It’s a progression…

*Note: If you are NOT over 40 yet, turn back now. I want you to go on believing that people who say that it all goes downhill after 40 are just whiners. You’ve been warned.

I would be lying if I said that turning 40 wasn’t a big deal for me. To be perfectly frank, it was actually quite devastating. I guess we all have our “number.” The age that makes us freak out. I had a little freak out at 25 too. Puhlease. 25. Like I had problems. Although in retrospect, turning 40 should have been a walk in the park compared to turning 25 based on these fine points:

*I was no longer living at home (yah, so, I was living with my parents at 25 – want to make something of it?)

*I had my career on track

*I was newly married

In fact, my new-ish husband threw me an amazing surprise 40th birthday party that was pretty much one of the best days of my life. Everyone I loved in one room to celebrate ME. What could be better? Not much. I can certainly tell you what can be worse though — the Monday morning following aforementioned party when the realization of entering a new decade kicks in. Not pretty.

Fortunately, the depression only lasted a year or two. And, before I knew it, I was rockin’ my 40s. And, by “rockin’ my 40s” , I mean I suddenly came to the realization that I was freakin’ old and probably didn’t have a lot of time left on this earth and so I better stop being a whiny crab ass longing for my youth and start living my life before it all passed me by.

I FINALLY realized that life was pretty damn good. I was finally settled down, had a baby girl I adored, looked younger than my years (or so I was told), and generally felt pretty healthy. I could do this 40s thing.

And then it all started…

First, I noticed that I if I didn’t get eight hours of sleep, my eyes got puffy. Then it was 10 hours. Then it was no alcohol. No salt. Eventually, the puff became a permanent fixture on my otherwise youthful face. It didn’t matter if I slept 15 hours.  It didn’t matter how much I rolled on the “anti-puff” roller or dabbed on the “anti-puff” cream. The puff was there to stay.

Then came the aches and pains. At first I thought it was the flu or fibromyalgia or some other terrible auto-immune disease. But, taking every blood test under the sun ruled out several potentially serious conditions. No, I was just getting old. Simple as that. The inexplicable aches and pains were no more a mystery than the clunking sounds in my 11-year old Mitsubishi Eclipse. (May she rest in peace.)

And then of course, there were the inevitable changes in vision. It started about two years ago when I noticed that they started changing the size of the fonts on all of the over-the-counter pill bottles. I couldn’t read a damn thing unless I took my contacts out. What was THIS about? I was devastated to learn that the font had actually never changed but my vision had. At my eye doctor appointment, I received a new prescription for progressive glasses. In case you don’t know what progressives are, they’re basically a much more efficient and cosmetically sound version of a bifocal.

Of course being the prideful person I am, I never filled the prescription. I had been doing just fine with the drug store magnifying glasses for years. CertainlyI could continue using these for sometime longer. And then another year went by. And my vision continued to be a challenge. By now I could barely read a menu in a restaurant, look at my computer, or read a book on a vacation. I went for my annual eye check up and walked out once again with a prescription for progressive glasses.

But, this time, I was ready to embrace the idea of new glasses. I realized something that I should have learned a long time ago. SEEING is cool. Acting like you can see when you really can’t is NOT cool.  And wearing two pairs of glasses at the same time just to read a section of text on the computer or the Sunday New York Times is most certainly, not cool. 

I started noticing how many of my colleagues at the office had trendy eyewear and began to imagine myself among them. After all, I DO work in publishing. Could there be a better venue to sport a new pair of spectacles? I say not. So, off I went in search of the perfect glasses. I wandered into a high end eye boutique in San Francisco that came highly recommended and let the experts take over. One thousand dollars later, and I had found my new glasses! (Ok, the thousand dollars is before insurance, but still.) The frames were indeed pricey but the real hefty cost was from that prescription of mine. It’s also expensive getting old.

For that kind of money, I expected to fall in love with my glasses and want to wear them everywhere. Everywhere. But, let’s face it, I just don’t have the best face for glasses. Regardless of what the posters on the front of the Lens Crafters and Pearl Vision storefronts suggest, I am NEVER going to look like THIS in glasses.

No matter how nice my frames are or what I imagine they’ll look like on me, it’ll always be something more along the lines of this.

But, you know, now that I have finally embraced this aging process and my 40s, I think it’s high time I embraced my inner nerd too. Poor girl has been dormant for far too long.

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9 Responses to “It’s a progression…”

  1. Ha! Love this post. I just posted about my own pending birthday milestone (30) and my own current freakout about said milestone. Glad to know I have another one waiting at 40…

    • talesofanunfinishedmom Says:

      Like I said, we all have our number. 🙂 Although, I’d give anything to be 30 again! 😉

  2. Laughs ah never mind, the *naughty forties* Rock!! Chuckles I do understand though being 46 myself, I’m well aware these days of my mortality. Something as a young guy feeling 10 ft tall and bullet proof only happened to *old* people lol
    I say age means nothing when your happy in life and happy within yourself
    enjoy every single day and never let a chance go by to tell those you love how much they mean to you…

    Pssst!! to 60-70 yr old people we are still…those darn kids!! lol

    … Chris …

  3. PS…Women in glass’s look HOT!!

  4. *snork* How fondly I remember taking my glasses off so I could read fine print. But watch out, honey, the 50s are looming and they’re not for the faint of heart. Several months ago I realized that even with my glasses OFF, I cannot read small print. WTF is that?!

    I am also waaaayyy too young for macular degeneration, but I’ve got it. Fortunately there’s a drug that reverses the damage. Yeah. It’s a freaking long needle in your EYE BALL every 6 weeks (three times each occurrance).

    However, as much of a weenie as I am, I’d much rather put up with that needle than not be able to see!

    • talesofanunfinishedmom Says:

      Oh, Rita. That doesn’t seem fair! Glad you’re able to see, though. I guess one can be grateful for big scary needles on occasion. I was hoping things would level out in my 50s. A girl can hope, right? 🙂

  5. Loving the blog, and I can definitely relate to this one. Milestone b’days never bothered me but I, too, am starting to see and feel the signs of my body getting older — declining vision, melasma, more gray hairs and aching bones. One thing that keeps me going though: I’ll always be younger than you! <>

  6. um, hilarious! i love you, jennifer – nerd or not! xohp

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