Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Turning 35

Me, age 35

Yesterday I turned 35. I was depressed almost the entire day, and cried off and on at work. When I got home it got worse. Pete ended up taking me out to Sullivan's Steak House, which was excellent and pricey, but I ended up getting sick from the food all night. I was blue about the thought of turning 35, which seems really bizarre to me when I think about it. But my emotions have been the ruling party as of late, and they tend to override my brain on a lot of matters.

Why so depressed? I think it's got a lot to do with my health, which has been poor for the last several years, and my self image. In my mind I'm still 23, kinda nerdy and goofy and girly, and definitely not the person I see in the mirror with the lined face, swollen body, and tired posture. I have many responsibilities like anyone else, which doesn't bother me, but sometimes I want to just curl up in the corner and sleep for several days. I want to have my old body back, and I don't necessarily mean losing these 15 pounds I've been fighting for the last few years. What I mean is I want to be free of the migraines, the body aches, the weird Hooveritis symptoms (I think I've had quite enough of the drooping eye this past week or two), the exhaustion, the wacked-out hormones, etc. etc.

So while I should be happy that I'm in reasonably good health (no cancer, tumors, diabetes, etc., knock on wood), I certainly don't feel like I thought I would at 35. Sure, I expect to not be bouncing off the walls and to have aches and pains like anyone else. But I worry that if I'm this way at 35, how will I be at 40? 45? and beyond?

I suppose I should look around me and see all that I have to be thankful for—a wonderful husband, family, friends, pets, lifestyle, etc. It's all about looking at the glass half full instead of half empty. It can be really difficult to do, however, when it's a struggle to pick up that glass. But perhaps this dark cloud will pass and I'll feel the sun on my face again, a spring in my step, and a vitality of spirit and emotions. That's the gift I received yesterday—the chance to continue this wonderful thing called life for another year, and to make 35 better than the last several years have been. To do everything I've been thinking about before I no longer have those options, and to live life to its fullest, instead of hiding in the shadows and withdrawing because of my health. Maybe I can shake off this dead weight and continue on my way, get back to what I was doing before I was interrupted, and share this journey with others.


(I took the picture of me {above} when I was feeling really depressed and sorry for myself at work yesterday. I kept trying to get the picture sharp and focused, and tried to show how glum I really felt. Instead, I got this beautiful abstract picture with pretty swirls of color and light, which is a much better documentation of my birthday than any moody portrait could capture, I think.)


g-bug said...

very cool picture! i would frame that and hang it on my wall!

Katie said...

A very happy belated birthday, chris! If it makes you feel any better, you'll always be younger than me! :-D

I got lucky - I haven't been too stressed out about turning 35. No, I saved that for 31 (my mom's age when she had Will) and 33 (her age when she had me). Maybe it's because I think I've started to accept that I'll probably be the Wacky Spinster Aunt who lives in the Big City.

Well, some days, that is. Some days I know I'm not exactly where I'd hoped to be, even though I love where I am (for the most part).

I don't have any words of wisdom, other than to let you know that there's at least one more 35 year old who still can't believe she isn't 23! Who is that person with the silver threads in her hair???

Love you, hon! We'll have to plan that Girls' Night Out in the Big City sometime soon!


Chris said...

Thanks, Kate (and Georgia). It's good to know people out there understand why I was feeling so blue. I think you have milestones or goals in your head, or ones that society place upon you, and there's an expectation or pressure to do certain things or behave certain ways. So I should be happy I'm with a good man, have a great family and friends, and I'm able to appreciate it all.

And yes, Georgia, it's a framer!