I'm two months away from turning 40. In my mind I'm perpetually 34. I was 34 when sissy died, that is when she stopped aging which naturally to me meant that I stopped aging too. It is incomprehensible that I could continue living without her, ergo I don't get older since she can't.
Obviously that isn't true and I am encroaching 40.
First off, I hate it when people complain about getting older. APPRECIATE IT!!!! Far too many people don't get the great gift of getting older.
That's not to say that things don't change as you age. They do. In fact I've compiled a list of almost 40 things I'm discovering/learned in my almost 40 years.
1. My hair is thinning. Nobody tells you that your hair changes as you age. It does.
2. My kids don't like me. Maybe it's just their age (almost 11 and 8) but a lot of the time they just don't like me
3. Despite #2, the kids are my friends. I love having conversations with them about life, about playing, about everything. Even the hard conversations like the facts of life, cancer and death. We have a real relationship.
4. My kids DO love me. Sometimes they just plain don't like me.
5. Somewhere along the way I've turning into my parents. I think that's a great thing.
6. Somewhere along the way my parents turned into my best friends. I think that's a great thing.
7. I have realized a lot of the hard decisions and sacrifices my parents made while raising us. Thanking them daily doesn't even come close to making up for the sleepless nights and ache I caused them.
8. My metabolism has slowed. Way down.
9. My skin changed. Sissy always told me what beautiful, young skin I had. I didn't understand at the time that it would change into papery thin wrinkled skin that doesn't bounce back when I pinch it.
10. My body droops.
11. I don't really care that my body droops.
12. I'm not that insane, jealous, paranoid wife I was in my 20's.
13. I am proud of the things I've done and what I've lived through in my almost 40 years. I realize I'm so much stronger than I ever thought I could be and I'm living through things I never thought possible.
14. I have to watch "60 Minutes" Sunday nights at 7 pm.
15. I have gone from watching "VH1 Morning Videos" to "CBS This Morning".
16. "Back to School" day is a holiday worthy of celebrating.
17. My priorities have shifted. This started about 10 years ago (when Asa was born) but more and more I'm realizing there is a finite amount of time and energy I have and the people I use it on are extremely important to me.
18. Marriage is a hard accomplishment that never stops needing work. Norm and I have been together 21 years. We have both been at points where we've wanted to throw in the towel but we kept going and working and I'm very grateful for the strides we've made.
19. I don't want to got back to my 20's. Never.
20. I can relate to a lot of the "Remember When....." quizzes on Facebook.
21. The music I partied to is now on the Classic Rock stations. ACK!
22. Eyesight DOES go bad. Even with my contacts and glasses I still have a hard time seeing clearly.
23. I have more doctors in my contacts than I have friends. I'm ok with that.
24. Therapy is a tool to help me deal with these almost 40 things.
25. Despite #17 and my dwindling group of family/friends, I have to do dreaded play dates. These are often with parents I can't stand. The books never talk about how hellish play dates are. Hell.
26. I still own what plays in the car. When the kids get a license then they have earned the right to change the song.
27. I know grown people who were born the year I graduated high school.
28. Older people suddenly seem much younger.
29. Fifty doesn't seem old and when I hear that someone in their 70's died I think "oh, they were young." I'm sure this is in some way related to the fact that Papa is 74.
30. The pharmacist knows me by name.
31. I don't care what people think. Really.
32. My kids get older but I don't see myself aging along with them.
33. Friday nights now consist of Family Movie and Pizza Night instead of getting ready to start club hopping at 10 pm. I'm thankful for that change.
34. People call me Ma'am now instead of Miss. It was shocking the first few times it happened, now I've resigned myself to it. Oh, who am I kidding, it's still shocking.
35. Date nights are extremely important to my marriage. Plus they're fun and as cliched as it sounds, it gives Norm and me time to talk about whatever instead of what is going on with the kids at that instant.
36. I try to be more relaxed at everything. Mom has a great way to weed things out. She asks me if it is going to be important in a week. Most of the time it won't matter so I know what to do, or NOT do as the case may be.
37. My memory is shot. I have no memory. I have to take notes all the time because I can't remember things. I think it's a combination of age/medication/bipolar/depression/grief. At least that's what my psychiatrist says. See #23, 24 and 30.
38. Raising kids is a HARD, at times almost impossible, mostly thankless job.
39. I will never stop grieving my sister.