If you think it’s bad now, let me assure you, it gets much worse!

While drinking coffee and reading news, blogs and various other nonsense online this morning I came across several articles about middle-aged women and New Year’s Resolutions. Hoping as usual to find something inspiring and uplifting I read on, only to be disappointed by how down some of you are! Seriously ladies lighten up. I think you are confusing middle age with just a really bad case of depression, and having had both, I can tell you it’s not nearly as bad as you think it’s going to be, until it is, and then you just learn to deal with it.

Seriously, one woman was complaining about feeling old and how her youth was over and she was only thirty. If I had been talking to her in person I would have had to resist the urge to slap her!

I too remember the first time my body betrayed me and it occurred to me that this was going to develop into a trend. I was in my early thirties and threw my back out. Just saying “I threw my back out” seems to add ten years to your age instantly. I remember, while being brought to my knees with burning, crippling, breathtaking pain (and I have had four children so I am no wimp about pain) that the foremost thought in my mind was WHAT THE HELL IS THIS SHIT? I AM WAY TOO YOUNG FOR THIS!

Then you hit your forties and go in for a routine physical and the doctor starts throwing all these tests at you that they do on old people. You want me to do what? Most were so undignified I just refused outright and told her I’ll take my chances with dying, thank you. Although I believe the most disheartening conversation I had about our bodies as we get older was with my mother who told me “at a certain age women just aren’t interested in sex anymore.” To which I replied, “just kill me now then” because that completely ruined my retirement plans. Seriously, what else is there to do with all that free time!

Of course we aren’t alone in this ladies. Men have their own issues. I’d be pretty freaked out if I started going bald. I can’t imagine that helps your self-esteem much, or how about having to have a talk with your doctor about erectile dysfunction. That one’s got to hurt! So try to be easy on them when they are chasing around women who are twenty years younger than they are. Frankly, if they can catch one I say more power to them, enjoy!

Yes there are drawbacks to growing older. If you are freaked out now by a grey hair and a few laugh lines, brace yourself, it is going to get worse! Try to remember all of those are signs that you’ve survived whatever life threw at you, that you are still here. So get over it, there are people who deal with much worse!

On New Year’s in particular people start getting freaked out about what they did or didn’t do during the last year. They start to panic about all they want to accomplish in the coming year. If you are middle aged or older you become acutely aware that you probably only have so many more New Year’s left! So how about instead of letting that get us down we use it as an opportunity to motivate us to just enjoy the heck out of whatever time we have!

I have never made New Year’s Resolutions, ever. I have always preferred to appreciate every single new day, all 365 of them, and to just do the best I can with each of them. Sometimes I do well, and sometimes I screw up completely. Either way the next day I get to try again, regardless of the date.

You know what that thirty year old doesn’t know that, if she is lucky, she will figure out before she actually hits middle age? Life is full of pain that you never expected or planned for. It will turn out that you are not indestructible after all, not physically nor emotionally. You will also learn that you are far stronger and more resilient than you ever imagined you could be. When you think you can’t go on, you do! You will survive things you never thought possible.

You may think I can be so optimistic because maybe I’ve had it easy? If so, you would be wrong. I have walked through fire on many occasions and come out the other side again, scarred but still going. What you learn as you get older is that there is always another side! You have just got to push on through.

If you haven’t experienced that burning, crippling, breathtaking pain, physically or emotionally, if you are playing it safe to avoid that hurt, than you aren’t really living at all yet. So get started now before it’s too late! It turns out that despite all that, even when it does get worse, life is completely and totally worth it!

“Do not regret growing older, it is a privilege denied to many . . .” Unknown

 

Karen Foley

About Karen Foley

Karen Foley, has successfully been writing her blog for the BDN for over two years. By successful, she means a few people read it, and she has not been sued, stalked or fired since starting it.