How am I 37?

I don’t understand how I’m 37 years old, 38 in November.

I don’t consider myself to be anywhere near the age I thought my parents were when I was a child. They just always seemed to be, in my mind, constantly 40.

I look at, and listen to, other people that I think are in their late 30’s, early 40’s. Most of them look and act like they’re in their late 30’s and early 40’s.

When they talk, they sound mature and act like they know what they’re saying.

I ask myself “Why don’t I sound like that?” Because; when I speak, I sound unsure of whatever it is I’m trying to talk about.

I have a difficult time making conversation and I hate meeting new people because of this. What am I even supposed to talk about?

No one wants to hear about my day. I don’t do anything exciting or worth discussing.

Want me to tell you about the yard work I did yesterday?

“Hi. I pulled the weeds in my yard after I scooped my dog’s poop. It’s important to go in that order, for obvious reasons.

Oh, and my husband just bought me a new garden hose that’s not supposed to kink, but guess what? It does! Can you believe that?!”

No! No one cares about that!

Do people want to hear about my children? Are they really interested in what’s going on in my kid’s lives?

“My daughter got excited today because she colored inside the lines on 10 coloring book pages yesterday, wanna see em?

By the way, my son got to a new level on Fortnight yesterday, but his teacher told me he didn’t finish his homework, which is odd because he told me he did.

Oh, and I had to take them both to the dentist last week, but they don’t have any cavities!”

No! No one cares about them.

I could also care less to hear the stories other people want to tell me about their kids.

Should I want to hear their stories?

If they’re funny, or don’t make me feel so bad about how I’m parenting, then sure!

Otherwise, forget it.

Is that bad? Am I a horrible person?

I look at other parents when I’m at my kid’s school and just feel like everyone else is more mature there too. They seem to be on a decisive path to where ever it is they need to be going.

I just wonder around aimlessly, trying to figure out where I’m supposed to be (I also hate asking for help).

But there can’t be that much difference in age?

I had my son at 23, he’s now 14. My daughter was born when I was 32, and she’s 5. Probably a good average range for people to have kids, right?

What am I supposed to talk about to people in the grocery store? I typically just try to avert my eyes. But, inevitably, someone talks to me and I usually try to just make a joke and end up sounding like an idiot instead. I also get stuck in those buggie dances that happen when you come face to face with another shopper. Insert stupid joke, and they look at me with frustration and keep going on their decisive path.

I’m not having a hard time realizing my age because I think I look younger or more beautiful than a 37 year old should. On the contrary, I don’t think I’ve ever had a “natural” beauty.

Even when I try to fake it, it doesn’t always come off so well.

How old is 37 supposed to look?

I try to think back to how my mom looked when she was 37; maybe older, mom-like features?

She wore dress clothes every day to work, and pumps with stockings. She curled and teased her hair everyday to look like she had a football helmet on. She applied eyeliner and eye shadow and blush, the works!

She even did all this on her days off.

I just can’t do all that!

On a very rare occasion I would catch my mom with no makeup on and her hair down. Naked, un-stockinged legs. She couldn’t get all the mascara off the night before so she would have raccoon eyes.

She would scare me because I rarely saw her like that!

I look like that on the daily.

But my mom is a beautiful woman, with or without the football helmet or raccoon eyes, she always has been. For an almost 65 year old, I still get amazed by her energy for life and how good she really looks.

During the week, to get ready for work, I use a hot iron to help tame my hair. I put on concealer, powder, mascara and I draw on my eyebrows. But I’ve done all that since middle school.

I work in a medical clinic and we have to wear scrubs, so basically I wear pajamas all day. Then I come home and put on a tank top and sweats or yoga pants. On my days off, if I have to leave the house, I put on jeans and a t-shirt.

Maybe I have an issue feeling 37 because mentally I don’t feel like it?

I think I’m more at the mental age level of a 23-25 year old.

I’m a lot less selfish than I was at that age.

I have 2 children now. Who can be selfish with two life suckers tagging along for the ride? Constantly asking for their life to take priority over everything I do.

But I shouldn’t feel older because I have kids.

I do feel more prepared to raise my second child because of the mistakes I’ve made with my first. Too bad for my 14 year old, right?

If my 5 year old was my only child, I’m sure I would make all the same mistakes with her as I did with my teenager.

My age has nothing to do with how I’m raising my kids now, or the mistakes I’ve made with one or both of them.

I still feel like I’m the same person I was when they were born.

I’ve learned about relationships, parenting, love, being hurt and hurting others. Being trusted, and trusting others. Being honest with myself and not being honest with people who can’t handle it. And I’ve learned a lot about accountability. But anyone of any age can learn those things, I’m no expert.

Some young people I observe (because I hate talking to people) seem to have lived through what I have, plus so much more.

Experience doesn’t necessarily come with age, it comes with what you have experienced.

Hence the word, I suppose.

I really have not experienced much. You have to leave your home and take chances to do that. Scary.

I just feel like I still do so much wrong. Like that one time I had to file for bankruptcy.

I’ve made, and continue to make, stupid mistakes. Like forgetting I have a mortgage to pay.

I don’t know what’s ok to say to people. Apparently it’s not ok to call the lazy people at work “lazy”. They get offended.

The only thing that makes me feel my age is hearing the birthdates of legal adults these days. And saying things like “These days”. But these babies are working along side of me, driving down the street next to me, and starting to have their own families.

I think though, I would actually like to feel my age.

I think I would feel mature, which I don’t now.

I can be mature, when the situation calls for it. Which is not very often, in my case.

I would feel wise, and have all the answers. Even to my own questions.

I would be comfortable in my own skin. Whatever that B.S. means.

I’ve always had a weight problem, ranging from a size 14 to a size 18. I can’t remember being any size smaller for as far back as my adult memory can take me. But I can remember wishing I didn’t look like a whale in a bathing suit. I can remember never wearing shorts because my legs look like tree stumps.

I am a bit more comfortable, being in a marriage for 7 years now, I don’t really need to impress anyone. I can show my legs in public, if I want to! Which I don’t. No one needs to see these thighs!

Not feeling like my age could also be the product of the lifelong issue I’ve been battling with acne. I’ve never been completely free of it, or the scars (physical and mental!) it’s left me with over the years. Recently, it’s even gotten worse. Like I don’t have enough issues.

I still battle chronic chapped lips from the use of Acutane that I took in high school. It was a terrible medication, causing horrible side effects in many of its’ patients, chapped lips being the worst for me. But it was the one thing that did help my acne. Too bad I was left with chapped lips and not clear, beautifully radiant and smooth skin…

I get to hear from my son on, a more than appreciated, occasion that I am the reason he is dealing with acne now.

But my son is so handsome, I don’t really even see it. I do, however, smell his B.O. quite well and have to remind him to use shampoo, conditioner, soap and to brush his teeth. It’s a good thing he’s got good looks, cause he’s going to need them if he doesn’t learn about hygiene soon.

I can tell you that my body doesn’t feel 37.

What is 37 supposed to feel like anyway?

All I have to compare it to is my parents, really. I don’t know how my parents felt at that age, but they seemed healthy. They never really did anything but work. Still, I never remember them complaining about anything but my grades, to stop fighting with my siblings and bringing stray animals home.

My mother would come home and put her feet up because she’d been walking on them all day, in those ridiculous pumps. But she still made dinner every night and she’d be fine the next day.

No, my body doesn’t feel 37. I actually feel closer to 60 or 65.

See, I’ve been dealing with back pain going on 3 years now.

I was diagnosed with arthritis from my pie hole to my butt hole, and I’m 99% sure I have Fibromyalgia. But doctors don’t like diagnosing FM, so I can’t say for sure. I’m just painful all the time.

The pain kept getting worse, not better, with medications, massage machines purchased via prime membership on Amazon, a tens unit purchased in the same manner, weight loss, a complete diet change, I quit smoking, and I bought (you guessed it, on Prime! I really hate leaving my house) a hard plastic hook that’s shaped like an S and used to massage the parts of my back I can’t reach. I keep it by my bed incase I need to bludgeon a burglar to death in the middle of the night, because it’s all it’s going to be good for.

A friend sent me to a chiropractor with a crazy mind and knack for nutrition and what it does to your body.

This chiropractor, we’ll call him “The Chiropractor”, was the one who brought up FM. All the symptoms fit. Especially since the procedures the medical doctors have put me through have not only been expensive, but worthless against giving me any relief from the constant pain.

So I can’t do a lot of the things that I used to do without feeling mild to moderate pain. I can’t cook, clean, drive, sleep, work, pick up my daughter, wrestle with my son, sit and eat, or even do my favorite thing, garden, without pain. I’m starting to sound like a flipin’ arthritis medication commercial.

“The Chiropractor”, asked me to change my diet to a gluten free one.

I know, I know, you’re sick and tired of hearing about this gluten free propaganda, but I crap you not, I do think it’s helping.

I’m not pain free, but I’ve had a lot fewer days of crying.

Even my physical therapist gave me the feeling she thinks I have FM, but legally she can’t say it. So, of course, I made her say it.

In return she makes me do horrible, torturous things called “light exercise”. She can be a real d-bag.

So I’m 37, 38 in November, stuck with the mind of a 25 year old and living in a 65 year old body, eating a gluten free diet, with an aversion to strangers and a love of my home and plants, going through carb withdrawals, who’s being sucked lifeless by 2 children, with a husband who’s not allowed to see my legs.

Then again, it could always be worse

Visit my website for more tales of mental chaos and uncertainty.

4 thoughts on “How am I 37?”

  1. One of the keys in life is to take our eyes off ourselves and that everything that happens to us is a learning curve. If we realise that there is a higher source looking after us, we can talk to that higher source and ask for wisdom and guidance and help.

    Liked by 1 person

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