Welcome, Mamma Crew, to another chaotic, exciting, but always beautiful day of an older mom like you!
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I’ve started to notice some changes. You know, I certainly don’t have the energy level that I used to have before. On the other hand, I haven’t taken care of myself as well as I used to. But things are changing, and I hope to start this new year, this new chronological year, on a better foot. But that isn’t the only thing I’ve noticed. I’ve also noticed more and more wrinkles and age spots.
So, what are we going to talk about today? This year I turned 55! They’re still calling it middle adulthood. But, you know, fifty-five, with all the surgeries I’ve had, all the problems I’ve had since turning thirty, it’s an amazing feat that I’ve made it to fifty-five!
As I’ve noticed these oncoming wrinkles, I realized I don’t see wrinkles a lot on TV unless I’m watching a British show. You know, like can see the wrinkles on Helen Mirren, Emma Thompson, and Helena Bonham Carter. I don’t really see them on most American actresses in my age bracket, for example, Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston. Of course, I realized the big difference is that American actresses tend to use a lot of Botox. In fact, people are starting to use Botox at younger and younger ages. And, of course, lots of plastic surgery is happening. We see it more in males. We see it at younger ages. We’re also seeing it happening a lot in late adulthood. You know, sixty-five or older.
I thought, you know it’s so interesting that as women, we suffer from gerascophobia—the fear of aging. The more I thought about it, the more I thought I am not afraid of aging. Quite the opposite, I’m afraid of not aging! I don’t like the opposite option. If you’re not aging, you’re pretty much dead.
It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to look good. Come on! I like my facials. I like my mani-pedis. I’m trying to be more conscientious of my weight, even though I keep saying that, and I keep doing nothing about it, right? And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Botox. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the surgery. I actually had liposuction done on my hips in my 40s.
But even though I believe that you should do what makes you feel good, what floats your boat, what gets you through the night, I just don’t feel like it’s for me anymore. I mean, I’ve thought about it. I thought I wanted to have breast augmentation surgery for the longest time. Still, now I think I’ve had so many surgeries because I’ve needed to, and it’s such a painful process. Do I really want to have surgery just to look better? I don’t know. I’m not convinced that I do.
The truth of the fact is, I enjoy my chronological age! I mean, I got to be a teenager in the 80s. That sounds pretty cool to me. I got to attend the high school that the movie Richmond High is based on. So, I mean, what is there to complain about? I went to college at San Diego State University when it was still a party school. I owned many different homes in many different states. I’m married to a good guy, a good husband, a good father. I have decent children that drive me crazy now that they’ve hit the teenage years and are far from perfect, but I love them! They’re mine. And hopefully, one day, I’ll get to be a meemaw. Have some grandchildren to spoil.
So, what do I want in this aging process? Well, I really need to take care of my weight, not for vanity purposes but for health purposes. And, of course, just recently, I found out that there’s the possibility that in my mid to late 70s I will start developing dementia. That seems to be a family trait. But despite that, I feel fearless!
Unlike my family, I do have the opportunity to make some changes in my lifestyle. Hopefully, either lengthen my ability to remember things or lessen the impact or prolong my ability to remember things for a longer period because I really want to be around for my children. I noticed that we all do. But we don’t often think of it in terms of our personal aging. We think of our children of aging.
Now, the girls are pretty close to graduating from high school. Four years, and we’re done! Bug, he still has a few years to go. But I want to see them through high school graduation, going to college, and not knowing what major to choose even though they have this idea of what they want. Once they get there, I know they’re going to change their mind at least four or five times. I want to be around for their first major heartbreak. I want to be able to listen to them, to hold them. I want to hear all about their first internship. You know, and the crazy people they’re going to work for, and all of the unfairness typically involved with internships. I want to find out about their first job. I can’t wait to hear about that first move my kids make to this fabulous job that’s not as fabulous as they think because it’s the first one, or maybe it will be just as fabulous as they believe!
I want to be around when they find their life partner, hopefully, a long-term life partner. I want to be there if they have to go through a divorce. I hope to be around for the birth of my grandchildren. You know, to watch my children struggle to get the downpayment for that first house. Or finding out that being an adult is very rewarding, but it’s also very challenging. No longer hearing that with freedom comes responsibility but living that freedom and living that responsibility. But I’m not just looking forward to having experiences with my children.
I’m also looking forward to being an empty nester. I know this sounds a little crazy given my age, but I am kind of looking forward to it. You know, to have fewer responsibilities, not having to worry about somebody else’s schedule, multiple schedules. Oh my goodness! I want to have time to do things I enjoy, paint badly, spend some more time on the deck, and read as many books as I like little dogs. And certainly, certainly spend some time writing. And, of course, reconnecting with my husband. You know, we got married later in life, and we jumped right into having kids right away because of our age. So, just having some romantic alone time. I’m looking forward to that, and I feel no guilt about it!
I would also really like to travel with my two best friends—Renee in California. I’ve wanted to do some kind of a trip with her for the last ten, fifteen years! I really would like to go to Amsterdam with her. She always managed to bring out the troublemaker in me. She is such a bodacious, full-of-life personality. And my friend Sherry, I would love to go to Aruba with her! We had this whole trip planned, and I got sick. I ended up being hospitalized, and we didn’t make it to Aruba. I would really like to do that.
And for that matter, I would love for Renee and Sheri to meet each other! Because they’re just as crazy, they’re just as fun, and they’re nothing like me. And when I’m with one, it always feels like I’m getting swept away in this current of passion and joy in life! I can’t imagine what it would be like to be with both of them at the same time, maybe like being in a riptide, just being dragged out into a sea of experiences. I would really like to be part of that.
And of course, I know I keep bringing this up, but I really want to be a grandmother. I want the opportunity to meet my grandchildren. I want them to feel my wrinkles like I felt my grandmother’s wrinkles and loved them. I still remember my grandmother’s skin. I loved her skin! I loved her grandma’s smell! The smell of cookies and bread and hugs. I want to give that to my grandchildren.
And, of course, I want to teach him about our crazy family history. My one grandmother, running through the mountains, being chased by leopards because she was running away with the love of her life. My other grandmother built her house with her own hands. All of those wonderful stories, the sad ones too, the ones that shaped who I became. My father suffered from PTSD and, as a result, became an alcoholic but definitely had a tremendous impact on my life. And, you know, it wasn’t just negative. There were also a lot of positives that came out of that.
But most of all, I want to take them to Disneyland, to Seaworld, to Universal! Even if I am on my scooter, I want to do this! I want to over-love my grandchildren. I want them to want to come to my house because it’s fun! Because they feel loved, they feel the warmth. I’m never going to make them eat vegetables. I’m going to feed them whatever it is they want to eat. I want to make them cupcakes and cookies, over-sugar them, let them stay up late, and send them home tired to their tired, very annoyed parents!
Because that is the job of a grandmother, I want the opportunity to be a grandmother. The best spoiling meemaw there is! And when I’m gone, I want them to have those beautiful memories and to miss me. To miss me because I love them so much that no one can ever replace me in their hearts. Yup! I’m looking forward to having a new generation of bratty brats sitting in my lap, counting my wrinkles.
Fifty-five. There’s been so many challenges in those fifty-five years, so much joy. I’m grateful for every day I’ve lived, every scar I have. I have some big ones, you know, partial bowel resection, gallbladder, knee surgeries, C-section, so many scars! And so many scars that have allowed me to experience even more joy. That first, horrific surgery, the partial bowel resection, I would have never been able to get pregnant had it not been for that surgery. That’s when my doctors discovered the extent of my endometriosis and actually began treating it.
I so enjoy my kiddos! I really, really enjoy them. Even when I don’t know what to do about some of the challenges they bring into my life. Even when I’m overwhelmed with fear or with joy because they are part of my life. I truly enjoy being their mom. And I think enjoying my life is successful aging. I think it has to be. What else can it be called? Right? But we can discuss that more in another episode! What is successful aging? Successful aging—a lifetime of joy!
So, before we end this episode, let’s thank our sponsor, Syrtenty! Syrtenty.com, where you can find their reusable replacement electro patches to help you live pain-free without the need of medication. And now they came out with a new product. It’s called Ultimate TENS unit pads. So, I haven’t tried these, but I’ll be trying them later today. But so far, I never complain about Srytenty. It has been an excellent product for me and helping me live without knee pain! Highly recommended! So, check them out on Syrtenty.com. Use the code OMB15OFF for an additional 15% off your purchase.
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Remember, if you share an imperfect journey to motherhood, welcome to the crew! Till next time! Enjoy your kiddos!
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