Tales of Getting Older: Entering the Last Year of My 40s

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agingIt’s 2019. What does that mean? Fresh start. New goals and ambitions. Starting a new chapter. Hope for all good things to come. Let’s make it the best year yet! Or…another birthday quickly approaching. I’m getting older! In March, I will eventually enter the last year of my 40s.

It’s hard to believe that this is coming so soon! Sure it’s over a year away, but when I look at how fast the past 49 years seems to have went, the big 50 will be here like “poof!” It’s terrifying, surreal, exhilarating, satisfying, and a whole bunch of other adjectives.  

Don’t get me wrong – getting older is way better than the alternative, but let’s talk about some comical things I’ve noticed as I’ve aged.

The Funny Facts

All of a sudden, I’ve got years on professional athletes – and even some sports teams managers. I’ve become the eye-rollee instead of the eye roller. There are remakes of songs and/or movies that were remakes when I was young. Without warning, I’m the least technical savvy person in my home – and don’t even get me started on user IDs and passwords. I make my own parents text me when they get home. I find myself purchasing two of many items “just in case” – even though I live across the street from Target and Stop & Shop. Gotta love moving to another age range on those website drop-down choices. And I’m well into an age-related protected class. 

Humorous and a big chuckle, right?

Less Humorous

Eyesight Changes: This was probably the first time the whole “getting older” thing hit me. I always had 20/20 vision, but a couple of years after turning 40, I started straining when reading close. During my eye exam, the ophthalmologist’s simple response was “age.” It was nothing, except getting older, and that these things happen with age. All I needed was the counter readers. I started off as a 1.0 around six years ago and I’m currently at a 1.75. Thankfully it was an easy solution and there was nothing really “wrong,” per se, but it was first time that my age was the answer to changes in my body. My daughter has been wearing glasses since she’s been five, so I know it’s not a big deal – it’s the age reasoning that struck me.

Hair: In general, I find myself leaving the grays in my hair longer, and as a result, I worship L’Oreal Root Cover Up Spray in between colorings. But I’m also referring to “other hair.” Our aging body offers random hairs on random parts of the body that were not there in our 20s and 30s. Pluck ’em and they grow back like weeds. It’s like the gift that keeps giving. What’s even more awesome is when those random hairs turn gray so they are harder to see. One on hand, it’s good that it’s harder for people to notice the odd sprouts. Yet, on the other hand, piggybacking on the eyesight issues – it’s tougher for me to find the suckers to pluck them! And speaking of gray, I’m breaking it to you now that gray hairs turn up everywhere. Yes. Everywhere. 

Memory: In my younger years, I had an incredible memory. I’d remember random dates and what happened on each of those days – so much so that my friends used to rely on my memory for filling in the blanks on past events. Way before the days of documenting every move on social media. Who needed that when I was around. Fast forward to today and with lots more filling my brain, I’m nowhere as good as I used to be. In fact, every time I forget something, I swear that I’m getting Alzheimer’s. I forgot the word “banister” a few years back and I completely freaked out on my husband. Forgetting words, forgetting why I walked into a room, forgetting where I left my phone. Granted this does often work for my benefit with the kids! And now I completely understand the phenomenon of my grandmother running through a list of names before she got to the right one.   

The Body: When exactly did I consistently start to wake up nightly to go the bathroom? Every. Night. Luckily I’m someone who can fall back to sleep easily. If only my body didn’t creak so much when I made my way out of my bed. My understanding is that there’s a whole slew of new doctor’s tests I’ll experience – like a colonoscopy and bone density. Goodness gracious on the thought of menopause – if my postpartum depression was any indication, I’m certainly in for a doozy of a time. There’s also a good chance I have a medicine cabinet worth of medication in my bag – just in case.

Still laughing?  (If you are – stop that – it causes laugh lines).

The Goods

Even though I speak flippantly above, I’m not naïve enough to think that it’s all funny. Some situations that I reference above can be symptoms of something serious, so please pay attention to your body!

Now, I hear that there are pluses to getting older – like the loads of wisdom that I’ve gained during my years on earth so far.….and….um. Wait I have more…ooh oh….the AARP discounts.

Fine, fine…here’s what I’m thinking:

  • You learn to work to live, not live to work.  
  • You can go to the party – or you can stay home. Meaning you make the choice based on what’s best for you – not everyone else in the crowd.
  • It becomes more acceptable to sit at concerts.
  • Sweating the small stuff seems ridiculous. And on a similar note, I read that you physically sweat less too.
  • You know who you are and what you like –  and have less fear about going for it.  
  • You become much less concerned about what others think. You can care less about keeping up with those Joneses!
  • Your M.O. includes speaking up for what you believe in.
  • Going shopping in your own storage closet for gifts because you’re bound to have bought an extra of something here and there.
  • Less drama in all of your relationships.
  • You’re pretty much settled on your wardrobe style.
  • Get rid of things that don’t work for you. Let ’em go ladies. 
  • Admitting that you hated beer in college – even though you drank lots and lots of it.
  • Getting carded! You know, to prove that you’re eligible for those AARP discounts.

It’s weird to realize that there are so many years behind me, but I can only hope and pray that there are many years ahead of me too. There’s still lots to do and lots to see – and a lot of opportunities to leave my footprint on this world. Age causes some funny hiccups, but look at all the tests we’ve passed and all the challenges we’ve overcome already? We got this! We do not have to slow down. Never stop learning, improving, creating, exploring – and never, ever stop getting to know you. You make a difference just by being you.

Age Is Only a Number! It’s a state of mind, my friends! So cheers to the last year of my 40s – gray hair, reader glasses, body creaks, small bladder and all!

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Melissa is a Bronx native who moved to Westchester County after she and her high school sweetheart got hitched in 1997. She and her husband live in Mount Kisco with their son Corey (2004) and daughter Mia (2007). Melissa spent many years working in Human Resources and currently works in enrollment and marketing for a child care organization. Melissa is a two-time survivor of Postpartum OCD. She initially became interested in writing to raise awareness for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders but has discovered that writing is a newfound aspect of her life that she thoroughly enjoys. Melissa is excited to write with the Westchester County Mom team and hopes you’ll enjoy her stories of the trials and tribulations of a born-n-raised city girl raising teenagers growing up here in Westchester.