I spent a lot of time exploring my body. Hang on, that doesn’t sound quite right. What I mean to say is, I like to constantly be in touch with my own body. Okay, that’s not right, either. My body is a wonderland. I don’t…
But especially to mine. I love you, mom. No matter what. And of course, to me. This is a clarification on how urgently your mom needs to talk to you, based on what she left you on your voicemail. Voicemail: “Hi, sweetie. No big news over…
When you wake up feeling great and everyone tells you how tired you look.
When you go to see the dermatologist to check a mole and he asks where you want Botox.
When a thirty-year-old guy arrives at a party and doesn’t even glance at you.
When you can guess from his personality what kind of a lover he is.
When the Canadian Prime minister is younger than you or pretty much every intern.
When you have more hangovers than actual parties.
When you no longer know who all the hip actors or singers are.
When someone says you have a sexy gaze, but you are actually just squinting because you don’t want to get your glasses out.
When you tell someone you have known them since they were in diapers.
When you share an anecdote from ten years ago and realise it is actually been twenty.
When you would rather go to bed early to make the most of the next day.
When you are just excited to go home. And to bed.
When your colleague was born the same year you graduated.
When people no longer ask if you plan on having another baby.
When a younger woman says she hopes to look like you someday.
When you go to the ob-gyn for mammograms rather than birth control.
When you feel an ache somewhere and fear it might be the beginning of the end.
When selecting your year of birth on a website means scrolling down forever.
When the face ID on your phone doesn’t recognize you in the morning.
When you are told that you are “damn hot for your age”.
When you smile at the naïvité of a young woman’s remark, whereas before you would have just found her stupid.
When you think that’s a pillow mark on your cheek, but it is still there a week later.
When you forget that it is a bad idea to plan on working while on holiday.
When you forget what your alcohol tolerance is. You are still convinced that you can handle yourself five glasses in.
When you forget that new love stories come with baggage: workaholism, travel, and sometimes even an ex-wife and kids.
When you forget that you have to pick your battles. You cannot get hung up on everything that bugs you.
When you forget that happiness is discipline. It comes from you.
Things that don’t count as a workout.
When you forget that working out is vital for your mind.
When you forget all those times you tell yourself you are exercising (when actually, you are not)
When you flex your butt while brushing your teeth.
When you flex your butt again while waiting for the elevator.
When you finally take the stairs.
When you make love. You read in some magazines about the quantitative relationship between sex and energy expenditure. The 150 calories on average, per go, really adds up.
When you carry your child in one arm and change sides regularly, he is basically a dumbbell. (ha!)
When you dance (while drinking) and you persuade yourself that sweating is proof of your muscular exertion (and not just a sign that your body is trying to get rid of the alcohol through the pores of your skin).
When you leave late for a meeting and you walk very fast to try to get there on time, you tell yourself that there are speed-walking competitions, so you are working out.
When you rode your bike to work until your bike got stolen. It was a good month while it lasted.
When you watch basketball on TV, shouting in support of your team, and you end up exhausted, concluding, “WE played well.”
When you sit in the sauna. Because you have decided that this qualifies as “exercise”.
When you try to remember something because your memory is a muscle too.
1. Whilst meeting for coffee you: a) Spontaneously order brunch b) Ask me repeatedly about my plans to have another child c) Gossip about work and colleagues without taking one breath in 2. When you notice the dent in your car you: a) Frantically tell…
Last night, I was putting my son to bed…
Before that, we spent half an hour in our sauna, and he is usually pretty tired after. But when he was in bed and I kissed him goodnight, nine-year-old Joel drowsily asked, “Want to lie down and chat for a bit?” I was secretly thinking how excited I was to read my Nora Ephron book “I remember nothing” and almost declined. And of course, it would have been fine for me to say no – it was already 9:00 p.m. and we had spent the whole long weekend together. Plus, my book!
But, suddenly, I remembered something else I’d recently read: The Emotional Lives of Teenagers by Lisa Damour, PhD. In her brilliant guide, she explains the importance of letting kids “call the meeting” — in other words, they should be able to decide when they open up about their feelings, their emotions, and their lives. Instead of parents always asking The Big Questions at the dinner table, when kids might be tired or not in the mood, we can wait for each child to invite us in, whether that’s in the car, at bedtime, or whenever they’re ready to share.
Here’s an excerpt from Damour’s book:
“Of course there’s nothing wrong with greeting our teens at the end of the day with a friendly ‘How was school?’ But we should be prepared for that conversation to go nowhere. Why? Because teenagers, at their very core, are autonomy-seeking creatures. When we ask a teenager about his day at a moment that works for us, we are in effect calling him to a meeting for which we ourselves has set both the time and the agenda… The same teen who stays at a distance during the day may pull up close at night. When this happens, let’s remember that we’re being called to a meeting we want to attend.”
Yes! As Joel invited me to stay and talk, I remembered this advice and changed my answer. “Sure, I’d love to,” I told him. “Scooch over.”
For the next 20 minutes, we lay together in the dark, stars above us, and he poured out his sweet heart. We talked about his hopes and dreams; our pre-Austria life in Canada where we spent so much time at his favourite playground and had tons of caramel ice cream; we played a funny numbers game; he shared all sorts of musings. It was a precious time together, and I’m so, so glad I attended his meeting.
So, I wondered as I headed to bed afterwards, how do we encourage kids to seek us out as listening ears? “By being around,” writes Damour. “Over time, I have come to think that teenagers feel most at ease when they know where their folks are, in much the same way that securely attached toddlers keep track of their parents’ movements around the house even as they pursue their activities. Further, having us nearby means that teenagers can readily talk with us about the topics they care about when, for them, the moment strikes.”
In order to be around, one of her friends reads in the same room as his teenage daughter as she does her homework; another folds laundry next to her kids watching TV. “For my part, I save my customarily drawn-out kitchen cleaning for times I know my girls are going to be home,” says Damour. “In this way, I am available, utterly interruptible, and right in their traffic pattern, just in case they have a sudden urge to talk.”
Smart, right? Any other insights you’ve learned along the way? I love hearing thoughtful tips, especially as my boy approaches his teenage years.
What always works for us is when I at least once a day, look him in the eye, smile and tell him, ‘I love you.’
Do you know the actor Chris Hemsworth? I don’t know if you have heard but Chris Hemsworth is starring in his latest movie “Tyler Rake: Extraction 2“ which was filmed in Vienna, Austria. They filmed right next to UNO city and I could hear explosions,…
I have been in law enforcement for many years now and really like my job. Like everywhere, there are tougher days and smoother days, meaner bosses and nicer ones. Are you afraid of Security? Do Security Officers make you uncomfortable? I understand, making your way…
“How old are you again?” my son asked me the other night. “Mommy, are you old?” I am 41, so maybe a little bit?
Sometimes I see an old photo of myself or glance in the mirror and realize I didn’t change that much over the years. Tiny wrinkles (from laughing so much) that appear out of nowhere but no grey hair. My elbow is sometimes doing something weird. Not really sure what is going on there. But overall, if this means getting older, it is all good. It is natural. On another note, I don’t understand Snapchat. Technically or philosophically. College students look like babies to me. Like, tiny infants who should be rocked to sleep in a bassinet.
What I like about ageing:
I feel comfortable in my body. I don’t mind that my arms are a little soft. My body can take my kid on bike rides and kiss and tap tap tap on the computer. I love laugh lines; they exist because of all the times you’ve laughed at funny things. And frown lines are good for freaking children out just enough at bedtime.
I still feel really young. Maybe everyone does? “I’ve never got used to the Queen being grown up,” writes Margaret Atwood in Cat’s Eye. “Whenever I see her cut-off head on the money, I think of her as fourteen years old… The Queen has had grandchildren since, discarded thousands of hats, grown a bosom and (heresy to think it) the beginning of a double chin. None of this fools me. She’s in there somewhere, that other one.”
You learn things over the years. That hard work pays off. That I look good in bangs. How to listen. Which gelato flavour to order (i.e., the poppy seed flavour sounds like the worst but is actually the best).
I have mantras. I used to lie awake beating myself up at night about how I might have done some random thing (socially, work-related, parenting, etc.) better or differently. I wouldn’t be able to get over it. Now I think, “I’m learning,” and it feels productive and calming, and nine times out of ten, I’m able to put it (and myself) to bed.
I understand how much older ladies can sit by the window and remember the past. You’re all your ages within one body. It feels good.
Life goes in chapters. Sometimes you feel stuck or lost or heartbroken, but things always change. I’ve been a bookish little girl; a karate-loving teenager; a college student in love; a miserable statistics student; an anxious twentysomething searching for a path; a happy friend; a blissed-out newlywed; an exhausted new mother; an early forty-something woman writing this post. Hard times can feel endless, but they always always end. Who knows what lies ahead?
Based on current celebrity beauty standards:
The goals are clear: you need to look like you’re in your twenties until you’re thirty-five, then look thirty-five until you’re dead. Also, regardless of age or retirement eligibility, all women should have supple, lineless skin with no evidence of sunspots, muscle movement, or laughter. The only indication that you’ve been on Earth long enough to outlive a household pet should be the look in your eyes, which peer wearily out of your flawless, youthful face like a haunted doll.
To get specific about various body parts: boobs, obviously, should be perpetually high and firm, lips full and plump (with the help of Botox!), and your hair long and flowing with the aid of extensions, even as you enter an assisted living facility, where it will invariably get tangled with your breathing equipment and other life-prolonging devices, which would be annoying if you were not so successful clutching to the hallmarks of youth with steadfast determination.
But be careful how you cling. Hands and necks are a dead giveaway that you might have vivid memories of the New Kids on the Block, or worse, Studio 54, so you need to do whatever you can to take care of that whole situation. Hand transplant, neck power blasting, the surgical attachment of permanent, elbow-length gloves – don’t be afraid to get drastic. Just go to your local med spa or plastic surgeon, and say, “Help, the passage of time is evident on my body!”
It is also important to e mindful of changing beauty trends, so you don’t inadvertently age yourself by trying to look young in the old way. For example, right now, filler-plumped, sexy balloon faces are out; skeletal, ageless vampire faces are in. So while just a few years ago, you may have paid some doctor to inject a bunch of goop into your cheeks until you looked like a beautiful, hairless chipmunk, you now need to have that goop sucked out of your cheeks ASAP, so you can look like, well, I guess, whatever the reverse of a chipmunk is. A gazelle? An anteater?
Anyway, it is important to note that even if you follow this advice and update your body as often as you update your phone’s operating system, the thing about ageing as a woman -just like all things related to being a woman – is that there are many, many ways to do it wrong. In fact, you have probably aged incorrectly already. Did you not get preventative Botox in elementary school? Did you get so much Botox you were once mistaken for dead or so much Botox in your lips that someone might have mistaken them for suction cups? Are you not uncanny enough, to the point of normally walking around, for everyone to see, looking like a human woman who has maybe birthed children, frowned at some point, or been in the sun at least once? Did you furrow your brow while reading any of these questions? Uh-oh, another burgeoning flaw to fix.
If this all seems exhausting and impossible, rest assured: it is. You are not imagining it. But take solace in the fact that, one day, things will be easier. Eventually, society will progress and finally ditch unrealistic expectations for women’s looks, or, alternatively, some tech-bro startup will figure out the science required to turn women into walking, occasionally talking, 3-D photo filters. I hope being a filter isn’t too expensive. But then again, I know I won’t spend money on neck and anti-wrinkle face transplants.
What about you? How old are you? Do you feel that age? Funnily enough, I’m actually looking forward to turning 42.