for the past few years – the early thirties – I have rejoiced the arrival of my period with a “yes! not pregnant again!”
for the next few years – the mid-to-late thirties – i shall rejoice the arrival of my period with a “yes! not menopause yet!”
at least “thirtysomething” had a slightly hopeful, leaning-towards-twenties sort of feel to it.
but “mid-thirties”, it reeks of snug granny pants, emerging crow’s feet, and expiring ovaries.
thom yorke singing about “a pig in a cage on antibiotics” starts to ring true.
at 35, your fertility is in its decline, according to medical articles.
at 35, you’ve reached the age limit of the ‘youth’ category according to the “working definition” by NYC.
not that i’m bothered by the whole aging thing, really. for now, i view it with more of a… bemused detachment. i do have a bit of fun bemoaning the fact to much younger peers and laugh at the mocking it invites, but the effects of aging haven’t fully sunk in, that i don’t actually feel despondent or rage at the injustice of “youth being wasted on the young”. not yet.
then again, hardly anyone believes me when i tell them I’m turning 35 anyway. as if i’ve performed some miraculous feat against nature.
in any case, my state of mid-thirty-ness makes for a great conversation opener.
“Getting on better with your associate employee contemporaries, at ease…”
i don’t know if it’s age-related, but i’ve had these sudden flashes of mortal paranoia lately.
while driving yesterday, morbid thoughts ran through my head: “what if the driver in the next lane has a sudden heart attack and swerves into me? how could we even trust that other drivers out there won’t keel over their steering wheel while operating a moving vehicle? what if *i* got a heart attack while driving? how would I know if it happens??” it took me some soothing bon iver on the ipod to get me back to non-cardiac-arrest-related thoughts.
“A patient, better driver, a safer car, baby smiling in back seat…”
in the middle of last night, i started from my sleep and sniffed the air, convinced that the stove gas was on: “what if the stove had been on all night and the kids became unconscious since their rooms were nearer to the kitchen than mine? what if the house burned down? what if the gas came from a neighbour’s house? how could we even trust that other people in the block won’t leave their stoves on at night and burn down our house as well? do we have insurance??” it took me a while in my half-awake/half-dreaming state for that whole rubbish train of thought to run its course before i finally fell back asleep – not even getting up to check on the stove.
“Sleeping well, no bad dreams, no paranoia…”
and did i tell you i muddle up my words sometimes, especially when giving the kids instruction?
speaking of granny pants, yes, i *do* prefer them these days. albeit, fancier versions.
also, it now takes me more time deliberating over an outfit in the fitting room: “will my bit of tummy stick out in this? can i get away with this on bloated days of the month? why are carbs soooo addictive? should i just live on fish soup and nothing else for the rest of my life? what is life if one does not enjoy what one consumes? do i even need this dress??”
oh, the gamut of existential crises that goes on in a fitting room!
“Regular exercise at the gym, 3 days a week…”
“DAMN YOU angelina and your right leg!”
(because i find myself envying older women, instead of younger ones.)
i still say i’m really liking being in my thirties. i’m not so nostalgic of my twenties, and truthfully, i wouldn’t want do it all over again. body image (this one a lost cause) and slight neuroses aside, i value the knowing and understanding of certain things and perspectives at this point in my life, and being content and somewhat at peace with myself.
“No longer afraid of the dark or mid-day shadows.
Nothing so ridiculously teenage and desperate, nothing so childish.
At a better pace, slower and more calculated, no chance of escape.
An empowered and informed member of society, pragmatism not idealism….
Calm, fitter, healthier, and more productive…”
let’s just leave it at that, shall we? ;)