Tuesday, March 9, 2010

“Old” at 35?

I was reading a book the other day called "Boundaries". I was told that it was a really great book for learning how to say “no” to people who are seemingly taking advantage of your good nature…I think…Well…I thought that was why it was recommended to me. The first chapter started off talking about some old woman with all sorts of responsibilities who was being run ragged. She had 2 kids, one who was having trouble with discipline both at home and at school, a mother who martyred herself by speaking of her loneliness and constantly guilting herself into her home even when the timing made it impossible for her to get all of her pertinent tasks done, a husband who wasn’t quite pulling his weight in the emotional support department, and a job where her boss relied on her to cover his last minute shortcomings by handing them to her to complete. If that wasn’t foreign enough to me, the next sentence started, “she woke up and dreaded getting out of bed. Her 35 year old body couldn’t bare the thought of it.”…um…what a stupid book! I couldn’t listen any further. I couldn’t imagine what a person would have to put her body through so that at 35 years old, her body would feel any different than her body at 25 years old (possibly other than feeling a heck of a lot better because the late night party stage was over!) Then I realized that this woman had lived really hard. Somehow she had gotten into the monotony of “midlife”, not by age but by circumstance. I couldn’t relate to this book at all. I’ve never wakened up a day in my life and thought, “wow! My body is so old I can’t even bear the thought of standing up!”…I have, on very few occasions over the last 8 or so years, been forced to listen to the second chord of the song my alarm played while my arm remained asleep under my head and wouldn’t move quickly enough towards the button to turn it off without dropping my hand onto my face….of course that’s the nature of the stomach sleeper. Your hand is bound to get stuck under you, or once in awhile wake up with fingerprints on your face. All other days, the alarm plays a note and I click it off and think, “OK! Where’s the day?” … I don’t have anything in my life that this woman has. She is in a completely different life stage than I am. One day when I have a 10 year old with attention deficit disorder and an 8 year old who won’t stop practicing her flute long enough to let me get some sleep, I’m certain there will be days that I will hope for “calgon to take me away”, but by then, I’ll be so old, I’ll be lucky to have arms to drop on my face! That’s when I’ll think, “this 55 year old body isn’t what she used to be…now I can bounce a quarter off my butt cause I don’t have time to eat so much pizza in bed anymore!…thank GOD!”…as for the book…I’m not reading it again until then. Right now, it means nothing to me.