Hello good readers!
So ever since I turned 30 (and, more recently, 34), I've noticed quite a few things that have changed, both physically and mentally. Today I thought I'd share with you all a short list of some of these changes. Those of you who are younger will now know what you're in for as you age, and those of you who are my age or older will (most likely) agree, and I want you to know you're not alone - it's happening to me, too.
1. EVERYTHING hurts - all the time. I wake up with a headache & stiff legs. I sleep funny and my back hurts for the next week. I turn my head too quickly and get a crink in my neck. To combat all of these fun little reminders that I'm no longer in my twenties, I pop Ibuprofen like they're candy, and have bottle of Icy Hot at the ready. I also seem to hurt myself more often than usual (and I'm no Grace Kelly, believe me). I'll burn my hand on the oven rack or cut myself on my pocket knife. Just earlier this year I face-planted in my parking lot walking from my car to the mailbox. You learn to keep a mini-first aid kit in your purse! (Off to a great start, yes?)
2. You have to visit the restroom much more frequently than before. Every night I wait until the last possible second to pee, and even then, I still sometimes have to get up once more during the night. And trying to sleep in on the weekends? Not if my bladder has a say in it! Since I wake up at 6 AM every weekday for work, and one of the first things I do upon rising is to relieve myself, I can't sleep any later than 8 on the weekends without first having to get up to pee. And speaking of bathroom issues (if you have a delicate stomach, I'd advise skipping ahead to #4)...
3. You either are more constipated than ever before or you can't leave your bathroom - there is no happy medium. I will be backed up nearly all week before finally giving in and taking a laxative, in which case, I don't want to leave my house for two days, if you get my drift. Any change in diet or medication also causes a severe shift in my bowels. And forget about spicy/greasy/cheesy foods - it's heartburn city after that! (Sorry if this whole paragraph is TMI - but I did warn you.)
4. Short-term memory? What was the question again? 😁 I have a better chance at remembering lyrics from my 2nd grade play than I do of remembering what I had for lunch last week. I used to pride myself on having a pretty decent memory, but lately it's in one ear and out the other. This is why my desk is littered with lists & sticky notes, and my Google calendar & Keep apps are basically keeping me alive, at this point.
5. You start to find yourself saying shit like, "Kids these days..." I work with a lot of people in their mid-twenties, and I'm constantly amazed at some of the things they say/do/complain about/brag about/etc. I feel like I'm constantly dating myself by starting my sentences this way, but it's SO true.
6. A "wild" Saturday night now entails binge-watching Netflix or Hulu, stuffing my face with Chinese food and getting in bed by 10. Any later and I won't have enough energy to get anything done on Sunday. And when it comes to making weekend plans, I have to have at least one day of relaxation (typically Saturday) - then the other day I'll run errands, hang out with friends, clean up the house, etc. If I try to do stuff both days, by Monday I'll be more tired than when the weekend began. And speaking of energy (or lack thereof, as the case may be)...
7. I'm ALWAYS tired. Regardless of whether I get 4 or 8 hours of sleep, I never feel fully rested. When I get home from work, I sit on the bed or the couch, and I don't move again until the next morning (not including getting up to pee or get something to drink, of course). Like I mentioned in #6, on the weekends I like to have one full day of doing NOTHING. I used to have so much energy and now coming up the 3 flights of stairs to get to my condo is a workout in itself! Oh how I miss the required "naptime'' in kindergarten!
8. You have zero tolerance for any shit. I find myself getting irritated at the smallest things now - screaming babies, barking dogs, stupid people, bad drivers, ... things that, back in the day, would have bothered me, sure, but now I find myself balling my fists and removing myself from the situation (as much as possible) so I don't knock someone's teeth out.
9. For all of you women out there, your periods will get worse. I had AWFUL ones when I was younger - they would last for 2 weeks with non-stop heavy flow, but once I got on birth control, the mellowed out. But within the past few years, it's like I'm a teenager again: I get awful cramps, back pain, bloating, mood swings... I'm sure that by the time my body re-calibrates its hormones, it'll be about time for menopause to set in. (Yay!)
10. No matter how hard you used to party, you find you just can't anymore. Back in my early 20's I was out at the club/bar every night, dancing & drinking my ass off , but now I can barely drink a glass of wine! Chris & I used to down a fifth of Crown a night, and now, I think in the 16 months we've lived here, we've bought three bottles of wine (all of which are currently sitting on our wetbar) and two 6-packs of beer (9 bottles are still in our fridge). I just don't have the taste for alcohol much anymore, and when I do try to drink in social settings, it hits me SO much harder than it used to! And then if I have several drinks (which rarely happens), I either get sick that same night or feel like hammered shit the next morning - neither of which are ideal.
11. It gets increasingly harder to lose weight! I used to stay right around the same weight all the time and now I struggle to lose even 5 pounds. I know I have a more sedentary lifestyle (comes with the corporate work life) but even if I do exercise more and eat healthier, it's more difficult than it ever was. I've also gotten more stretch marks than I've ever had, and my love handles keep growing (even if I'm not gaining weight) - can somebody please explain that to me??
12. Time has almost no meaning anymore. My mom used to tell me, "You know you're getting old when time starts flying." (Did anybody else's mom say the same thing?) Well now I have to agree with her. Days bleed together now, and in the blink of an eye, it's the end of the week again. Then another eye blink, and it's Monday again already. It doesn't help that I spend most of my waking hours at work - makes my downtime feel that much more limited.
13. Instead of spending money on fun things like trips, haircuts and other outlandish luxury items, all of your hard-earned money goes towards adult things like bills, gas, groceries, and the like. I can't stand listening to all of these kids I work with brag about their lavish vacations or how they just dropped $300 on a new purse or pair of headphones (granted, some of them have very few responsibilities), when I'm over here planning out when my next power bill is due!
I'll just leave you with this gem I found online, on those days when I feel down and out about getting older (and hopefully it will help you, too):