The clock is ticking. And it’s not a biological one.
We can’t stop the clock. It ticks away slowly at first. We are young and invincible, and days at the pool stretch out into long weekends. School seems to drag on and on and we can’t wait to become eighteen-year-old adults and do whatever we want.
In our twenties, time continues to move, but at a more moderate pace. Some of us are confused about what to do with our lives and some of us know exactly what we want and forge ahead. Either way, the moments pass as we make mistakes and try to make sense of the adult world.
Life starts to speed up in our thirties. Career choices might be cemented by now, and if so, we must work, work, work. Save money, spend money. Families are starting or continuing to grow and the line between happiness and anxiety starts to blur. Houses are bought and sold and credit card debt soars, leaving us to wonder what the next decades will bring.
The forties hit like a ton of bricks. Time moves at warp speed. It was just Christmas and then it’s ninety degrees and then it’s snowing on Halloween and we can’t remember what we did last week. It’s seemingly the end of our youth. Hard-driven, career oriented women start having meltdowns about not being married or having children. Desperation kicks in and they start speed dating and freezing their eggs, hoping Father Time might take mercy on them.
Women like Oprah and Gwyneth Paltrow write books about how amazing this next stage in life is. Of course it is for them! They have housekeepers and drivers. They have chefs to make them raw organic gluten-free smoothies and assistants who walk their dogs while picking up their dry cleaning. I would write a damn book about that too.
Once you turn forty, everyone seems so young. “Kids these days” is a phrase that I would roll my eyes at when my grandparents would use it. Now, I find myself uttering the words myself. I didn’t get my first cell phone until I was in my early twenties. My seven year-old goddaughters have their own email accounts and I’m sure they could help me with an Excel spreadsheet.
You become somewhat invisible. Construction workers may still look at you for a second, but if there’s a twenty-five year old blonde walking next to you, forget it. It’s sad that one could be so disappointed for not being objectified.
Ailments start popping up everywhere. Your back hurts, you can’t seem to move as fast, cholesterol is suddenly important. We have to schedule Mammograms and worry about our bone density and be sure to take enough multi-vitamins to keep from getting sick.
Let’s not forget about anxiety, depression, stress and fear of the #1 killer of women, a heart attack. Girls in their twenties don’t worry about this stuff. They are out partying, having sex, drinking until 4 a.m. and bouncing out of bed the next day. Bitches.
Wah. Wah. Wah. I’m really not trying to throw myself a pity party. These are the facts of aging and there’s nothing we can do about it. We all eventually get old and time does not discriminate.
Being in this age bracket does have its benefits, however.
With age comes wisdom and reinvention. A better you. Hopefully.
Mistakes that were made in your twenties and then repeated in your thirties are lessons learned. If we’re lucky, we stop dating the wrong people, change careers if we’re miserable and stop sweating the small stuff.
I believe that as we age, we figure out who our true friends are and which ones should be let go. We stop worrying so much about what people think. We realize that the “grass is always greener” is a true statement and to be grateful for what we do have. We know what we are made of and how to deal with what’s thrown at us.
A therapist once told me, “You don’t have to do anything. You don’t even have to pay your taxes. But you do have to die. That is the only thing we have to do in life.”
So, until that day comes, I will continue my struggle to eat healthy and work out, bleach my teeth, dye my roots and get my bi-annual Botox injections while reflecting on this wonderful life of mine.
Hey, I never said I was going out gracefully.
What does age mean to you? I would love to hear your comments below.
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