Wednesday, June 15, 2016

What kind of 42 will I be?

I'm turning 42 on July 17.

I aways like to acknowledge my coming age, sometimes to the point of cutting an age short. Because I don't want to be shocked or freakout on my birthday.

I don't want to have a big mid-life crises. First, I've had just about enough crises in general. I'm medicated. I'm doing the work. I'm open to groundbreaking new ideas, like the trampoline exercise program I have been for two months, since my mom bought the kids one of those trampolines with a net around it.

I jump alone. I jump with Alex, 7, and Savannah, 2. And just maybe, tonight, when the light way up high in the back casts my shadow from my vantage on the trampoline onto the white wall behind me, my shadow will look a scoach less chubby than it did the first night I got on the trampoline.

People who are 42, ad older, can be hot and healthy. I know women like that. I'm friends with them.   And then there are the celebrities.  Cameron Diaz, 43, comes to mind.

But the 40s can also be, for some people, when it all seems to fall apart. I found out yesterday that a longtime friend of mine—we'd admittedly kept it virtual in recent years—died. Our birthdays were a day apart and the same year.

She had battled a terrible disease, cystic fibrosis, for most of her life. Still, she was 42. I wish she was around because she was a cool girl--a redhead who loved reading and with a wry sense of humor. Or woman, I guess. Certainly at 42, you're a woman.

Also yesterday, I reconnected with a high school friend. He had drifted away but he's among the first friendships I've been rekindling that were once mutual with my ex-husband. I don't mean to be mysterious. My ex-husband went to my high school and so did one of his best friends. We had a Facebook chat.

I asked after his sister and found out that she, who in high school was a punk rock Filipina bad-ass, is recovering from a stroke. She is about 43.

I don't know the circumstance. And I wish her well in her recovery. Maybe we will reconnect as well.

Then, today, I interviewed the head of a new local dementia facility. She is perhaps my age. As it turns out, she was inspired to work with people with Alzheimer's disease ad various sorts of dementia, because her mom has Alzheimer's.

Her mother, who she says is at the end of her life now, got Alzheimer's when she was 42 and was diagnosed when she was 47. It's not just an old person's disease, I'm told.

But here I am, just shy of 42, and wanting to be as youngish and healthy as I can for my age. Not like plastic surgery youngish—not that I judge. I just can hardly afford a container of skin cream at the moment. But fit, feeling good in my clothes and able to keep up and active with my still very young kids, Alex, 7, and Savannah, 2. And I still want to be attractive to men. What if I meet Viggo Mortensen?

I know. Some things you can't control. But this year, I promise myself and anyone who clicks by this blog, I will move a lot. I will get on the trampoline. I will get in the pool and in the ocean.  I will use the gym membership I'm paying for.

Because I don't know what 42 is exactly, but I'd like it to be a positive thing.