Saturday, September 15, 2012

What Happened When I Turned Forty

I just want to warn you, that this might be a little lengthy. I have a lot to say about turning forty. It wasn't so much the age, I don't really care about a number--it was more about everything that comes along with it.

When you turn forty, society makes it such a milestone, that you can't help but spend part of that day reflecting on where you are in your life.

I think my younger self would be okay with where I am today, I really have been blessed. That is the plus side. We are all healthy and happy, and I realize that is a privilege denied to many.

I feel obligated to also recognize the sucktastic things that happen at this stage in life.

Keep in mind, these are my own observations. Maybe when you turn forty, you will bypass some of this crap. I hope so, and I also hope not. Misery loves company and all that.

1- Rage Issues. I am sure this is a product of hormones. There are some days, when I wake up, even after a fairly good night of sleep--feeling like Bruce Banner.
There is no reason for it. I just have vast amounts of pent up anger. I wake up this way. I feel like I could punch a wall, or a person, and just not care. I don't even like myself on Rage Days. I can't sit quietly and read a book, waiting for it to pass. It doesn't pass. It gets worse as the day progresses.
Usually on these days, not a lot goes right. Like I will drop the hairbrush, and bend over to pick it up, and miss it, and bend over again, and miss...and then #$@^%@!!! GET IN MY HAND, @%^*&*@ HAIRBRUSH!!! Rage.
I found a pill for this. Completely by accident.
Costco was pimping out samples of it one day. I didn't need it, but I took it, cause Hey! Free Sample!
I stuffed the sample in my pocket, and saved it for later, like the good little hoarder that I am.
One Sunday I woke up to a text that my Primary teaching partner wasn't able to make it to church that day. We have a needy class with a handful of turds. One of the kids in the class is my own daughter, so I feel like I can call them that. It takes two to teach them. One to present the lesson, and one on crowd control.
Well, I was having rage issues that day, and I knew it was going to get ugly.
I remembered the pills, and took one.
I'll be darned if 20 minutes later, I felt at peace. Calm, level, easy-going.
Hulk in check!
There weren't weird side effects, in fact, the bonus is that the pills are an appetite suppressant. Win.
I normally don't promote drugs on my blog, but these happy pills are the best thing to hit my system.
7 out of 7 people in our household agree.
I don't take them every day. Just those days when I feel murderous.
Thanks hormones!

2- Shedding Hair. Again, I am sure this is a hormone thing. The text books say that with older age, your hair will thin. What they don't tell you is the manner in which it will thin. In horrifying clumps.
You will fill up hairbrushes, and shower drains. Every. Day.
And the worst part of it, besides the panic of possible female baldness, is the hairs themselves.
They will stick to your back, and work their way over to your arms, where they will tickle you insane.
I spend the bigger portion of my day contorting my body to find almost invisible hairs.
Unchecked, they will also show up in your bra, and that is always a good look--digging around in your cleavage for a stupid tickly hair.
I bribe my nine year old to pick me clean after I do my hair for the day.
"Mikayla! Hairs!!" And dutifully she harvests the crop.
I am not sure what I will do when she is not available.
Probably be the creepy lady who pays a child in the neighborhood. Not for the cleavage hairs. I do have standards.
Thanks hormones!
I started taking a pill for this too.

The Internets said that supplementing with Biotin will help with hair growth. And the Internets are never wrong.
I am not sure if it is working on my head or not, but my leg hair is out of control, as are the witch hairs on my chin.

3- Witch Hairs on the Chin. (Well, really the whole face, let's be honest.) If I have any advice to give someone approaching 40, it is this: Invest in some damn good tweezers. Not the $5 kind, but the $20 kind.

Trust me. You need precision. And get two pairs. One for the bathroom, and one for the car. I am not sure what kind of magic light filters in through a windshield, but that is when the hairs will manifest themselves.
Most of the time you can feel them before you see them.
That is where the precision tweezers pay for themselves.
Good tweezers can nab a chin hair when they are barely out of the skin. Bad tweezers take some digging. Sometimes the digging makes you bleed, and then the hair looks like a zit. Good tweezers, Internets.
I can't go one day without tweezing something.
Thanks hormones.
There is no pill for this.

4- Weird Zits. I am sorry about the gross factor on this one. I like a good pimple. The kind that satisfactorily pop, and go away. When I turned 40, I got zits that look like they can pop, but nothing ever comes out, and they never go away. They scab up, and won't cover with makeup.
Some lady at the Health Food Store suggested I try Tea Tree Oil.
It has helped, but now I smell like the old lady that I guess I am.
Well played, hormones, well played.

5- Fat Stomach. I can tell when I gain five pounds. Why? Because my jeans feel like sausage casings. All my extra weight goes straight to my waist. I can usually tuck it into my pants, but I hate it there. When I lay on my side, it lays next to me. I am not sure why my fat has taken up residence at my waist, like a flab belt, but there you go.
Thanks 40.

6- Parade Arms. The other body part that seems to be affected at 40 are my underarms. I suddenly have swinging triceps. Not like a bodybuilder.

I had to be in a parade this summer, and when I would stop waving, my arms didn't. It felt awesome. I work my triceps at the gym, but I guess they are just plain tired. Which leads me to number seven...

7- Tired all the Time. Most mornings when I wake up, even after having slept a good solid 7 hours or more, the only thing that gets me out of bed, is the prospect of a nap later. How sad is it to wake up, and crave a nap? And a lot of days when I go to the gym, it is like all the energy that I had allotted for the whole day was expended in that hour-long workout. Maybe I need more protein. Maybe I need more recovery time. Or maybe, just maybe, at 40, the tires have been rolling for four decades, and they are just bald. Nothing left to give.
There are pills for that.
I just can't take them.
I did once, and I felt like my heart was going to explode like that bird in "Shrek."
 8- Teenagers. I like my kids, I really do. Teenagers have a lot of good points. They are fun, and deliciously funny! However, they make you feel like a straight-up loser. All I am good for is a ride to somewhere else, where the parents are cooler, and the food is better. I am also good for specific laundry detail. Football jerseys that need to be washed for practice this afternoon, or a shirt that can't be dried in the dryer.
I am useful to them for runs to Walmart at midnight because they suddenly remember they need fabric for sewing class in the morning.
"We are out of milk." is a phrase I am sick of hearing.
I know my kids could and probably should be doing their own laundry, taking a lesser grade for not remembering their fabric, and sucking it up when it comes to not having cold cereal available 24/7, but you know what is worse than being their thankless slave?

Not being needed at all.
At 40, that transition had been the hardest.
No one needs me.
I used to fill my days to capacity taking care of the needs of five babies.
Those five babies are independent mini-adults now, and my day is not filled with much of anything.
Thanks, 40.

9- Boredom. Forty is boring.
I should probably get a job to occupy my time. I just don't think I have the energy for it. Or desire. Or clothing that would be remotely appropriate for a professional.
With all of our free time at night (the kids out and about living their "lives") you would think Sam and I have finally landed the life we always dreamed we would have back again!
Free from kids!
We can go anywhere! Do anything!
You know what you do when you are forty? Sit home in front of the TV.
You know why? Because it feels nice. Going out takes energy. And requires pants.
Truthfully, I am perfectly content being boring, but my teenage self would die if she knew this is what her future would eventually be reduced to.

10- Reading Glasses. "I don't need those, yet." I said.
Until I tried them on.
And I could see. I never knew. I dare you, if you are about my age (Squinty McSquinterton), try some on at the Dollar Tree. And the Dollar Tree is the only place to buy them. You know why? Because you will lose them...

11- Your Memory Goes to Crap.
At first it is kind of funny, and endearing to be a little absent minded. And them it becomes alarming. Like that feeling you get when you are swimming in the ocean, and can no longer feel the bottom.
If it doesn't get written down at my house, it doesn't happen.
I make the children write on the calendar when I ground them.
"You are grounded, mister! Go write it on the calendar!"
Or I will forget.
I will forget writing things down too.
I am sure there is a pill for this, but I would have to remember to take it.
Thanks, 40.
I forget why I go downstairs, until I am all the way back upstairs again.

I forget what I am doing in the shower. "Did I condition my hair yet?"
I forget what else I forget, but it is a lot.

I told you I had a lot to say. There are other things too, like age spots and wrinkles, lack of interest in adult relations (since this is a family-friendly blog), not being able to weekend binge on junk food because it wreaks havoc on your system. Suddenly enjoying elevator music. Choosing comfort over fashion. Deodorant that stops working for no reason.

I have had a lot of people tell me things will look up when the grand kids start coming.
I am offended they would think I am "that age!"
In my head I am not that old.
But everything else tells me different.
Thanks 40!


Hollie said...

Hahaha! I am trying not to pee my pants, as my bladder is shot at this point in my life:) for me, 30 (technically I can claim 29 for 3 more months, but really it isn't making me feel better) seems to be able to relate with you on these except the not being needed part... Guess I'll try to enjoy that a little more:) amen to the tweezers!

Beatrice Lawson said...

As I am sitting here all of 43 old reading your pot because I can't sleep at 2:44 am after a week of migraines and debilitating back pain, I finally smile. Thank you. Oh, and tweezers do not cut it. Not for me... I lucked out and found a super awesome Indian lady close to me who does threading. Amazing difference. Will have to try the calm pill you mention. What the heck, there are so many chemicals filtering through my liver right now (all prescribed thank you:-), no recreational drugs) that one more can only help. It will get better, I hope. Or not... but I will hopefully forget enough of the bad to make it to tomorrow. Love your blog. Love this post:-)

Tami (the Aunt) said...

Soooo, ....make sure you have one of those cheap pairs of glasses your car.....right next to your tweezers!!!! My first thought on that point was "Holy Cow! How does she even see those almost popping out hairs---I'd need glasses or I would be bleeding even with the GOOD tweezers!!! Even to post this comment, I have to enlarge the page to see what the heck the words are to type to prove I'm not a robot!! Ha that didn;t even work---round 3 for proving I'm not a robot....

Beth Hallgren said...

I'm going out on a limb to tell you I missed you and all your humor :) There is nothing more humiliating than having your kids point out your chin hair in the car. Tweezers to the ready! I tell all my younger friends "just you wait!", it all goes to hell at 40! Now I'm 47 and there is more to tell but I don't want to depress you more :P

smahrty said...

Wow, you hit all of the points right on target. (except for the rage part--instead of rage, i just withdraw from everyone) It is so alarming and sudden. What the cheese? Why? But besides all that nonsense, you are so funny and glib, you should write articles, or do stand up comedy. I could listen to or read your commentary all day. Thanks for the pick me up! Now go take a nap so you can write some more laughs for me. :)

Melissa D. said...

Oh yes! I SO needed to read this. I just turned 40 in March. You hit every nail on the head (over and over and over). Your serious topics along with your dry humor is just what I needed. Keep writing. I can't wait to hear more. (Oh, and I am totally looking into those happy pills:)

Anonymous said...

just to say...
the other day I was thinking how horrified my husband would be if we were stranded on a deserted island and I couldn't do all the "womanly maintenance". so yeah, maybe there would be other things to worry about, like food...whatever. I'd be more worried I end up being asked to join the local monkey family after all the hairs started to grow in.

thanks for the post! =)

dstandard said...

Omg I'm still laughing!!! But it's all SOOOO true and hate to tell you but it gets worse! BTW if you take a B complex with the Biotin it's absorbed better and it will take several months before you see the results but it will happen! Tweezers you are right on sister! Great post! LOL

Kristy said...

One tip for you sister. Laser hair removal. LOLOL! Best. Investment. Ever. :)

Barbara Bruder said...

OMG, I just found your blog about 1 hour ago. I read all the posts about your Daubi trip and holy moly, I loved your trip. Love your writing style!!Oh BTW, you turning 40, too funny. I remember me turning 40. I party'ed for 3 weekends and had a fab time. Wish I could have a redo. LOL I am now 65 and jeezzzeee look what you have to look forward to. More of what you described and other fun things.

Glen said...

I am missing your posts Shaunte. I hope you are well. ~Glen~

Anonymous said...

Sounds about right! Hopefully none of your Fab Five will decide to ride the rails on the opposite side of the law when they get so bad even the local jail refuses to take them anymore. Yep. In other could be worse. My Fab Five (boys) are grown now and some even have their own Fabs and have called to apologize for some of the things they did. Hang in there. Life is all about adjusting to all the changes. And if you think 40 is crazy....50 is just around the corner....which mean those freekin Captchas are just about IMPOSSIBLE to decipher grrrrrrrrrr

Michon said...

Yes, yes and yes!! All of the content is correct. And sorry to tell you it only gets worse! :(
I love your blog!! Thank you for the giggles this morning! :)

Amy said...

Fantastic post but you did leave one thing out that the first commenter noted: Trying not to pee your pants because your bladder is shot! My husband says I have to mark my territory every time we go somewhere because I have to go to the bathroom. And even after I go, as soon as I stand up, I've got to go again! (Yes, I've had the bladder sling surgery but it doesn't last too long). I used to make fun of my mother because she always peed twice. Now I understand that!
I'm also glad that I'm not the only person who has tweezers in the car!

Danielle Flanders said...

You hit the nail on the head with everything, I am 41 and can totally relate - even the trying not to pee my pants. lol I cannot stop laughing! I agree with the others, you should write a book! :) I had to come visit your blog because I hadn't been here in awhile, love your sense of humor!

Unknown said...

Hello. This is my first time visiting your blog, and I have to say - it won't be my last! I also almost peed my pants laughing so hard at some of your quite accurate observations! I think my 16-yr-old daughter thinks I've finally lost it, but little does she know, I think I lost it a long time ago! Lol.
Thanks for brightening up my day and I can't wait to read your next blog. Take care.

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