I will warn you now, I have no food revelations for you today. Alas, last night I attended a Business After Hour event and chowed down on some yummy BBQ at Smokestack Urban BBQ in Worcester. Tender, mini brisket sandwiches, flavorful chicken wings, and some catfish. All very good. I came home still hungry having only tried one of each and made some Annie’s Organic White Cheddar Mac & Cheese and called it a night. No wonder I just pounded a Odwalla green Superfoods smoothie for breakfast. Needing some chlorophyll much?
Anyway, today I’m waxing poet about my impending birthday. Not really, freaking out about it more like.
Over the past week I have slept absolutely horrid. It’s amazing how quickly your body falls out of a natural rhythm you work to hard to create. A month of waking up early for workouts yielded, no so much ease on the 4am wake ups, but 5am? Totally loved it. You feel so good for the rest of the day. I in fact very much miss my workouts but my sleeping patter has been such that the thought of working out making me want to cry because I’m so damn tired!
I was blaming all of this on the gum surgery and the pain meds. I’ve been off them for a week and I was taking vicodine before bed as instructed. Also, as instructed, when I would wake up in the middle of the night for a bathroom break, I was taking another one. I.E. instant sleep.
Once I was off them though, my poor body was so darn confused! I have been trying to go to sleep early, only to wake up “BING” around 1 or 2 am unable to fall back asleep. It’s like someone gave me a shot of adrenalin! Then, by the time I fall back to sleep hours later and my alarm goes off at 6am, I’m near TEARS.
HOWEVER, last night I had an epiphany. Vicodine’s fault? Somewhat but really, I’m experiencing a level of stress I’m not use to, and it all has to do with my upcoming birthday.
Last night, upon waking up at 1:15 am, I did the following:
- tried every possible position on the bed.
- turned the TV that I keep on low volume when sleep alone off. Then back on. Then off again.
- did some child’s pose and cat stretch.
- formed new recipe ideas in my head based on what I was craving at the moment: creamsicle cupcakes, quinoa salad and a middle easter casserole where among them.
- tried to imagine little tiny bubbles. Like in a fish tank. This usually works to help clear my head and let me relax (I’m a Pieces, water is soothing!)
- wrote this entire, wordy, abnoxiously lengthy blog in my head.
- tried to imagine the sensation of lying in sand and hearing the waves on a beach. This was pleasant, but still no help.
- planned my menu for the next week…and then wondered if in fact I’ll be able to eat any of it.
And THEN I did what has really been keeping me up, STRESS about all of the following:
- Not being able to fall back to sleep (counterintuitive I realize this)
- Not having worked out in 2 weeks and what this means for my training.
- How, if I worked out then I would be able to sleep a lot better (*see stress over inability to sleep).
- EVERY-SINGLE-RELATIONSHIP I have; with my parents, my sisters, Matt, his family, the rest of my family, every one of my friends, the grubs in my yard, my coworkers, my boss, my pets, with food, with the mailman I’ve never met, my neighbors, the state of the union and myself!
- my job and whether or not it’s fulfilling and what I want to do (that was an easy no).
- my goals.
- my diet.
- my income.
- and finally, my impeding big birthday.
I realized, this is what this is ALLLL about! In being honest with myself, I am absolutely having an early mid-life crisis about turning 25, that being a quart of a century I’ve been on this earth.
I absolutely and unequivocally believe women are more likely to have their mid-life crisis at 25 than during the actual middle of their life as men often do.
My hairdresser once mentioned this to me and as all girls know, you trust your hairdresser above all else…mine having been with me for 10 years.
I have a theory about this and it’s going to sound like a feminist rant but so be it. If you think about it, women tend to mature mentally before men. This is obvious. A lot of responsibility falls on us early, even from a genetic standpoint, we develop before men (note my recent trip to a Bat Mitzvah where all of the 13 girls TOWERED over the boys), we seem to take school more seriously, we worry about others feelings more. It’s a jungle out there for women!
So it seems fitting that at 25 there are certain things, despite all of our feminist efforts to opposite, that we might have expected from life; marriage, career, healthy, children even. We cannot help that it is in engraved in our genetic code to produce offspring at our peak physical health between,what (I’m guessing here) 19 and 25?! (I looked this up breifly and seems to be in fact between 20 and 35. I was close) The reality is that despite the fact that I for example, have no desire to have children any time soon, we are destined somewhere inside through our animal instincts to be think about this AND be much more cautious than men.
Males, their “job” is to impregnate as many “females” as possible if they are healthy. I’m OBVIOUSLY speaking very vaguely about the natural animal world here. Bare with me. Females, we have to be cautious. We need to not only find a suitable breeding partner but also a suitable mate. We need to take growing, raising and proving for a child into account. That’s an AWFUL lot of pressure, and all before 25!?
So it makes sense that at 25 all of these suppressed, innate animal concerns pop up in a modern way. What do I mean? There are things I expect of myself by now. I realized quite suddenly that until now, I have NEVER used a birthday as a self-evaluation. Not once. I have a birthday, I get excited, I get to eat cake and people are very nice to me. Woo hoo! I LURV Birthdays!
But 25 is different. No matter how female empowered I think myself there is a little girl stomping her feet inside me saying, “what about ME?! What about my dreams?! Why aren’t you a damn archeologist by now?!”
I would like to preface this by saying, what I am ABOUT to say does not mean I do not count myself grateful, thankful and lucky every single day. BUT there are things, as unrealistic or not, that I as a younger person, had expected of myself and my life by now. Those being things like:
- A wonderful, life fulfilling career. I grew up in a home with 2 sisters, a mother, all female pets, and a father who grew up with 2 sisters. We were female empowered let me tell you! I thought I would have this amazing career (as a child, my mother use to read me books about archeology and rocks and gems before going to sleep at my request. Weird much?) as a world-renowned archeologist, or a fabulous chef. All of this centered around respect, which as the youngest by far in a family, is a big thing. Our thoughts and ideas tend to get counted or heard very last.
- Having publish my novel that I finished over a year ago. I had a great story in my head that needed to get out. So I wrote it down. So was born “The Beverage Cart Girl.” Its 400 pages and I think it rocks. It’s a book that I would love to read even if I wasn’t bias having written it myself. Trouble is, writing 400 pages is easy. Getting is edited (worst speller ever) and ready for sending off and actually GETTING IT PUBLISHED? entirely different story. So it sits, waiting for its reveal, burning a tiny yet growing nagging hole in my brain. It must be published, I just cannot seem to find the help I need to get it there. hence, an ever mounting stressor.
- Having completed impressive athletic feats such as placing in multiple triathlons or being a very well-respected ninja! I’ve always loved being active. It will probably come as no surprise to all of you that I have ADHD. I like to move (*see displeasure with current SITTING job above). always. Being active is like my form of freedom. I played soccer for years and have always found a way to move my body in a way that is, how shall I say, extreme. It cannot be boring, it’s got to be all out or forget it. (*see ninja). When I’m not active, I get depressed slightly (*see stress over not working out/inability to sleep above)
- marriage or engagement. My sister inadvertently stuck the knife in last night by saying “Ooo 25! That’s the year I got married!” I nearly hung up on her. Now this is my most very-unfeminist dream by far. It makes me think of the movie
“Down with Love”, which if you have never seen, you must.
- I was taught that you should be able to take care of yourself and be happy with yourself before even thinking about getting married. Well, I found a great guy who lets me be very much myself no matter bizarre that is, and independent, so now I find the little girl inside me who wanted “ruby red slippers” (such a strange child I was. A tom boy who still wanted to be girly..but only sometimes!) getting louder and louder and forcing ideas about wedding dresses and cakes and sparkles into my head! She’s very demanding this little girl and every now and then, she gets her way and I find myself pouting rather pathetically. Call me ridiculous but as more and more of my friends run down the aisle, most having been together less time than Matt & I, I find myself internally quoting Sarah Paulson’s character Vikki saying “I just want to be married!”
- Now to back myself up here, I know what marriage is. My parents have been happily married for, let see, 40 years now! I just want to be MARRIED to Matt because as I see it, he’s already my husband (we do have a house and three fury children together after all). A wedding is about celebrating, with all of the people you love, that you have found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with…but “little ruby red slippers” is really pushing for a wedding already!
- A certain body. OK so maybe this is worst of all. YES, I had expected to be much taller, and strong and lean and athletic looking, like, like a lean teenage greyhound! Alas, I admit to having struggled with how I feel about the body I ended up with. It is a product of short genes, curvy Italian genes, cellulitic Italian genes (thanks Dad), you get the picture. It seems to need VIGOROUS, DAILY excercise and a strict, Spartan-like diet (see Bridge Jones) just to maintain normal, healthy weight. My body wants to be VERY curvy and plump and produce lots and lots of babies. You can see why we (my body and myself) don’t see eye to eye. (*See no desire to have children above) I would be lying if I said growing up in a family a of gorgeous women was or is easy on my self-image. It is/was not. Girls, although lovely, can be absolutely brutal, family especially. Gaining too much weight is simply seen as being un-healthy in our family and health is KEY. MY maternal grandmother (who sadly I never met) was playing tennis and being active LONG before this was popular or even acceptable. It’s my heritage, so being a chubby, lazy lump does not cut it. I’ll be having a little chat with my body later today.
In conclusion (finally) if you have made it through this entire bloggy rant I commend your persistence! You in fact may have struggled with such feelings yourself. But really, I realized that I was writing this lengthy blog in my head last night, much like my novel, I needed to do it just to get it out. Do I expect you read this? Oh heavens no, but if you did I hope it was worth it. (and sorry???)
So I now sit facing my big bad 25th birthday like possibly only I would take on an actual elephant in a room; gently, with respect and kindness…and then I would simply move on.
Happy Birthday 😉
Have you ever had severe Birthday related stress?