Now that I am beginning to understand ‘hot flashes’, I have a big FUCK YOU to people who call them tropical moments.
A tropical moment is sitting in a beach chair, perhaps glistening in sweat, while drinking some fruity rum drink out of a damn coconut.
Hot flashes are NOT tropical moments. Imagine if you will that your brain is filled with fire ants, and at random moments, they all come out of your brain and burrow to just underneath your skin while carrying little tiny ant buckets of sweat they throw out so it seeps through your pores.
See the difference? Tropical moment = vacation. Hot flash = torture by fire ants.
At the very least, I should get to shoot fire out of my eyeballs when it happens. I should get SOMETHING out of this bullshit.
I guess I’m going to sweat buckets in my sleep. Also, apparently, the nearly wrinkle free skin I’ve enjoyed into my 50th year is going to dry out and shrivel up any day now. I’m more worried about that than I am soaking the sheets at night.
These changes aside, I can say with all honesty that I like this year best.
When I say best…I mean best out of all of them.
I’ve had MOMENTS that were better than being 50. I would cite them, but they’re the ones you already know. The first time you saw your child or grandchild, blah blah blah. Still, I would rather be right here right now.
I’ve become more me over the past couple years than I’ve ever been. The changes on the surface are subtle. I haven’t changed too much that other people can see. Mostly the changes are in my own head. I’ve let go of metric tons of guilt..not all of it…some of it is stubborn. I’ve forgiven myself for times I’ve let myself down. Most importantly, I’m honest with myself and I find great comfort in that honesty.
I saw an interview with Cher a number of years ago and something she said has always stuck with me. She said, “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. Rich is better. I’ve been 40 and I’ve been 50. 40 is better”.
I suspect the being rich is MUCH better than being poor…I have to guess because I have no way to gauge. However, having been both 40 and 50…I like 50 WAAAAY more.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
On the other hand, there is a definite downside to this newfound freedom I have granted myself. If I grew dishonest with myself, it was for a reason. I’m sure it was self-preservation. Being honest with myself means I have to deal with all of it. Not just the warm fuzzies.
I’ve given myself permission to be as vain as I want for as long as I want. I’m not going to stop fighting that increasingly difficult battle against the rapidly increasing visible signs of aging, but I also admit that I’m going to lose.
I’ve recently had to accept that the number of years ahead of me are no longer infinite. I know they never were, but who doesn’t think that when they are younger? I feel an urgency to stop waiting. For anything. If I want to accomplish something, then I need to act. There’s never a ‘best time’. I also refuse to feel guilty for wasted time. That time is gone, mourning lost time is just wasting more of it.
There is a definite fork in the road. Maybe it doesn’t happen at 50 for all of us, but for me…I can clearly see that fork. One road points toward giving in to getting older. I see people every day who have taken this road. Unavoidable medical issues aside, a lot of people just stop moving. They stop growing. They settle in and they wait.
The other road? That road requires effort. It might be more taxing physically. Sure, there are aches and pains now that I didn’t have 25 years ago…or even 10 years ago, but that doesn’t mean I’m not willing to work through them. Do I wish I had taken a different direction career-wise? Fuck yes. Does that mean that I can’t make a change still? Of course not. I may not have that long unknown road ahead of me like I did 30 years ago, but the end is still out of sight.
I don’t like the hot flashes. I suspect I might find there are a lot more things to dislike as time goes by, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t love the good parts more than the bad.
Here’s to getting older.
Now, get the fuck off my lawn.