Friday, May 30, 2014

4 or 5 Things About Being 45

Back in October I turned 45 years old.  I'm not a big birthday person.  I don't think about my own much and I am generally very likely to forget about yours, too.  It's just another day.

But this year felt different.  It felt like more of a milestone than 25 or 35 or even 40. It felt unsettled.  It felt like a bigger transition to something else.

Then a few weeks ago I had to get glasses.  I suddenly couldn't read medicine bottles and I was never really sure how my armpits looked because I was basically shaving by braille. I thought I'd just be hooked up with some reading glasses, but oh no, I got the big guns: progressive lens bifocals. I put on those glasses and 45 hit me all over again.  Something felt different.  I can't really put my finger on what that something is, so below is a list to sort it out.  Guess I'm kind of talking out loud.

I hate selfies!

4 or 5 things that are different now that I am 45

First some irritating things:
  • For the first time in life, when I look in the mirror I see someone that I think looks a bit older than I expect.
  • I am often the oldest person in the room.
  • I am almost always the oldest mother of toddlers in the room.
  • I am one of the "veteran" teachers at my school.
  • Comfortable shoes are always a priority over cute or stylish.
  • My neck skin looks old.
  • I have developed what I like to call "sewing machine leg".  My right leg hurts if I sew, or drive, or just sit too much.  Left leg is still in good shape....
  • ....except for those awful spider veins just above my left knee.
  • Sometimes people mistake me for my kids grandmother.

On the brighter side:
  • I am the mother of 6 extraordinary kids. At some point in every day I am in awe of that fact.
  • I have only been married once and I still like him a lot.
  • I weigh less at 45 than I did at 35.
  • Most of my kids are sleeping through the night most nights of the week, so I'm feeling a bit more rested than I have since we became a family of 8.

Other bits of this and that:
  • I am now married to a 50 year old and this year we have been married 25 years.
  • At 35 I thought my career path was all mapped out, but now I'm not so sure what I want to do when I grow up. But I feel like there is something big yet to happen.  I thought it was going to be a move to China, but not this year.
  • I have taken a pay cut every year for the last 5 years because my health insurance keeps going up.  I did not expect to make less at 45 than I did at 40.
  • I own my own business (hand sewn clothing, gifts, and fabrics), something that I never thought I would do.  Come visit me at MORE LOVE MAMA. I am only making a few bucks a week at this, but it is something I am so proud to have accomplished.
  • Did I mention I have six kids?  Yes, almost everyday I stop and think "How in the world did that happen???" "Why did I wait so long to do this?" How did I get picked for this huge, indescribable blessing?" "Will I survive until they all reach age 5?" 

On a whole I am so much happier and fulfilled and sometimes overwhelmed by the goodness of my life.  It's not easy, it's not without stress and strain and way too much yelling and some occasional big ugly cries.  But it's good.  It's good being 45.

Now I know that for most of you, your 45 does not look anything like my 45.  Some of you are sending kids off to college, playing with grand kids, planning retirement.  What are some things about your 45 that have surprised you?
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