Friday, January 20, 2012

Mid-Life Crisis?

My 40th birthday basically came and went with no fan fare, no celebration but also with no distress, sadness or pining away for my "youth." Over the last five or six years there have been many times when I've wish myself younger but those thoughts tend to revolve around my ever closing window of time to have children. I envy the luxury of time 20 somethings have to plan their families, space their children, save up more money, etc. But, that is a very specific reason to want to be younger. I don't look back at my 20s as some magical time so I suppose that might be why I have no desire to be 20 again. I feel as though I really came into my own while in my 30s and assume that I will continue to do so in my 40s. I'm actually kind of excited to see where my life goes in the next decade - how will I grow as wife and mother and what new opportunities will my career bring. But, underlying that excitement is also the stark realization that many things I've been putting off for years and years can no longer be put off.

For starters, losing weight. My weight has always been an issue I've struggled with. I think I went on my first diet in the 7th grade. I had some good success while in college losing weight and then again in my mid-20s and again in my 30s before my wedding. But, each period of loss and then maintenance ultimately ended and I gained back all the weight I had lost. When I began having children it became easy to think that I could push off seriously trying to lose weight until I was done. After all, why lose a lot of weight after your first child if the plan was to become pregnant again quite quickly? And so it's gone for the past six years. Sure, I've made some half-hearted attempts but nothing really serious resulting in anything more than a ten pound loss. But, now that I'm 40 I realize that I don't want to wait another five years to lose weight. I'm tired and I know that part of the reason I'm tired is my weight. I'm tired of clothes not fitting right, tired of spending money on clothes that no matter how great they look in the store or in a catalog never end up looking good on me, I'm just plain tired of the whole situation. In my 20s and 30s I always though that things like cholesterol was something I could worry about later, like in my 40s, and well, now here I am in my 40s.

Secondly, there is financial stability. Don't get me wrong, we make enough money to afford our home, cars, groceries, etc. but we have no real plan for retirement. I know it's still an awfully long way off but at the same time I know this is something I should have tackled long ago. I would like to eliminate my credit card debt so that we can focus on paying off student loans and the car and then I'd like to amass a nice savings cushion so that I don't have to spend so much energy worrying about all the what ifs of the job market. Ahhh, wouldn't that be nice?

Thirdly, I'd like to be more organized. For me that means lots of different things. I want a cleaner house, I want to actually put away the clean laundry before it's time to do another week's worth of dirty laundry, I'd like to have dinners at the dining room table as a family, I'd like less clutter............gosh, I could go on and on and on with this one. I know that I can cut myself a little slack in that having three small children in a smallish house means the reality is it's not always going to be neat and tidy and I'm really okay with that. But, I just have this need to feel more in control of my homelife. Not sure this really has anything to do with turning 40, it might just be that since adding Sully things need to be more organized just to make sure the basics get done but then again, when I think of people who are 40 I think of them as sort of set in their lives and I don't really feel that way right now so maybe it does all relate.

So, wish me luck while I hit my 40s head on with a long list of things to accomplish before I turn 41.......or 45.........or heck, can this stuff just wait until I'm 50????

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