Last week I celebrated my 39th birthday. I am not one of those women who becomes upset at the mention of her age. In fact, I am proud of the things I have done in the past 39 years (for the most part). So there I am enjoying my day and not pondering age or crow’s feet or wrinkles, when my eight-year-old daughter asked me how old I was.
I told her.
The look of shock on her face resembled what I might have expected had I said “109.”
“Thirty-nine? Like almost 40? Because, Mom, that is…well, I can’t do the math in my head right now but it is really so much older than I am that…well, I can’t even DO the MATH.”
So much for not feeling my age.
However, I have come to find something wonderful with each passing year. I can get away with a lot more than I used to be able to even attempt. For instance: hot flashes. Let’s say I'm cleaning my house and get tired and don’t feel like doing it for a while. All I have to do is start fanning myself, and when asked why I have stopped, I just snap in quite the scary tone, “Hot. Flash.” And in a glare, and I am good for at least an hour of alone time.
Then we have the mood swings. Sadly, those are just as real as the hot flashes and occur way more often. Yet, they are still good for getting people off of my back. Let’s say I don’t feel like dealing with the same issue that comes up over and over with a certain PTA. I just flip from angry over the situation to tears and back to anger, and before you know it I am no longer dragged into the mess that was created by the same people who are arguing about it. I receive a free pass. Granted, my family gets to see the real mood swings, but they are used to those land mines and by pass them with great care.
Now, I know many of you reading this are young enough to be my…young niece. So, you will just have to trust me on this. As you age, you need to use the things that women have cursed for years to your advantage. It is the best shot we have at staying sane and fighting back against things that just bug the snot out of us.
I am sure you can relate on some level.
Do you have a baby? You can adapt the above situations to fit your own needs. Use the “sleep deprivation” tool that you have in your arsenal to get out of everything from a “fun business dinner” to running errands as a family.
Now, am I suggesting you deceive those you know and love?
Of course I am. Do you honestly think that we women have been thrown things like sleep deprivation, hot flashes, mood swings, and fatigue just so we can become stronger, better people? Honey, let me let you in on a secret. They are our best defense against insanity and our greatest tool in getting much needed breaks from this job of motherhood. Do not be afraid to use them. And for heaven’s sake, sister, share your secrets with your sister-friends. We can use all the help we can get some days.
Now if you will excuse me, it is getting awfully hot in here.