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When does 40 start feeling like the new 20?
Recently I was told by a doctor that I need to increase my water, limit the fatty foods, exercise, reduce my stress, stop drinking so much coffee, cut down on smoking, get 8 hours of sleep a night. Same thing every doctor tells everyone and anyone that comes up with some medical issue that needs attention or a observant eye. For two weeks, I did it. I got the water bottle that told me when to drink water, I cooked dinners based on the Mediterranean diet, I walked everyday outside for 30 minutes, I bought this horrible fake coffee called de-caffeinated coffee, I set a alarm on my watch for 8:30pm to let me know it was time to head to bed, I cut down on smoking, and I ignored all work emails that were causing me stress.
I peed ever 30 minutes with fail, I was hungry, I gained weight (supposedly from muscle gain- whatever), I almost lost my job because I was ignoring my big bosses emails, I had a migraine from lack of caffeine, I didn’t get smoke breaks which increased my stress, and I would read for 3 hours to get to the point where I could sleep only to wake up an hour early after a restless night. In other words- I was at a worse state of health then when I started. This was suppose to heal me and make me feel 10 years younger? I think our medical community should go back to the drawing board.
This made me have a thought, what would make me feel better? I know me, what was it that I needed in life to find that contentment that I was missing since I officially hit middle age? The obvious answers were no more credit card bills, the house and car paid off, a cook and maid, a broom that actually swept up dog hair and a vacuum cleaner that didn’t clog because of dog hair. A driveway that cleared itself of snow, trash that made its way to the curb on Wednesday, empty shampoo bottles that threw itself away, laundry that put away by magical birds and squirrels, couches that didn’t collect dirt from doggy paws, and an endless supply of stamps and good pens. You know easy stuff.
In this perfect word I would read, write, research, create amazing art. I would write letters to friends, send out thoughtful packages to my kids, build that scrap book that every parent should have of their children. I would be more engaged with my youngest education, try new recipes that were actually good. I would run a half-marathon without stopping. I would know the secret to walking 3 dogs at once. I would volunteer, be on the city council, run for mayor, get elected to Congress, serve as President, meet the Queen of England. I would travel to places that I cant pronounce.
Even my un-stressful life seems to be a bit stressful. Maybe this is it- this is why they say 40 is the new 20. Because you find yourself at a Crosspoint where it becomes painfully apparent that you have yet another major life decision to make- who I am going to be now? But it is harder because there are bills to consider and a constant flow of laundry and dishes that need to be done.
So at the end of the day I have made the decision – I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. So until then, I will be the somewhat chubby coffee drinker who main life purpose is to figure out how to walk 3 dogs at once.