Tuesday, July 08, 2014

A Few Things I Have Learned About Myself (As I Get Older)

It's funny to think about all the times in my 20's and early-30's I'd heard women say things about how they couldn't do certain things anymore, which things upset their stomach, "I can't lay on the floor or I'll never get up" etc.

I found it odd and couldn't relate, because nothing seemed to bother my stomach, give me black circles under my eyes, throw my back out... nothing was 'off limits' (other than staying up all night drinking... but even then it was a matter of staying in bed a few extra hours, a couple of Advil and a round of McD's to cure what ailed me). I always wondered if someday I would get to that point where my stomach couldn't handle things, I couldn't lift certain things for fear of throwing out my back, couldn't stay up all hours and just sleep it off the next day.

The answer is: YES. Getting (a little) older does do certain things to you. Now, I know if I ate a little better and exercised more (*cough* some *cough*) these things wouldn't as as much of an issue. Thing is, it sortof sneaks up on you, and you DON'T need to exercise or eat particularly well in your 20's and early 30's in order to feel okay. You just don't -- youth seems to take care of things for you. And even though I heard it 100 times or more, I really just didn't see this coming.

Anyway, I've learned a few things about myself lately. I know there will probably be plenty more to discover about myself as the years march on and things change, within and around me... but I thought it worth mentioning these new-found discoveries, for posterity if nothing else. How many more weird and wonderful things await me??

  • I can no longer drink diet pop. I used to go through a LOT of diet pop (sorry, "soda" for my 'merican friends) -- several 2L bottles of Diet Pepsi (in the States) and Coke Zero every week. No more! My stomach can't handle the stuff! For some strange reason if I have even a sip of diet/artificially sweetened pop, I get totally and utterly gassy :\ (Perhaps it's the 'pop' part of the equation rather than artificial sweeteners?) Either way - it's not a good scene. Bye bye Coke 0.
  • I need sleep. Not just I really like to sleep and I love my bed, but I NEED sleep. Without adequate sleep I have a hangover the next day -- irritable, lethargic, hangry, emotionally unbalanced, spaced out, shaky. I need it, I can't skip it, I can't cut back, can't function without 8 hours.
  • I can't handle a late night of drinking. I don't end up hung over for a few hours... I am hung over for days. DAYS. My body hurts. My head hurts. My thoughts are fuzzy, my stomach is twisted in knots. I can't do it. Bye bye raves! (haha)
  • I can't NOT drink water. I used to laugh at people who walked around with a bottle of water all the time. In my 20's, I literally NEVER drank water. Never. I remember talking to a health practitioner about water and they were recommending 8 glasses/day and I remember saying to them that I didn't drink water... ever. They were flabbergasted. I just didn't need to. Now? My skin gets yucky, my joints hurt, I feel weak and lethargic, and lately I get this annoying hacky cough if I don't drink enough water. Weird right?
  • A day of gardening WILL result in achy back, knees, shoulders. You can't feel it at the time but the same types of things that would have absolutely no lasting effect when you were younger are suddenly a recipe for Advil, hobbling, and much moaning and back-holding. What's next for me... Ben Gay??
  • Hair on face. Yep. It's real. It happens. You're just there plucking your eyebrows and everything is where it should be and BAM! What the HELL is that?? HUGE black hair sticking out from your jawline. WHAT?? How long has that been there?? Gaah. Pluck pluck pluck. Images flashing in my mind of watching my mother doing the same thing, back when I was young and she was... OMG.
Perhaps it's just that as we age, we become more 'in tune' with our bodies and what we need in order to feel our best... maybe it's not that I've changed, but that I'm finally starting to understand the cause/effect of what's going in and what's coming out? Or... maybe it IS just age (and three kids / full time job / cats / husband / household / creaky body etc....) Either way it's fascinating and strange to think that things actually "affect" me in ways they never have. And I'm not sure I like it all that much. 

Just... please, tell me I don't have to give up red wine. I.Will.Die.