Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

Facing My 35th Birthday. Gracelessly. June 29, 2007

Filed under: Lacko Family Chronicles — rjlacko @ 6:26 pm
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I can’t believe it’s already the 19th, and I’m just writing now. Trust me, there have been plenty of ‘mental blogs’ written. It’s been just so hard to sit down at the computer for more than 10 minutes.
Short recap:
Sick, stomach flu, before Christmas.
Sick, stuffy head, runny nose, achy, after Christmas.
Sick, urinary tract infection, last week.
PMS, first period since I got pregnant (last June 04.)

I’m not the type to get sick, so this has been a pain. Anyway, enough about that. I’m desperately trying to plan my (ahem) 35th birthday. So far, we will be spending the weekend in Ojai doing yoga, eating amazing food, hiking, biking and meditating. This birthday is a huge one for me. Who knew I’d ever get this old? I’ve really been driving Joseph crazy. Getting my period after such a long time, I’ve been an hormonal train wreck. Whining, crying, dazed and confused. It hasn’t helped that I’ve noticed that my eyes are actually starting to droop–like an OLD person. My eyelids are actually holding up the fatty loose tissue under my eye brows. I have been beside myself with grief over how wrinkly I’ve become, but this is just unacceptable.

One thing that Joseph has always said he loves about me is that I’m not overly preoccupied with my appearance, and I would never be a likely candidate for plastic surgery. OK, that was before my eyes turned to loose fat. Maybe it’s because I’m about to turn (gasp!) 35, or maybe it’s because I’ve been in the bathroom every 5 minutes tending to a pesky UTI and then period (and glancing, sadly, in the mirror at what has become of my face), but I’m rapidly approaching 5-star panic. Not 5-star like a fine hotel recommended by AAA: 5-star like the panic produced by not one, two, or even three celebrities “of a certain age”, but FIVE! Picture the culminated trauma five 35-year-old female celebs (who’ve had kids) could muster; that’s the kind of self-flaggellation I’ve been up to. Yes, they would go out and get those lids a-lifted, stat. And while they were at it, they do something about those post-nursing shrivelly-bits in the chest area, too. And Botox, bring on the Botox!

But that’s not me.

Maybe after I have another baby and nurse him or her for a year, then we can talk boob job, we’ll see. But the rest? It’s stupid, and insipid, I know, but it bugs me to know that a few hours up the way, I could have access to the very same dermalogical advances as anyone in Hollywood. And yet, here I am, aging gracelessly instead, too proud to do anything about it. Well, I did go see a dermatologist. She gave me a prescription face cream that hurts to use. (But it seems to already be helping, a little.) She also offered to suck some fat out of my thighs and put it in my face; the very idea would have made me shudder in horror ten years ago. I might have even been tempted to picket her office to put an end to such mutilation. Now, I sigh wistfully, wondering which part I like better, the fat sucking or the face plumping. My husband would kill me if I did such thing.

Here are some other random thoughts I’m just going to write out so I don’t have to think them any longer: what if the painful cream I’m using now works so well that it totally helps my face, and then when I get pregnant again, and have to stop using it and spend the next nine months (and beyond, nursing) will I look (comparatively) worse than ever? Maybe I shouldn’t be improving myself TOO much? Or maybe I should pay huge bucks for Radiance, ’cause it lasts two years, and just hurry up and get pregnant? But, where do I get the huge bucks? And, what will Joseph say about how shallow and fake I’ve become? And, maybe, after I have another baby, I can get my eyelids done at the same time I get a boob job, and Joseph won’t even notice, because he’ll be too busy looking at my chest… What has become of me? I used to absolutely HATE cosmetic surgery, I think I actually still do, and yet, and yet, and yet. I don’t want to get old. Or, if I have to, I don’t want anyone to know about it.

One of the things I’ve scheduled for my birthday weekend is a meeting at Buddhist monastery with the Director. He is going to lead us in a guided meditation. Yes, I’m a Christian, and will be for the rest of my life. When I think of people who age gracefully, who respect and revere their elderly, I do admire the Buddhist faith. Age is wisdom, age is peace and understanding. Or, it can be, if you learn, listen, shut up and value life’s lessons. I’m hoping to return to a more peaceful place about who I am, and where I am in my life right now. Before I was pregnant, I used to meditate daily, and I really had a very clear sense of my place in this world, and I was very motivated and positive as a result of that. I also need to refer back to what the Bible has to say about getting older. That’s one thing I haven’t done before.

Other people I admire… in November, I took a 90 minute yoga class from an 80 year old woman. She was gorgeous! Statuesque, lean, vibrant, full of life, yet still and deep as a river. It seems like everyone I see who is over 40 and regularly engaged in yoga has a great body, clear skin, and a frequent smile. And God knows I do love yoga. And yes, I am planning for us to attend some classes in Ojai, so I have my heart in the right place. I just need to be more disciplined about doing it daily.

OK, deep breath. I have a beautiful son and a wonderful husband who loves me very much. My blessings, counted. I have better things to do than look at my wrinkles in the mirror. I am only halfway (hopefully!) through my life. I get cake. Whatever flavor I want.

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