I think my mother’s more depressed about the fact that I’m turning 55 than I am. When someone asks the ages of her children and she says she has a daughter who is 55, a quick calculation would make my mom…well, pretty darn old. So yeah, she seems a bit depressed.
I’m trying what I have always suggested my kids do, which is to come up with a good vs. bad list to turning 55. Maybe this will help me embrace this birthday. Maybe this will deter me from putting an eye lift and liposuction on my Christmas List.
The Good. I can sleep in because I don’t have to wake up to make breakfast or lunches for kids at home. The Bad? I can’t sleep. If it wasn’t for infomercials on juicing, doo-wop music collections and rotisserie ovens, I don’t know what I would do with myself at 3 in the morning.
The Good. I’m hot. The Bad. It’s not hot in a sexy way.
The Good. I got over being over-the hill when I turned 30. That was the most shocking birthday for me. Growing up, anyone 30 was practically decrepit. They wore weird sweaters, were married, wore way too much make-up, and were thick in the middle. The Bad. I seem to own a lot of weird sweaters, I’m married, I wear a lot of make-up and I am thick in the middle.
Now as far as that “thick in the middle” aspect of turning 55, the good is with no children at home to suck the life out of me, I have a lot of time to work out so most mornings I get dressed and head to the gym. 2 hours of either spin and step classes, or pump and step classes 3 days a week. 1 day a week I take a Pilates mat class.
It’s not working.
I have cut back on carbs. My weight remains the same. I have cut down on up sugar. My weight remains the same. Given up soda, desserts (well…sort of), and watch my calorie intake. My delusional friends tell me that muscles weigh more. But 30 pounds of muscle? It’s why I refuse to give up wine. I can still drink myself sexy.
The instructor in my Pilates class wants our abs back to their glory days. He instructs us to hold in our cores: to clench as if being hit with a basketball while we do planks, side-planks, and sit-ups. I clench. I hold it in. But when looking down, hanging off those clenched muscles is still a stomach.
Hence, the wine.
I make myself feel better by getting a latte made with skim milk but that’s sort of like ordering a Whopper with a diet coke. I’ve done that too.
My solution is I find at least 1 person a day who looks worse than me. Then I stand next to them.
Many people remark that 50 is the new 30 and they’re happy to tell you that they loved their 50’s. But I’ve noticed these people are in their 80’s. And then there are those who say to me, “but you look 45” as if that should make me happy.
So you’re probably thinking this gal has no problems and she should just be thankful for the life she has. You’re right, and I am. But it’s like an out of body experience when filling out a form where they are asking for your age and you have to scroll down to 1958. It takes a REALLY long time to get there.
The Good. Lot’s of celebrating yours truly. On the actual day my mother cooked me a fabulous birthday dinner. My husband took me out for drinks and then a Bonnie Raitt concert. And to cap it all off, my best friend surprised me by inviting 10 of my very best sleep deprived, memory challenged, sweaty, sugar craving, near-sighted friends to celebrate with me at a local restaurant. And we all ordered dessert.
In weighing the Good vs. the Bad, I’ve decided there’s enough Good to forgo the eye lift and the lipo…for now. And if I don’t look down at what’s growing over my belt I suppose I’m content to be 55. I’m going to eat a donut whenever the heck I want and maybe I’ll even order my latte with whole milk… just to be able to walk on the wild side again.