Is this Middle Age?
As I caught up with some other school moms at drop off the other day, the conversation somehow took a quick side turn to mentioning vaginas. (we have a midwife in our midst). As we mused through the hilarity of a round of vagina stories, I realized my comfort with the word vagina has become mainstay in my world. The older I get, the use of va-jay-jay, cooch, and other cute definitions of our underbits takes up too much energy and for me, it has now simply become straight up vagina.
Funny how that works isn’t it? As we get older, the concern over being socially appropriate pretty much flies out the window.
We all got so worked up about leading up to 40 didn’t we? We did our 40 things we learned, 40 things to do before your 40 and reflected on each of our past 40 years. Our own “coming of age” story played out on all our Facebooks. We gave very little fucks and felt more empowered and confident in our new decade than ever before.
But then we actually turned 40 and that wasn’t nearly as bad as we thought. Things did, however, suddenly and very rapidly started to change. Sure, there was the typical your eyes will immediately go down hill when you are 40 (truth) and your body will start feeling more “your age” (also true) but there is a shit ton missing that is really hardly ever discussed at all.
To the Sisterhood of Travelling Pantyliners who have already tred this path, I expected more from you. A warning perhaps?
At least with puberty, you faced that awkward moment with one of your parents or were alternatively handed over a sex ed book with various animals screwing as your point of reference.
You let me down a little.
You didn’t tell me about all the OTHER stuff.
The mid-life, what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-me kind of stuff that takes over. As our bodies morph into something completely different, our emotions hit epic highs and brutal lows, but nobody is talking about it. (Or hardly).
So let’s talk. Straight up.
Here are a few things I would like to pass on to my up and coming 40-somethings to better prepare them for this next phase of life.
- You will have the heaviest periods of your life. Oh to my 16 year old self who stayed home from school cause the “cramps were SO painful”. Suck it up butter cup. You have NO idea.
- You lament and miss the days of yesteryears. Gone are intelligent movie scripts with complex subplots, subliminal humour and challenging storylines. Movies like Sophie’s Choice, Kramer vs Kramer, MASK, The Godfather, The Princess Bride, Breakfast Club, or One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Trust me I could go on with this list) have now been replaced by deeply disturbing, ridiculously benign ditties like Sausage Party, Dirty Grandpa, The Do-Over and Ted.
- You will start experiencing insomnia, you might start having anxiety, and the blues will feel deeper than ever before. Keeping a keen eye on your mental health and be sure to take care of it now before it becomes critical. It can affect you, your marriage, your body, your children and your life. Be aware.
- You used to giggle at the way your aunts & uncles danced up a storm at weddings. You know why they were so happy? It was the only LEGIT place they could dance! Going to a club over the age of 40 when you are meeting young bucks and affirming that you could (in fact) be their mother is a total buzzkill. They are drunk and stumbly and get in your way when all you want to do is dance and you have gotten rusty on the back elbow check you used to dance to clear some space to dance and …”Wait Wha? Did you SEE the way she was dancing?? Not like we EVER were assholes as kids right?? *Ahem* Judgy McJudgerson.
- You used to be a good dancer. When you were young. Now your POP is a Diet Coke and your LOCK is on the storage unit down the way. Finding a groove that doesn’t hurt your knees, or doesn’t have you stuck on the floor once you went low, (Shit, I’ve gone too far) low, (Crap, now I have to fall over to get back up) low is damn near impossible. Just deal, have fun or start taking Hip Hop classes.
- Time will feel finite. Like the clock really is ticking. Through watching illness take over dear friends your same age to starting to go to too many funerals, this will be the first time that you start to realize that you only have so much time left in this beautiful world of ours.
- You will discover more about how your body operates, what you like & care less about how you look. Sex will be everything from utilitarian, fun, painful, familiar, quick, sensual, passionate or any combination of the afore mentioned. The difference now is that (on the nights where you are both”game”) not only is it good, it’s fireworks.
- The words “prolapsed uterus” has a far higher appearance count in your conversations than you ever care to discuss. Pelvic floor and kegels advice has changed from a giggle on using them to strengthen your orgasm to using them to make sure nothing falls out of you.
- You will pee. Just a little. Like all the time (unless you have been working on those kegels) When you sneeze, cough, throw up, go trampolining and quite likely even run.
- You will love deeper. Play harder (although the hangover recovery period takes about 3 days longer) and appreciate the true value of dear friends.
I want to tell those up and comers, to simply care about the important things & let go of everything else. Talking is important. If anything to just know you aren’t alone.
Keep talking girls. Keep talking.