Thirty-seven. That’s how old I am. I spent most of my life imagining what I would “be like someday,” yet I somehow glossed over everything between 35 and 55. I say 35 because I imagined (assumed, really) that I would accomplish everything of consequence by then. Really.
I say 55 because I have always had a dim vision of what my third act would be like: thick, lustrous white hair, chic eyeglasses dangling from my neck on a chain, and clothing best described as fine garments. My spare time will be spread between local author readings at the public library, planning charity events, and en plein air painting.
What… Is it something I said?
Today’s “getting old” revelation involves how quickly middle-aged ladies can get out of shape. What’s that all about? Sure, I got a little distracted from the running after the inauguration. I became a media-consuming junkie scrolling through endless Donald Trump updates on my New York Times app. I binged on social media coverage, and all the community organizing, the mobilizing. There were quite literal binges, too, on Valentine’s Day chocolates and batches of cookies. Unlike running, cookies pair nicely with political outrage and armchair punditry from my living room. I don’t recommend it, but I do enjoy it.
I was squeezing in workouts. I was going out for runs. I didn’t think I was slacking off that much. And then I noticed that my jeans are a little snug this week. I was a little fatigued and even a bit winded on a 4 mile run yesterday. My heart rate was up, but my pace was down.
It hit me. “Crap. I’m out of shape.”
Meanwhile, my husband is giving me more and more reason to believe he is an untapped running prodigy. Three weekends in a row he’s set out and run about 5 miles at a time.
This past weekend he averaged a pace in the low 9s, with some long stretches at a very good clip in the mid 8s. He looked surprised, I think, when I told him that’s the pace he would have to keep up to run a marathon under 4 hours. Then I remember that a sub-4 hour marathon is my aspiration; Not his. Is that transference? Projection? I’ll have to ask my psychologist. At any rate, I made him (my husband, not my psychologist) promise that he will keep running while I am laid up for weeks post-operation. It’s good for him, of course, but more importantly it will inspire and motivate me to get back out there as soon as I can.
Is there enough room in this post for another “bitch please” gif?
In other news, it’s decided: We’re going to rent an RV to get around to all the sites and extended family in Montana this summer. This is next-level summer vacation planning, guys. It’s going to be super fun, I’m over-the-moon excited, and looking forward to blogging all about it.
I’m taking a parenting class. It’s once a week, for two hours, for 5 weeks. It’s more like group therapy for parents of young children led by a warm and friendly but no-nonsense preschool teacher. She gives out tips and dime store psych. The parents each have this look that’s best described as “Please God, don’t let me fuck up my kids with my own bullshit” as we humbly pore over our workbooks together. I think it’s good.
Speaking of parenting, I’ve been spending a fair amount to time thinking about my own. My mom’s turning 80 next month. I am taking this kind of hard, so I can only imagine how it makes her feel. Actually, I know how she feels because she tells me everything and she’s an open book.
This is what they looked like, straight-up Mad Men era. They really had no business having me in 1979. Good thing for me, they were Catholic.
As a kid, what was the age of your adult-self in your imagination?
Would it be a good thing or a bad thing to parent your kids as you were parented?
And running. How do you stay motivated when life’s coming at you non-stop?