photo by Steve Penland

Monday, July 29, 2013

This "Middle-Aged Woman" Thing

About ten years ago, my sister Energizer Bunny and I headed to Thunder Bay to do an inline skating race.  We had to leave early in the morning, and one thing led to another and we left a bit late.  As we approached Customs on the Canadian border, EB began to fret.  Would be be questioned?  Searched?  What if we were detained so long that we missed the race?  We'd have to do our best to get through Customs as quickly as possible.

So, driver's licenses at the ready (this was before passports were required for Canada), we did our best to look honest and innocent and pulled to a stop next to the nice young Customs agent leaning out the window.

"Hi," he said cheerfully, "where are you headed?"

"Thunder Bay," we chorused honestly.

"Reason for your visit?"

"We're doing an inline skating race," we answered innocently.

"Well, have fun," he smiled, and waved us on our way.

Total time in customs: 5 seconds.

As we pulled away, EB looked at me.

"Well," she said, "this middle-aged woman thing is working out pretty well for us so far."

So now I'm ten years further into "this middle-aged woman thing;" in fact, I turn 50 in less than three months.  And turning 50 has been seriously messing with my head.  40 was fine, 45 was no problem, but 50 is tough.  I feel old, it sounds old, and I don't want to be old.

A mid-life crisis, in fact.

But the other day, as I was pairing up with the only other "middle-aged" woman in my Crossfit class, and we were selecting the lightest "training bar" while the sturdy young chicks were selecting the regular bar and even (gasp!) adding weights to it, it occurred to me:

I'm almost 50.  I'm middle-aged (and then some). I'm old enough to be the sturdy young chicks' mother.

And rather than being depressing, I found this a very freeing thought.

Yeah, I'm middle-aged.  So I'm gonna grab that light bar, and be proud of it.  I'm going to go to the cell phone store and ask the nice young man there how to silence the weird voice chanting "loss of service" on my new smartphone rather than trying to figure it out myself, because I'm almost 50 and it's OK if I don't know these things. I'm going to wear whatever I damn well feel like, eat PopTarts for breakfast if I want to, and be proud of my ignorance of the latest stupid youth-oriented reality TV show.

Because I'm a middle-aged woman, and I've earned it. Bring it, 50--I'm ready for you!


  1. Hells the the bells, ya! You have to reap the rewards when you've put in the time : )