Remember in our 20s when we could work an entire full week, attend grad school after work, do a happy hour during the week, spend Friday and Saturday night partying or in Vegas, coordinate dance practices during Saturday and Sunday mornings and afternoons and then go back to work on Monday, maybe only slightly worse for the wear?
Yeah, I’m not there anymore. The hardest part about turning 40 is that I keep hearing that things are going to keep popping up and it’s just part of the aging process. It’s probably the part of this transition I was completely unprepared for. I try to take care of myself to the best of my ability (short of a perfectly healthy diet and not drinking at all). But it doesn’t seem to be enough anymore. Genetics and plain old age seem to play a more important part now. And the stress of being the Middle Generation.
I don’t feel like I’m “middle age”. I’m still quite physically active. I sleep better, probably eat better, and definitely drink less than I used to. So my body is breaking down more than it used to and mentally and emotionally, I’m completely unprepared for this. I’m just starting to ask my parents questions about our family history of disease because it seems like a good idea to be aware. I’m having to come to terms with the fact that the things my body feels aren’t the same as how I feel. The difficult part about that is that I don’t know what is a normal change and what is something I need to look into. It sends me down a rabbit hole of questions.
There is a part of me that wants to have a discussion group on different physical challenges people are going through now at this age. Maybe others are talking about it, but this general aging process isn’t something I’ve had discussions about until now. I’m hoping that learning that we are all going through all of these transitions together will help me lower my stress levels about what I’m going through.
For now, I write and I try to find ways to accept my body’s transitions.