I had no idea that turning 50 would be such a hard milestone in my life. I had no idea that 51 would rear it’s ugly self even louder. What is this craziness called aging? Even as a health care worker, I HAD NO IDEA, how bad I would feel. How sudden the demise. How final it all feels.
Honestly, part of me is terrified that I will wake up tomorrow and not even REMEMBER all of the good stuff, all of the milestones, all of the sweat and tears and sticky stuff of raising four children and hanging onto our marriage.
After dropping off our youngest for his sophomore year of college, it suddenly felt like me and my man had been on a road trip! It’s back to just the two of us. It seems like I could blink and realize the last 26 years were just a dream. It’s been especially poignant to think about how long we have been together (since high school) when literally EVERY WEEK I hear about someone else in our cohort who is getting divorced. Kids are grown and they are done. It’s disheartening, it’s sad, and it’s very real. I’m not criticizing other people’s decisions. I can’t pretend to know the details of their situation. I do know that but for the grace of God… there go us! I am so thankful that when we have hit those walls… and you will if you are married very long at all… ONE of us (and it varies which one) are able to turn us around to the covenant that BOTH of us made. We do love each other and what a great team we make! Like one older gentleman told me, the secret to a long marriage… “don’t hate each other on the same day!”.
Many days are hard. They are hard physically, my neck and upper back hurt. My legs are weak, my upper extremities alternate between pain and numb/tingling. Can I really handle the physical demands of my job much longer? And seriously, why am I so fat? Why do I drink too much? (Wait, that probably answers the first question. ) Why do I lack motivation and energy? Just a few years ago, I was running half marathons and attending morning boot camp workouts. What happened to that girl?
Then there’s the hard emotional stuff. Why won’t my husband talk to me more? Why do I cut him off when he tries? (Again, probably answers that first question). Are the kids really on their own? Do they even care if they come home? WHO left their bathroom such a mess? How did I get so far behind on our house? IT is all a mess! Who is cleaning this out? Where did the chore chart go?? And why is my mother calling now?
Can you hear the chaos in my head??
And then there’s the new big ideas for empty nesting. What were we thinking getting a puppy… and now we have TWO?! THIS is why people don’t have babies in their 50s! But seriously these two are so cute and at least they make us walk more.