When I was young and heard news reports of elderly people dying because of the heat in the summer, I would think, “How in the world does THAT happen?”
And now that I’m experiencing summer as a 38-year-old, my eyes have been profoundly open. Before, I could go hiking in 90-degree heat. And now my body tells my brain, “Maybe we don’t really need to walk to the mailbox in this heat? That would be A LOT.”
My body reacts so differently to the slightest insult. Everything wears on me now, including the weather. Over the weekend, I drank three (okay, maybe four) glasses of Rosé in the afternoon out in the sun with some old friends and their kids who were visiting from out of town. I still went to bed at 9:30. But the next day, I had to take a 2-hour nap the next day because I was so exhausted.
My favorite exercise class at my office’s gym (which is geared to the older exerciser) is focused on “functional movement.” Our instructor basically explained it’s to keep us fit and flexible so we don’t hurt ourselves reaching overhead for a cereal box in the morning.
Five years ago, I would have laughed at this — reaching for a cereal box? Come on. But now? Now I lift my 3 pound weights and stretch in that class like my shoulders depend on it. Because they do. I REACH FOR CEREAL BOXES ALL THE TIME. And I can definitely see how one weird reach could keep me out of commission for weeks.
Friends, I’m becoming very nervous that middle age is basically being very tired every day until the day you die.
I’m also nervous that it’s just spending the majority of your time feeling guilty for not doing more. But when you finally have the energy to actually do more, you think, “Why did I just do that? Now I’m even MORE tired.”
I have this theory that if you lined up a bunch of women the same age, anyone would be able to pick out which women are the ones who gave birth — and not because kids themselves are so freaking tiring.
They say your body replenishes the nutrients babies suck from you while gestating but at this point in my age / parenting life, I’m not sure I believe that particular bit of science.
Because women are getting pregnant later in life, babies are sucking the life from someone that’s already a little, ahem, used up.
We then give birth to them and are expected to bounce back. Which maybe we could if we were, say, 23. But instead we have a baby right on the cusp of middle age. It’s two big punches we simply can’t recover from.
I have reached this BIG SCIENTIFIC CONCLUSION because my husband, who works just as much as I do, and does more of the day-to-day parenting than I do, and sleeps less than I do simply isn’t as tired as me. He seems so much more strong and vital.
Anyway, I’m not sure what I’m talking about. I’M TIRED. And it will never, ever stop. I feel like I could sleep for days and never not be tired. I blame the children. And being middle age. And a woman. But mainly the children.
I saw a post today where a friend admitted she was tired and it was so nice to see another mom admit she was tired that I wanted to extrapolate on that idea with 500 words on the subject. You’re welcome, tired one.
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I just want to say that I love your newsletter and your blog. I find your parenting style completely relateable, your recommendations super helpful, and your writing style super funny and enjoyable. Please keep it up!!
Thank you for saying so! I appreciate it!