4/11/2012 Day 3
My mother has always stated that she never wanted to get old and she’s worked diligently to make her wish come true. She’s continued to smoke cigarettes, she doesn’t exercise and I’m pretty sure her diet is not chock full of fruits and vegetables. She’s become more a homebody and doesn’t like to mingle as much as she used to and she seems to have lost her lust for learning about the bigger world around her. But I get it. I’ve had this really great genetic gift, passed on by my mom and dad, of being somewhat attractive with skin that didn’t wrinkle and I’m not too tall so gravity hasn’t ripped me to shreds. (I’m a firm believer that the higher the blood has to be pumped up the harder it falls and the blood weight tugs at everything else on the way back down.) Like my ma, I want to stay young and “pretty.” All or nothing. And yet I would love to take a few years of vacation from working out and eating right and keeping up with the Joneses as well as constantly learning how to get farther ahead in this Kardashian worshipping society that, by and large, superficially communicates only through texts or on social media platforms.
But my mom was, and still is, a pretty cool character. She’s cheeky and cute but I think she realized (like I now have) that when you get to middle age, you don’t know everything you’re supposed to know and you don’t have everything you think you’re supposed to have and that you have to keep working at life; only it’s much harder than it used to be to do that. I thought it was going to get easier. Not harder. This is realization is very discouraging.
It happens to everyone. At 50 you begin to see that you have a choice. You can throw in the towel, or you can throw your tantrum and fight getting old by staying healthy, youthful and relevant. Those of you who are not yet fifty cannot comprehend how much of a fight it is until you get here. You won’t know the futility of what it’s like to work out, the same as you always have, only to gain unwanted pounds because your metabolism has begun to show the 10% per decade shut down process that had started in your 20s. No more waiting till April to lose your rubber tire before summer. In fact, if you’re 50 and you have a gut, statistically you will probably never lose it. I will lose mine, even if I have to Carni Wilson my stomach multiple times, but you’ll probably throw in the towel and that makes me feel a little special right now and I need that.
I’m a social media expert. What I don’t know my media friends do, so I have access. And I have learned so many things that I would not ever have learned had I not had two books that needed to be promoted such as Twitter, WordPress and Mailchimp. My clients, the blog I write for a Chicago online magazine, and the charities and green causes that I’m involved with keep me aware of the world around me. But I am tired. Even my young friends who have the same type of spinning-plates life style as I have are tired and I cannot imagine too many people my age who would keep it up for very long if they didn’t have to.
Maybe my mom’s the one who’s got it going on. She seems happy and people still want to be around her and she’s still married to my dad for over 50 years! And, come to think about it, she’s now on Facebook, which she swore she wouldn’t do, so maybe she’s learning new shit at her own pace, unlike me. I don’t think she’s drinking low-calorie tasteless protein shakes or eating kale and thinking about Botox either. Does she get it and I still don’t? I will find out, I’m sure. Right now I’m still in the tantrum stage.
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