NO HAPPY BIRTHDAYS HERE

As of today, I have dragged this carcass around the sun 37 times now. I know that doesn’t exactly put me in the category of wizened old broad just yet, but I have come to the realization over the past year that time is marching directly on, right across my face. I have upped my game a little bit and tried to live a balanced, healthy, outlook regime. It seems a popular thing to do to overshare lifestyle routines on various social media outlets, and I want nothing more than to be popular. So here you go; this is how you be a somewhat presentable 37 year old woman with various neuroses.

Sleep

Sleep no more minutes per night than your age in years. My body steadfastly maintains that rule, and has for nearly four decades now. So fuck you, science; insomnia doesn’t kill.

Exercise

I do get my heart rate up from time to time, mostly getting generally feminist mad about people telling me to lean in/employ parenting methods/be more mindful/eat more kale/generally put in any effort into anything besides subsisting. Not only does this have cardio benefit, but yelling is good for the lung capacity too.

For the past year I have also had intensive daily cardio whenever I drop my kids off at daycare. Among other daily atrocities, I think I can sum up our entire daycare experience in telling you that we had to find TWO CHICKEN COSTUMES for their Christmas play December. With two weeks notice. In December. When Christmas is. I drop my kids off at daycare because I have a full time job, and it is not as a chicken costumer. The subtext was that we should make the costumes because we don’t spend enough quality time with our kids. Two weeks before Christmas. In December. In terms of cardio effort, I should be thanking them for saving me thousands of dollars on a personal trainer.

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We actually had one chicken costume. I made my husband drive an hour and a half out of town for the second chicken costume, only to have our children refuse to sing the song  in front of an audience. I still don’t understand what happened because the song was in Spanish. But I assume there is a Christmas Chicken. There’d better be a fucking Christmas Chicken.

Then there’s all the idiot attempts that I make at doing shit that I am not prepared for. Like this for example:

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Those are my cousin’s hands firmly on my butt. She is the only thing between me and 30 burpees. And death.

My cousin asked me to do this, and I NEARLY DIED. It was one of those obstacle races, on the hottest day of the year, and I was grateful to wallow about in the mud pit to have some relief from the dust and heat. At my worst moment, a mystical unicorn of a woman well into her 70’s (who I mentally named Helen, because it felt generationally appropriate)  breezed past me. Instead of the demoralizing effect of crumpling into the dust to let an army of fit young dudes with something to prove trample my corpse, it spurred me on. If Helen could do this goddamned race, so could I. When I finished, my dad congratulated me by saying “wow, I was pretty sure your cousin would make it, but I thought you’d die out there.”

That’s me, exceeding expectations.

Diet

I am a really strict omnivore. I just really go out of my way to eat every goddamned thing I see to adhere to my principles. I have also skipped the cheap gin and tonics and switched to fancy gin and fancy tonic, which has had an enormous benefit because I can no longer afford to drink to the point of hangover. I also look at a LOT of healthy recipes on pinterest and share the fuck out of things like squash tacos and whatnot on Facebook and I rail about organic foods and GMOs literally all the time. I mean, I haven’t actually implemented most of these dietary changes at home, but change has to start somewhere right? Armchair activism is as good as any other method of anything out there.

Hobbies

Look, you gotta stay mentally sharp. My recent blog posts are fairly indicative of my primary hobbies, which are “having ennui about children growing up too fast” and “comparing everything to flowers”. Consider the lilies and all that.

I also keep bees and suffered a LOT of bee stings last year, you guys. So goddamned many. I was not sad even a little bit when one of my hives died over the winter because those things were jerks. They were honeybees masquerading as Japanese hornets. My thighs were constantly throbbing, and not in a fun way, but because they were constantly full of venom.

 

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Q: Which hand got stung by a bee? A: You have stupid hobbies, lady.

So anyway, between ennui and metabolizing venom, I feel like I really have this hobby thing nailed down. No one is getting bored around here.

Grooming

If you look good, you feel good. Although my husband would argue that I have long since given up on making myself appealing at most points of the day, I do spend an inordinate amount of time and money maintaining my “I don’t give a fuck” appearance. You would be SHOCKED to learn that my hair is not naturally blonde, and neither is my 93 year old grandmother’s. Yet here we are.

I have an army of women who tend to my various bits and bobs as they start the long (hopefully) slow march toward death. Estheticians, massage therapists, personal trainers.  It’s a slippery slope to duck lips and immovable foreheads, friends. For now I am hung up on expensive potions and ablutions though, and that is giving me the false sense of security that I have stopped aging in it’s tracks.

Which is why I found myself siphoning a precious “brightening oil” off bathroom counter with a medicine dropper when my son dumped it out. Twice. He came out of the bathroom smelling suspiciously like tangerines, and I knew right away that I was in one of those precarious parenting situations where I didn’t want to teach him that possessions are anything to freak the fuck out over, or that aging creams are important. What I ended up teaching him was that Mommy will cry as she desperately uses her City recreation pass to cut the oil into strips to be sucked up like so much precious cocaine using the a leftover syringe for dog medicine (I don’t think cocaine is particularly precious but as my only pop culture reference to how I managed to get oil back in a tiny bottle let’s just say it made me feel pretty desperate.)

Anyway, it was totally worth it because my skin is so bright it lights up like a goddamned Christmas tree now. No, it doesn’t, but it should for what I paid.

So. To conclude: sleep, exercise, diet, hobbies, grooming: CHECK. I’ve got this shit all locked up. I can cruise well into my 90’s with no concerns for the future. Keep on keepin’ on. Or something.

DO NOT WISH ME A HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Instead, tell me what you do to stay youthful, or whether you give a hot damn at all.

15 comments

  1. I have been suffering near constant migraines recently, so my head and face have been packed in ice like 24/7. Putting your face in cold storage has got to fight the aging thing.

    (There was a time when I knew shit like this.)

    Your Christmas chicken story makes me think of “Love Actually” when Emma Thompson asks her daughter, “There was more than one lobster present at the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ?” I mean, okay, barn, chickens, but yeesh, isn’t that stretching things and expecting a bit much from you?

    I hope you were properly celebrated (and I’m sorry, I feel like such a jerk if you said and I read and promptly forgot). You earned it, honey. You earned it.

    1. Migraines are JERKS. I am so sorry about that. And yes, I am sure that some Seventeen magazine informed me of these things, but that was twenty years ago now.

      I watched Love Actually over the holidays too and I am embarrassed to admit how hard I cackled at the lobster for that exact reason. One of those long, uncomfortably loud laughs that makes you wonder if you’ll ever be able to stop.

      I tend to skip my birthday, so we did a very low key cake and steak to assuage my spouse of any guilt. I also leveraged my birthday to enlist my husband to plant some stuff in the garden and don a beekeeping outfit to help me with inspections. Two things he is loathe to do any other day.

  2. Prime numbers are superior to all other numbers. Kids age you prematurely, so maybe you should get a patch or something.

    Love your sexy potty moth and distaste for chickens. xo

    1. And I love your face and brain and miss talking to you every day. Can you make me a patch for my denim jacket? I miss those grungy days of doc martens and irony the most.

    1. I actually did start carrying an epi pen after this incident, but fortunately bee stings are no big deal anymore. I guess my body has decided not to give a fig about bee venom anymore. I still carry an epi pen for the benefit of anyone else around me though.

      And any gaps I have, I’ll just cover with gin. ;)

    1. And a very happy unbirthday to you! I agree; birthdays are dumb. It has taken me quite a few years to convince everyone around me of this though.

      I have considered this, but there’s only so many chicken joints to cover. I’d have to find a new chicken market and everything. On the whole it seems easier to continue getting stung by bees.

  3. Do you crazy northerners celebrate high school reunions? If so, seems like you’re approaching a big one. I went to my ten-year and made a fool of myself. I wasn’t planning on going but a friend drug me out, and I was already all boozed up. The only thing I can remember is telling a guy “back then you were a real douche-bag, but now you’re alright”. Twenty is going to be different. It gives me six years to lose 50 pounds, or perhaps to gain 20….depending on the next thing McDonald’s/Taco Bell/Pizza Hut comes out with. Every time I buy a pizza from pizza hut I get a large. I’m single. I know what I get a large? Because stuffed crust doesn’t come in mediums!

    Anyways, good luck. Have a great day! Keep on keeping on, or something.

    1. Oh man, high school reunions are my worst nightmare. I came from a very, very small town, and I rarely ever see anyone from there. My group of slackers recently had a half-hearted facebook attempt at a 19 year reunion when no one could get it together for our 16 year reunion and then shelved it for another year, because obviously, right? So fortunately I think I won’t have a 20 year reunion to go to because we’re lazy.

      That does give me something to think about though.. what do I want to be like at some milestone? That sounds like planning, which is probably a good idea given my proclivity to careen in any direction the wind takes me.

  4. Mostly I just hang around with people who are in their 70s and older, so I look young and spry in comparison. I also eat a lot of foods with preservatives because they retard the aging and decaying processes. And like you I find that ranting really gets the heart rate up. The cardiovascular benefits of yelling at stupid people cannot be overstated.

    Love your sweet ass, sister. I told Eduardo to keep the cocktails flowing all weekend.

    1. Eduardo did a great job at keeping me at a perfectly even keel. You should see that new blood alcohol monitor he developed for that purpose. It’s going to keep parties lively instead of the usual problems of overindulgence we usually suffer.

      I also employ the preservative strategy. Nitrates are your friend.. don’t ever forget that.

  5. If I could delete one day out of the calendar year, Jen, it would be my birthday, but if I could delete another, it would be yours, since you do not seem to be a fan of your natal date, either. As for staying youthful, Shirley, you jest. At this stage in my decrepitude, I just try to stay quasi-current, and well lubricated, but with the drooling kept to a minimum.

    1. High five for the birthdayless among us. I did forget to mention the biggest way I maintain the illusion of youth, and that is not looking down in any reflective surfaces.

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