What is it like being one year from the big 50? It's such a loaded question. I look back and it amazes me that I’m this old. It also reminds me of my failures, my mistakes, my joys and triumphs. All I can say about life so far. It's a bit of a drama, a few tear jerkers and a lot of comedy. Which year is my favorite year? Every single one. Which is my least favorite? Every single one. Being a parent was and is the most amazing thing that whatever creator or alien or whatever the latest conspiracy theorist believes being a parent is the most amazing frightening crazy time of a person's life. The struggle, the wonder if you will kill them before they turn 18.
I can say my son survived. Barely. After he left out, it was really hard, I found myself asking who am I? Who was I, and who will I become? I can say as an almost grown up, at least my body is grown up, older, brittle, sore, and don’ t get me started on my brain. Ooops let me get back there. Now what was I saying right barely avoiding killing my teenager. Growing a little creature in your belly changes you, I don’t mean looking down and I don’t have toes. I felt secure suddenly as if I knew what I was meant to do with my life. I made good choices and I made some really bad choices, but all in all parenting shaped me, it soothed the anxiety and the fear of not knowing who I was. Or where I belonged. So when my son left home, I fell hard. All the old questions came back. It wasn’t just the emotional change but the dramatic changes in my life, and routine. I no longer had to spend 23 hour of the day caring, and loving and feeding and changing a life. I was no longer needed as a primary caregiver. I was totally lost. I am proud to say I am only slightly lost now. I started to look at the good things. I met my soulmate, good thing, I published my first article? Good things.. I discovered I like to eat cookies, as much as I like baking them. I learned to love myself, to be patient when it came to the questions that still flood my head. Who am I? I am Moria, silly , funny, lovable, a loud snorer and generally a kind person, a little temper, and I cry if I can’t get a fish off my hook when I am fishing.
There were a few good things about getting older. I remember the day my doctor suggested, perhaps it was time for a hysterectomy. I could have been naked in seconds. I could just see that, he turns to get me a referral and I’m naked and ready. Bring it on! For a week before the surgery all I could think was no more Aunt flow, no more on the rag, and no more woman's special time of the month. Special, not the five letter word starting with a B, I was thinking. No other creature on this planet can bleed for 4 to 7 days and not be dead. I would pass by the wall of Girl crap at the grocery store, you know what I mean ladies. Feminine products cover an entire wall or shelf. It is vast don’t forget to bring water, or you might not make it to the other side. Is there really a need for 40000 types of pads, and another 10000 brands of tampons. But on this day I smiled, pointed at this box then that bag. I don’t need you, or you, and you forget about it. People are walking past and glancing curiously as I do a little happy dance. I stood proudly hands on my hips, laughing ha, I am a non bleeder! I laugh again, deeply from that menopausal belly I am free! I laugh again.. And pee. Fuck. Head down I take a few steps to the wall of old lady incontinence products. I sigh, and say aloud, Fuck. It's alway a trade isn’t it folks. You lose something and gain something. Besides what's a little pee, here and there.
I notice, my body is a symphony in itself. Ready and bend down and POP, stand up and CRACK, turn and CRUNCH, take a step and BAM you twist your ankle. I would bow, but my ankle…
The human body goes through 2 puberties ladies. We have all gone through one, but no one tells you after 40, you go through it again. Ladies, no matter how much we run on our damned treadmill there's always going to be that one spot that never gets smaller. Muffin top, that's a word I don’t appreciate. Why ruin the muffin’s reputation? They didn’t do anything wrong. Why name that layer of fat that tips over your jeans muffin tops? Muffin tops are yummy, they taste good and they make you happy. Again leave the muffin alone. Do you remember when your legs didn’t rub together when you walked, so far all it's gotten me is a nausty rash and I can barely move every second day of the week. This leads to me ordering take out Japanese. Can’t cook if you can’t lift anything heavy, like a frying pan. I tell myself if I order Japanese its fish, it's seaweed. How many calories could there possibly be? Then I order the chicken yakisoba and an order of deep fried vegetable tempura. Ding ding ding there's a few million calories. Back on the elliptical. Truly it's a terrible cycle. At some point I assume I’ll just eat as I work out.
What was I saying? I ask my partner that all the time, I can be in the middle of a conversation and suddenly I forget the next word coming from my mouth. Who does this? At least I keep my partner laughing, some days he just watches the chaos, have you ever been making food, you toss the box and have to dig in the garbage can to retrieve it because after four minutes I can’t remember how high to cook it on. I’m lying for 2 minutes. Then rummaging again into the trash to look at it once more. I sometimes laugh at myself. But for the most part, I just stare at my dogs and ask them, Really? Dogs, get dogs they said, they are so amazing, you will love them always. Not totally correct, don’t get me wrong I love my two Chihuahuas 99.999% of the time, Mackie and Lola Mae. But for 4 pound and 5 pound dogs they have a way of taking up most of a queen size bed. They don’t follow the rules very well, and if you don’t give them what they want they will hide under a blanket on their 300 dollar sofa and bark at me, forever. I own a sofa and recliner yet I spend most of my time on the floor. Get dogs, they said it would be fun. It's fun, when they don’t listen, and run straight up to a skunk’s ass. Rock paper scissors is how we decide who does the bathing. We all know that it is a stupid game; and I do the washing. Getting back to the memory thing? Cause in point re read the last paragraph as it had nothing to do really with memory more to do with dogs.
I once lost my wallet for an entire month. What about when someone asks you what your children's year of birth is? Is there anyone out there that suddenly freezes and starts counting toes? Anyone ever play find your glasses? I prefer Clue. Ever forget a phone number! Your own phone number? God help me cell phones have made me stupid. Who memorizes numbers anymore. If you look at my kitchen wall, it's covered in sticky notes. I started buying multi colored packs, at least it looks pretty.
Regardless I look forward to new things, I am still learning, still healing and still laughing. Life has a way of surprising us, I heard someone say once, “Growing old is a gift.” how true those words are. Stay funny, laugh make mistakes, have the big slice of cake!