Carrie Fisher (famous for being Leia in the Stars Wars films) is currently being criticized by the media for aging. It’s been 38 years since the original Star Wars was released. Of course she’s aged. She’s human. When learning about explorers in elementary school, I learned that in the early 1500’s Juan Ponce de León was on a quest to find the mythical Fountain of Youth when he landed in what is now Flordia. He didn’t find it and no one else has either. Thus, we as humans continue to age. The media hasn’t gotten the memo that women are human and age. Ms Fisher is a year younger than my mother. My mom’s aged in the 38 years since 1977 when I turned 4 and one of my brothers was born. If my mother has aged in 38 years, surely Ms. Fisher has, too.
Somehow, I’ve also not escaped this whole aging phenomenon since I’m human. I think mothers are acutely aware of aging since our children grow physically, socially, and emotionally before our eyes.
Apparently I’m aging. Until my son was about 2 years old, I sat in his room nightly in very, very dim light, cuddled him, and read to him. That very, very dim light was all my eyes needed to see the words on the pages–even if the words weren’t in a large font. These days, I have no hope of doing that. No hope. Full light is required. My glasses prescription seems to be changing for the worse for the first time since 8th grade in the fall of 1988. Tonight my son requested I read from Lonely Planet France Travel Guide. The font in that book is about the same size or maybe smaller than most newsprint. Full light was required.
Apparently I’m aging. I consulted a gynecologist in the past couple of months for issues that I remember older relatives talking about when I was a teenager.
Apparently I’m aging. My knees are a bit creaky at times. I’m vividly reminded that bad knees run in my dad’s family.
Apparently I’m aging. My eldest niece will be 18 very soon. I still think she should be the tiny little red haired, blue-eyed baby I met just under 18 years ago. She has a boyfriend and will graduate from high school in June 2016. Dear niece B, you can’t be grown up yet. 😉
Apparently I’m aging. My mother was 43 when she became a grandma to the aforementioned eldest niece. I’m 41.
Apparently I’m aging. My maternal grandmother just turned 89. She was 47 when I was born. I’m 41.
Apparently I’m aging. I have friends who have entered the early stages of menopause. Since I’m a female human, I’ll go down that path, too, probably sooner than I think.
Apparently I’m aging. I don’t have bikini pictures from youth and now to compare, but if I did, the media would surely have a heyday with the addition of flesh since youth. (Please note the sarcasm here… The media wouldn’t care about my pictures.)
As moms, we might tend to ignore signs of aging that really should be discussed with our doctor since we are often focused on caring for our families. Seek the counsel of your doctor if you notice these (or other symptoms):
- changes in monthly cycle not due to known pregnancy
- concerns about breasts (do those monthly exams, ladies!)
- changes in pelvic region
- changes in sex drive if that is a concern to you
- changes in mental health
- shortness of breath and dizziness
- chest pain
- joint pain that doesn’t go away
- changes in urinary/bowel habits over time
- changes or symptoms you feel are outside your realm of normal
Note: I’m not a doctor. The above list is not exhaustive. Please consult your doctor when experiencing changes and symptoms that are outside your own realm of normal. A great resource to start from if you’re approaching 40 or in your 40’s is this site from the National Women’s Health Resource Center.
While I am getting older and aging, I’ve come to realize that I’m not “Over the Hill.” Aging is not a climb to a summit or peak and then a quick declining slide down. For me aging is linear and uphill and downhill and through the depths of mountains and past a few stars I never knew existed. I am happy that the hill I’m able to march up recently is the big hill at Elver Park while sledding with my son.