Well, the Dolly Mama has turned 40. I actually did in January, but it’s taken me this long to come to terms with that large number. I’m really not that terrified by 40, I’ve been preparing for it all year, so it was kind of uneventful to be honest. It’s the weeks following that has been an adjustment.
I keep getting the same thing – “Oh, 40 isn’t old,” “You are only as old as you feel,” “You are a young 40-year old!” I appreciate all the support and I honestly partially agree with all those broad statements. I don’t think anyone else who is 40 is “old,” I do believe that if you act old you will be surprised at how fast your body will catch up with you and, sure, I’m a pretty immature 40 year-old, so I’ll give you that one. But I am a little bitter about some of the “truths” I was never told about getting older. Let me share some of the things I’ve discovered about myself after turning 40.
First of all, does 40 remember what the word motivation means? Wow…the verb “motivated” seems to have just disappeared from my vocabulary. The kids seem to be enjoying my lack of motivation these days though. “Mom, can I play the Wii for 23 hours today?” “What?” responds mom from behind a computer with a blank screen. “Oh, sure.” I really have to conjure up a great deal of energy to find motivation to do just about anything these days…hence my absence from The Dolly Mama blog.
That leads me to the second “truth.” You will lose energy. It’s like it evaporates from your body as quickly as your wrinkle cream evaporates from your face. Even if you start out pumped and full-of-life, before you know it, you are on the ground again. Coffee doesn’t help, my former beloved Diet Coke doesn’t help, alcohol just makes me sleepy, and well, exercise takes energy so….
I used to think that if I “thought” I wasn’t 40, I could fool my body into thinking it was still young. Last year at this time, I was probably in the best shape I’ve ever been in in my life. I was running faster than I thought I could, I was stronger, blah, blah. I hit the big 4-0 and my body decides to be difficult and disagree with me. Currently, I am suffering from a strained hip (which is such an old person injury) and a pulled butt muscle. What the heck is that about?? I’ve been a runner pretty much all my life, and now I can’t even sit down without grimacing. It’s just not fair!
The next almost instant change I’ve noticed since turning 40 is my ability to keep focus. Wait, what was I writing about? Oh yeah, focus. Anyway, I drift in and out so much, going from one subject to another in a split second. I can be enthralled in a task, a story, a show, etc., and the next thing I know, I forget where I am. The other day, I was looking directly at my child as he was talking to me, and when he finished he said, “well, can I?” I had no idea how to answer this question, because I had no idea what he just asked me. Forget about making a singular trip to the grocery store. I’ll go in for one thing, come out with something else because I got distracted (which is no difficult task), and have to go back.
Closely associated with the lack of focus is my ability to sleep. I am so tired at the end of the day, but as soon as my head hits the pillow, my mind starts to wander and I either can’t fall asleep or I wake up several times a night with something stupid on my mind. This lack of sleep does not bode well for a woman of 40 who has no energy or motivation. Just sayin’.
There are a lot of other little things that I could discuss about being 40, but you probably don’t want to hear those.
So, here is the part of my blog where I say something highly motivational and life-changing, but I just don’t have the energy….