I haven’t made a new post in awhile because I’ve been fighting off carpal tunnel syndrome. Never paid that particular malady any mind until I hit age 40. The first time I was struck with it I was able to get it to go away in a couple months or so. This time it’s also been a couple of months and while it is not completely gone the pains have lessened. I’m doing exercises that make me look crazy, but they seem to be helping. The wrist brace helps too. I bring up pain because, well – after you turn age 40 you become well acquainted with Pain. Pains you never thought would hit your body. Aging is not for the weak. It is demeaning. It’s hard on the mind and the heart. But with age comes wisdom and I’m going to share a list of things that happens after a person turns 40 – things nobody told me when I was younger (or I chose not to listen). In more particular order, here is The List:
- The middle section of your body will start growing and/or refuse to return to it’s younger shape no matter how many tummy crunches you do. This means learning to accept a permanent ‘muffin top’, ‘love handles’ or whatever you choose to call the extra cushion on this part of the body.
- You will start noticing wrinkles on your face – or as I like to call them “Laughter Tattoos.” At this point women begin to spend big money on special creams trying to prevent said wrinkles from multiplying.
- Which leads to realizing that there are indeed places on your body that you never thought you had to worry about aging before – in a discussion not too long ago I was heard exclaiming, “I never realized I had to worry about my neck! Of all things!” And yes, I apply cream to my neck now too.
- The hair on top of your head will start falling out. A lot. Sometimes in handfuls. But don’t worry, it grows back. Onto your lip (ladies!), chin, eyebrows, sideburns…for the men I guess it starts growing out their ears and noses. Sounds sexy, heh? Not.
- Your internal thermometer starts to blunder and hot flashes begin to creep throughout your body, no matter the time of day or location. Sometimes in the middle of the night I get so hot and sweaty that I kick all of my covers off. Then, I wake up freezing later. Which reminds me,
- Middle of the night bathroom urges will awake you and rob you of precious sleep. Sleep will become more difficult at night but that afternoon nap can sure hit you easy in a dark, air conditioned room.
- Speaking of dark rooms, once you hit 40 the lights inside places suddenly become dimmer…everywhere. You will find that you have to pause and focus before being able to read printed words. And by focus, I mean moving the words closer and then further away from your eyes until you hit that magic spot where they blur no more. Maybe the bad eyesight is God’s way of giving us a break for the next one:
- Your clothes will no longer fit the same. Are all sizes running smaller now? Shopping isn’t as much fun as it is more difficult to make an old body look, well, like a younger body.
- Your boobs will get bigger (men too) but loose their perkiness. Same thing with the butt.
- People who you previously thought of as old will suddenly “Look good for their age.”
- You have to move slower when simply standing up from a seated position (so your knees or hips don’t lock up and cause you to stumble.)
- You will find yourself beginning to speak and find you don’t have a clue as to what you were going to say. Just like you will remember all the lyrics to your favorite songs of the 80’s but you will walk into a room and forget what you were going in there for. You will reminisce with your friends on the good old days while you secretly don’t have a clue as to what your friends are talking about because you don’t remember it at all! Same with their names and some people. You can have a very enjoyable conversation with a person who approached you in a store to say hello and walk away from it wondering who that person was and how did they know you?
- Your digestive system will start to ‘go South‘ on you. Problems that you might have had occasionally when younger become almost if not entirely daily occurrences. Such as acid reflux and indigestion, heartburn, gas, bloating, not enough #2 (constipation) or too much #2. Hot peppers, hot sauces and spicy foods are no longer your friends. Furthermore, it is no longer embarrassing to have conversations with other people describing in detail above said problems.
- When you say “Don’t make me laugh so hard I might wet myself!” You’re not joking, you really mean it.
- It’s easier to accidentally hurt yourself. You could just make a sudden move in the shower and your neck could lock up. And it takes longer to recover from said pain. By this time you should have a favorite chiropractor.
Whatever reason God has for allowing our bodies to not age gracefully, he decided to go a little easier on the men. Older men get to look ‘distinguished’ with graying hair. Women with beginning to gray hair tend to look ‘haggard’. But life isn’t fair. It helps to have a sense of humor about it. We must learn to laugh at the undesirable consequences of aging – because it’s more enjoyable than crying. This list was written with humor (sprinkled with a little whining).