The Dolly Mama

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40 and Fabulous? March 21, 2012

Filed under: The Mama Has Spoken — dollchandler @ 9:37 pm
Tags: , , , ,

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….


4 Responses to “40 and Fabulous?”

  1. Terri Says:

    But here’s what I need you to know honey. It gets worse so have the biggest time you can now.

  2. Kathy Greer Says:

    what I’ve noticed about 40: You start to smell funny. I have sincerely never really stunk after exercising until I turned 40. Something about the hormonal shift – at least that’s my excuse and I’m stickin’ to it. 🙂

    …and I’m suffering from a pulled intercostal muscle that makes it hard to take a deep breath. Your body does just start to fail you. Hang in there, baby!

  3. Pam Davis Says:

    As I read this, I am currently suffering from an awful lower back spasm – I simply cannot move without being in excruciating pain. I’ve been walking around all week like a bent over, old woman (more like 82 instead of 42). Right now, Dolly, I feel your pain. Literally. And the strained hip and butt thing – I had that (actually a pinched sciatic nerve – DEFINITELY something I expected in my much older years) at age 27!! Now, this was probably due to backpacking around the British Isles and Europe (almost worth it). My guess is, hon, that you got your butt and hip strain from being active – not from being 40 – just a guess! I know our bodies don’t bounce back from injury the way they used to but maybe we didn’t try so hard, either. The non-motivation and the inability to focus and sleep – probably due to having small children – also not from being 40. This is a phase. A phase that could have come (and may come again) at any age. You will adjust, much like every other phase in your life and you will do so, swimmingly. I just know it. You are beautiful and witty and inspiring and, oh yeah, you are also 40. Unmotivated, unfocused, and wounded but still moving forward through each phase of life. How you cope has very little to do with the number of birthday candles on your cake. Its a dang good thing we get all year to come to terms (hopefully) with that number! Hang in there and realize that the first step is admitting you have a problem. “Hi, my name is Dolly, and I am an introspective 40 year old mom with young children, a penchant for running, and a butt cramp from hell. I have the attention span of a 4 year old and I need the force of an earthquake to get me motivated these days. I am bitter and I am tired.” The next step is a writing a blog so you can share your journey with your friends/fans (who no doubt share your thoughts). And the next step, well, I can’t help you there, I am only just getting a grip on being in my 40’s too, but somehow I know we’ll figure it out.

    If you fell asleep before reading the “you are beautiful, witty, and inspiring” part – here it is again.


  4. Sandy Neese Says:

    Dolly Llama, your 40’s will be great! Trust me. Your energy, etc., will return and this will be an exciting decade for you! I just know it!


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