*I know Psycho-ism isn’t a real word, so I made it up for this article. Thanks.