And I’m going to be 40?!?

Remember this?

It’s almost as good as “I’ll have what she’s having.” And much closer to home.

I remember being 32 and feeling like Sally felt about 40, despite the fact I was married to a wonderful man and was pregnant with my first child.

And today, I’m exactly one month away from this dreaded “dead-end” — the big four oh.

I’m going to be 40.
When?
In ONE MONTH!!!! 

WTF?
I mean, being 40 is better than never getting there, so why am I reeling?
Considering that my mother never made it to 30, I should be grateful that one of us won her battle with PPD, no?
Well, I AM grateful.
Of course I am grateful.
But as I said before, just because you’re grateful, doesn’t mean you are happy, darnit!
And while being 40 is better than the alternative, I don’t have to like it.

I do recognize that a lot of the trouble is not really my stuff; it’s just cultural gunk that I picked up along the way. The kind of cwap drilled into us courtesy of Harry Met Sally and Sex in the City, and every beauty product commercial out there.

But here is the thing:
I don’t mind being 40 because of what it means for my looks. God knows the wrinkles, the pimples, the white hairs, all this stuff doesn’t really matter. No, I don’t love’em, but heck, who cares. I’ve never been pretty enough for old age to have much to wreck on the outside.

But there are two fronts on which aging matters to me a great deal:

1. Aches and pains, my biggest gripe with aging is that the body can no longer take the abuse of motherhood and creativity. Writing, typing, and drawing hurt my wrists, shoulders, and elbows. Gardening hurts my knees, picking up the chunky toddler hurts my back, while picking up the skinny 7yo is like asking for major trouble, but I can’t bear to hurt his feelings. So yes, a whole lot of ouch.

2. Making a difference: this one is the real biggie because 40=undeniably grown up. Which means that if I’m going to do something good in the world, I better be doing it already.
Know what I mean?

Well the trouble is that #1 is getting in the way of #2.
I mean, I think I found my way to make a difference: through this blog, through twitter, through social media. My calling is to  find other mothers who are struggling with postpartum depression, anxiety, and guilt, and to bring comfort to women who are trying to make sense of motherhood.
I started this blog exactly a year ago. on the September 24, the night I turned 39, and was officially 10 years older  than my mother was when she had a “successful” suicide attempt after the many she had “failed.” Clicking that “publish” button was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, and one of the best steps I have ever taken. And last month marked 6 years since I got out of the hospital after my own “failed” suicide attempt, my rock bottom, and began my journey to mental health.  I’m endlessly grateful that I am able to connect with mothers from around the world, but this is just the beginning.

But since the computer is my vehicle, and my body is having such a hard time with the computer, well, it’s going to be interesting.

I’m looking into dictation software (any advice?) and going to physical therapy tomorrow.
DH helped me set up the laptop with a real keyboard and monitor, so things are more ergonomic than typing in bed.
But the bottom line is that I’m going to have to listen to my body, work with it better, take frequent breaks (I just hate interrupting the writing flow!), stretch, move, walk, and the hardest one: rest.

As always, in every struggle, there is an opportunity (darnit!). And the opportunity in this one is to practice Discomfort Tolerance on one hand, while taking self-care seriously, with a commitment to listen to the body and do what it is asking for. Because this time, my body means business.
It is doing this not because it is mean, but because it is trying to protect me from myself and from the modern lifestyle.

By the time I am 40 I want to be able to tell you that I have learned the lesson. Not in the “I solved the problem and this is what  you should do” kind of way  though that would be nice. No, I just hope that come September 24 I can honestly say that my body and I have found a way to play nice.
Because I’m a playful girl, and nice is a heck of a lot nicer than this.

I promise to find a way to write about this, so I can share my insights while keeping my body safe.

Comment magic:
How do you feel about your age?
Feel free to rant, bitch, moan, and complain.
Can you give yourself permission around this?

As always, endless love to all who read.
Whether you comment or not, may the joy be with you.


 

 

 

 

13 Responses to And I’m going to be 40?!?
  1. Yael
    September 20, 2011 | 6:28 am

    You are right, of course, as always. Much love, we miss you.

  2. orna
    September 19, 2011 | 1:10 pm

    getting to be forty sounds “terribly old”.
    i wish you’ll realize one day, years from now, that being forty is really being a young woman in full bloom, bursting with energy.
    fifty is the young forty and sixty is the young fifty-and there is still a lot of good in further horizens too.
    love orna

  3. Yael
    September 7, 2011 | 11:05 am

    you are so so sweet. and I think you are right. thank you.

  4. Zoie @ TouchstoneZ
    September 7, 2011 | 1:06 am

    Happy Birthday, beautiful person! Turning 40 sucks for a minute or two. Then it doesn’t so much anymore

    And, if you really think about it, you’re already in your 40th year of life.
    On your birthday, you’ll actually be in your 41st year of life. Does that help?
    Zoie @ TouchstoneZ recently posted..Living by the Yamas and Niyamas

  5. Yael
    August 29, 2011 | 2:14 pm

    Shir my love, thank you for these reminders. hugs to you and your boys. I miss you so.

  6. Yael
    August 29, 2011 | 2:13 pm

    Swings are my favorite things, and with you, oh boy, that would be so fun. Next time I come around to your neck of the woods, we will get ourselves to a swingset and have ourselves a party. I might make it to Portland for biggy-week. (Cross your fingers that childcare works out ). I’ll keep you posted.

  7. Yael
    August 29, 2011 | 2:09 pm

    Hi Briana, Happy just birthday. Birthdays are strangle little creatures, aren’t they? go figure. and yay for self exploration, you are not bad at it yourself (I love your work!).

  8. Briana
    August 27, 2011 | 2:03 pm

    I’m so glad you’re here, I admire you like crazy.

    I just turned 31 and it’s the first time a birthday ever freaked me out.

    Pressure and expectations, internal and external, ugh. Thank you for reminding me about Sally and her endearing sobfest. In as much as she is over-the-top hysterical, I feel less crazy to know I’m not alone. And so curious to find out where all this exploration takes you and what you learn. Because I need to learn it too! xoxo
    Briana recently posted..Wheels on the bus

  9. Casey
    August 25, 2011 | 9:47 pm

    Happy upcoming birthday!
    I’m 43. I may be an adult but I refuse to grow up. :-). Wanna go play on the swings with me? My foot doctor said that swinging is a great way to physically remind your body where you are in space. Fun AND good for you!

    xo

    -case

  10. shir
    August 25, 2011 | 4:29 pm

    I hardly pick up the boys anymore now, they are around half my weight…
    they totaly accept the fact that they are growing up and times are changing.
    we still have hugs and cuddles for closeness but for standing\walking they have
    young strong legs of their own.. :)

    I’m happy you’ve shared the polish demon. lucky for all of us that loves you’
    you are not your mom, and you are in a very different place and environment
    she had.

    taking care of yourself is definitely a good idea and keep doing all those things
    that you are good at and that are doing YOU good as well.

    love you

    shir

  11. Tania Elfersy
    August 24, 2011 | 7:51 pm

    I think you are on track to celebrate 40 in a wonderful way. And judging by your heartfelt blog, you have a lot of great things ahead of you.

    I am happy to share a 40th birthday wish that I recently sent to a good friend:

    Please accept it as your own (early) birthday wish.

    * * *

    The saying goes that ‘life begins at forty.’ I think it’s a simple way of telling us that at around this age we can look back and harvest such a significant amount of knowledge from our own lives, that we are deeply nourished to blossom anew.

    Every year provided us with emotions of so many colours, but it is only now that we can be grateful that we have seen the whole rainbow, because now we understand how to paint our future.

    Every year of our lives gave us wisdom, but it is only now that we begin to become truly wise.

    Gather up all the love from your life, all the love around you today and the love that is sent from afar. Gather it like you would wild flowers from a field – embrace the scent, wonder at the beauty, and take the radiant energy forward for at least another 80 amazing years — “ud 120!”
    Tania Elfersy recently posted..Supporting Moms

  12. Robin @ Farewell, Stranger
    August 24, 2011 | 5:14 pm

    My biggest complaint is that it’s so much harder to keep in shape than it used to be. This may change in the next 3 years, but overall I’m looking forward to turning 40. I have faith life will just keep getting better.

    And be reassured that you are making a difference in this world. And you have tons of time ahead of you to keep doing it.
    Robin @ Farewell, Stranger recently posted..Outtakes From a Photo Shoot

  13. Ann Becker-Schutte
    August 24, 2011 | 3:48 pm

    Yael,

    Congratulations–on the birthday, on the blog, and on your commitment to the future. And, although I haven’t used it myself, if you’re looking at dictation software, one of my colleaguesreally likes the “Dragon, Naturally Speaking” program. He raves about it. :)

    Warmly,
    Ann
    Ann Becker-Schutte recently posted..Seeking Balance is Self-Compassion Practice

And I’m going to be 40?!?

Remember this?

It’s almost as good as “I’ll have what she’s having.” And much closer to home.

I remember being 32 and feeling like Sally felt about 40, despite the fact I was married to a wonderful man and was pregnant with my first child.

And today, I’m exactly one month away from this dreaded “dead-end” — the big four oh.

I’m going to be 40.
When?
In ONE MONTH!!!! 

WTF?
I mean, being 40 is better than never getting there, so why am I reeling?
Considering that my mother never made it to 30, I should be grateful that one of us won her battle with PPD, no?
Well, I AM grateful.
Of course I am grateful.
But as I said before, just because you’re grateful, doesn’t mean you are happy, darnit!
And while being 40 is better than the alternative, I don’t have to like it.

I do recognize that a lot of the trouble is not really my stuff; it’s just cultural gunk that I picked up along the way. The kind of cwap drilled into us courtesy of Harry Met Sally and Sex in the City, and every beauty product commercial out there.

But here is the thing:
I don’t mind being 40 because of what it means for my looks. God knows the wrinkles, the pimples, the white hairs, all this stuff doesn’t really matter. No, I don’t love’em, but heck, who cares. I’ve never been pretty enough for old age to have much to wreck on the outside.

But there are two fronts on which aging matters to me a great deal:

1. Aches and pains, my biggest gripe with aging is that the body can no longer take the abuse of motherhood and creativity. Writing, typing, and drawing hurt my wrists, shoulders, and elbows. Gardening hurts my knees, picking up the chunky toddler hurts my back, while picking up the skinny 7yo is like asking for major trouble, but I can’t bear to hurt his feelings. So yes, a whole lot of ouch.

2. Making a difference: this one is the real biggie because 40=undeniably grown up. Which means that if I’m going to do something good in the world, I better be doing it already.
Know what I mean?

Well the trouble is that #1 is getting in the way of #2.
I mean, I think I found my way to make a difference: through this blog, through twitter, through social media. My calling is to  find other mothers who are struggling with postpartum depression, anxiety, and guilt, and to bring comfort to women who are trying to make sense of motherhood.
I started this blog exactly a year ago. on the September 24, the night I turned 39, and was officially 10 years older  than my mother was when she had a “successful” suicide attempt after the many she had “failed.” Clicking that “publish” button was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, and one of the best steps I have ever taken. And last month marked 6 years since I got out of the hospital after my own “failed” suicide attempt, my rock bottom, and began my journey to mental health.  I’m endlessly grateful that I am able to connect with mothers from around the world, but this is just the beginning.

But since the computer is my vehicle, and my body is having such a hard time with the computer, well, it’s going to be interesting.

I’m looking into dictation software (any advice?) and going to physical therapy tomorrow.
DH helped me set up the laptop with a real keyboard and monitor, so things are more ergonomic than typing in bed.
But the bottom line is that I’m going to have to listen to my body, work with it better, take frequent breaks (I just hate interrupting the writing flow!), stretch, move, walk, and the hardest one: rest.

As always, in every struggle, there is an opportunity (darnit!). And the opportunity in this one is to practice Discomfort Tolerance on one hand, while taking self-care seriously, with a commitment to listen to the body and do what it is asking for. Because this time, my body means business.
It is doing this not because it is mean, but because it is trying to protect me from myself and from the modern lifestyle.

By the time I am 40 I want to be able to tell you that I have learned the lesson. Not in the “I solved the problem and this is what  you should do” kind of way  though that would be nice. No, I just hope that come September 24 I can honestly say that my body and I have found a way to play nice.
Because I’m a playful girl, and nice is a heck of a lot nicer than this.

I promise to find a way to write about this, so I can share my insights while keeping my body safe.

Comment magic:
How do you feel about your age?
Feel free to rant, bitch, moan, and complain.
Can you give yourself permission around this?

As always, endless love to all who read.
Whether you comment or not, may the joy be with you.


 

 

 

 

13 Responses to And I’m going to be 40?!?
  1. Yael
    September 20, 2011 | 6:28 am

    You are right, of course, as always. Much love, we miss you.

  2. orna
    September 19, 2011 | 1:10 pm

    getting to be forty sounds “terribly old”.
    i wish you’ll realize one day, years from now, that being forty is really being a young woman in full bloom, bursting with energy.
    fifty is the young forty and sixty is the young fifty-and there is still a lot of good in further horizens too.
    love orna

  3. Yael
    September 7, 2011 | 11:05 am

    you are so so sweet. and I think you are right. thank you.

  4. Zoie @ TouchstoneZ
    September 7, 2011 | 1:06 am

    Happy Birthday, beautiful person! Turning 40 sucks for a minute or two. Then it doesn’t so much anymore

    And, if you really think about it, you’re already in your 40th year of life.
    On your birthday, you’ll actually be in your 41st year of life. Does that help?
    Zoie @ TouchstoneZ recently posted..Living by the Yamas and Niyamas

  5. Yael
    August 29, 2011 | 2:14 pm

    Shir my love, thank you for these reminders. hugs to you and your boys. I miss you so.

  6. Yael
    August 29, 2011 | 2:13 pm

    Swings are my favorite things, and with you, oh boy, that would be so fun. Next time I come around to your neck of the woods, we will get ourselves to a swingset and have ourselves a party. I might make it to Portland for biggy-week. (Cross your fingers that childcare works out ). I’ll keep you posted.

  7. Yael
    August 29, 2011 | 2:09 pm

    Hi Briana, Happy just birthday. Birthdays are strangle little creatures, aren’t they? go figure. and yay for self exploration, you are not bad at it yourself (I love your work!).

  8. Briana
    August 27, 2011 | 2:03 pm

    I’m so glad you’re here, I admire you like crazy.

    I just turned 31 and it’s the first time a birthday ever freaked me out.

    Pressure and expectations, internal and external, ugh. Thank you for reminding me about Sally and her endearing sobfest. In as much as she is over-the-top hysterical, I feel less crazy to know I’m not alone. And so curious to find out where all this exploration takes you and what you learn. Because I need to learn it too! xoxo
    Briana recently posted..Wheels on the bus

  9. Casey
    August 25, 2011 | 9:47 pm

    Happy upcoming birthday!
    I’m 43. I may be an adult but I refuse to grow up. :-). Wanna go play on the swings with me? My foot doctor said that swinging is a great way to physically remind your body where you are in space. Fun AND good for you!

    xo

    -case

  10. shir
    August 25, 2011 | 4:29 pm

    I hardly pick up the boys anymore now, they are around half my weight…
    they totaly accept the fact that they are growing up and times are changing.
    we still have hugs and cuddles for closeness but for standing\walking they have
    young strong legs of their own.. :)

    I’m happy you’ve shared the polish demon. lucky for all of us that loves you’
    you are not your mom, and you are in a very different place and environment
    she had.

    taking care of yourself is definitely a good idea and keep doing all those things
    that you are good at and that are doing YOU good as well.

    love you

    shir

  11. Tania Elfersy
    August 24, 2011 | 7:51 pm

    I think you are on track to celebrate 40 in a wonderful way. And judging by your heartfelt blog, you have a lot of great things ahead of you.

    I am happy to share a 40th birthday wish that I recently sent to a good friend:

    Please accept it as your own (early) birthday wish.

    * * *

    The saying goes that ‘life begins at forty.’ I think it’s a simple way of telling us that at around this age we can look back and harvest such a significant amount of knowledge from our own lives, that we are deeply nourished to blossom anew.

    Every year provided us with emotions of so many colours, but it is only now that we can be grateful that we have seen the whole rainbow, because now we understand how to paint our future.

    Every year of our lives gave us wisdom, but it is only now that we begin to become truly wise.

    Gather up all the love from your life, all the love around you today and the love that is sent from afar. Gather it like you would wild flowers from a field – embrace the scent, wonder at the beauty, and take the radiant energy forward for at least another 80 amazing years — “ud 120!”
    Tania Elfersy recently posted..Supporting Moms

  12. Robin @ Farewell, Stranger
    August 24, 2011 | 5:14 pm

    My biggest complaint is that it’s so much harder to keep in shape than it used to be. This may change in the next 3 years, but overall I’m looking forward to turning 40. I have faith life will just keep getting better.

    And be reassured that you are making a difference in this world. And you have tons of time ahead of you to keep doing it.
    Robin @ Farewell, Stranger recently posted..Outtakes From a Photo Shoot

  13. Ann Becker-Schutte
    August 24, 2011 | 3:48 pm

    Yael,

    Congratulations–on the birthday, on the blog, and on your commitment to the future. And, although I haven’t used it myself, if you’re looking at dictation software, one of my colleaguesreally likes the “Dragon, Naturally Speaking” program. He raves about it. :)

    Warmly,
    Ann
    Ann Becker-Schutte recently posted..Seeking Balance is Self-Compassion Practice