The “joys” of aging

11 Jul

Have you noticed how, when you are younger (say, under 40) you don’t say things like “women of my generation?” There is apparently some magical age where all of the sudden you are separating yourself out from the pack. Mentally and emotionally and spiritually I feel great and, other than (thankfully) more mature and stable, not much different than when I was younger. But physically things change, and the promise of ovary transplants in the future does nothing to change that.

I’ve posted previously about my last few years, so we won’t recap that (thank goodness!), but I think the thing I notice most consistently is that I don’t have the long-term stamina that I used to. For instance, on Sunday I got up at 4:15am and flew to Florida, changing planes in Atlanta. I spent the afternoon with family, then slept poorly on the mattress I had my entire childhood (so that mattress, having been purchased before I started using it, is probably over 50 years old!), and woke up at 6am. On Monday I drove 9 hours and 45 minutes back to NC from FL, on the long and boring I-95, by myself. That night I got either a bad headache or mild migraine, and went to sleep early, and slept 10 hours. Yesterday I did back to back to back (etc) appointments and errands from 9:30-5:30, and by the end of the day was really exhausted. It’s not that what I did was so tiring, on any given day. It’s just that, after 3 days of go-go-go, I had used my energy reserves.

This was a lot worse when I was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia back in February, and these 3 days would have put me down for another 3 or 4 days. But now that I’m doing so much better, I find it discouraging. I don’t have a super active life, by design. Maybe it’s just that this type of on the go-ness is unusual for me now. But I suspect it has to do with being 47, also. And that stinks.

The other bummer is how hard it is to maintain my usual weight. I’m not heavy by any measure, but there is a range in which I feel comfortable, confident, and healthy, and that used to be easy to maintain. Now… Not so much! And while I used to gain weight in my hips and behind, now it’s all waist and weird back. Admittedly, when it’s 106 degrees my first thought hasn’t been “Exercise! Yay!” so I haven’t done much in recent weeks. But that’s happened in the past and I could get away with it. Not now. Now, it seems to be about vigilence, and making very careful trade offs to indulge in the slightest goodie. It’s depressing.

On the other hand, I don’t want to look like a 25 year old, have six pack abs or a rock hard butt. OK, I wouldn’t mind looking like that, but I don’t have any interest in doing what it takes to get there. I learned a couple of years ago that, while my brain enjoys exercise that kicks my butt (like Insanity), my body doesn’t. I get injured. I get sick. I get obsessed. And I don’t want to be obsessed with the physical – I’ve got a lot more important things to do! But I do want to feel healthy and strong, and I guess that’s what I’m a bit south of at the moment.

So today, starting back counting points with Weight Watchers online (a great program, btw, even if it’s only 5 lbs you want to lose, or just maintain), and walking/paddleboarding/the gym. Bummer.

2 Responses to “The “joys” of aging”

  1. Annetta Heller July 11, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    I so totally agree! I miss my boundless energy….riding my bike to and from the beach everyday without exhaustion, neither mental or physical. My problem is I need to lose another 30 pounds for my ankle’s sake, and like you said, my 46 (I won’t be 47 for another couple months Ha! Ha!) year old body just laughs at me!

    You are the best and I love your blog, my friend! Annetta

  2. Tracy Garrison July 19, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    Wow~ I think all of us “40” somethings can really relate to this! It’s not easy seeing your body age right before your eyes and your mind is soooo young! My eyesight has gotten a lot worse in this last year and that has been really a “downer” for me. I know wear bifocal lenses and my stigmatism has doubled (so I cannot wear contacts). On the bight side of aging, I think as I get older~ I feel more and more liberated! I have realized the most important things in life and have forgotten the rest. It’s a beautiful thing………..:-D

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