It’s all fun and games until something bites you in the ass.
I am LOVING this whole being 50 thing. This weekend is a fun celebration, complete with crowns (jubilee IS a party fit for a queen, after all), I have friends visiting, I love who I am, what I stand for, and I even thoroughly enjoy the perks of my new AARP membership.
The practical part of being 50 does include certain physical and medical obligations. I am even really good with all of that. I’ve had a colonoscopy before, so this one won’t be any sort of surprise. I’m up to date on mammograms, physicals, and am on the waitlist for my shingles vaccine (#499 on the list. Crazy, right?).
As part of this I had routine blood work done and some result came back in. Cholesterol: higher than it should be but expected. Thyroid: numbers are good, continue on meds as prescribed. Check, check, check.
About 8 years ago, I had something called an endometrial ablation done. Perimenopause was wreaking havoc on my body, I was done having kiddos, so let’s just call this whole period thing a day. I highly recommend it and believe it should be part of basic hygiene TBH.
Because of the ablation, however, that constant question at the doctor’s office is hard to answer, “When was your last cycle?” ummmmmm….I have no idea. So the doctor decided to find out where I was in the whole “womanhood” spectrum and tested FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) levels. No big deal, right? Until the results came…
The ridiculousness of my staggering sadness shocked me. I hated the damn thing so much that I had a surgery. I CHOSE to end this, didn’t I? It’s not like I ever wanted another child, much less at age 50, so why am I sobbing?
Because wasn’t it recently that I devoured “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret?” Didn’t I brag to girlfriends waiting to be women that I had FINALLY GOTTEN IT just last week? Wasn’t it just last week or yesterday or not that long ago that I was pregnant and feeling a baby kicking in my belly? It can’t be the end of all that yet, can it?
Little girls are educated in the “miracle of womanhood” from a very young age. Our bodies have this incredible ability that comes with decades of inconvenience, but we alone can have babies. As we travel those years, we bitch, seemingly NONSTOP, about the burden of it. There is expense, physical discomfort (at a minimum), and definitely inconvenience for easily 40 years of your life. We spend decades WAITING for the day it all ends, yet here I am mourning. Literally. With tears.
Even the years leading up to this imminent milestone are fraught with chaos–fluctuating hormones and weight, moodiness, chin hairs that appear from nowhere, you name it–yet it is still part of the process.
Seeing in black and white that I am closer to grandma than the girl who craved motherhood, the woman who loved being pregnant is HARSH. No one told me to expect this. Perhaps I am the only one who feels this way. But there is a profound sadness to me that I won’t ever look forward to that time again.
It isn’t just the physical, either. The realization that my recent exercise of writing a letter as the 85-year-old me and the regrets she could have if 50-year-old me doesn’t act IS NOT JUST AN EXERCISE in hypothesis anymore. Even the doctor has confirmed it. The time to act is NOW.
My “to-do” list is big. I am launching my younger child in 18 months. I have some serious goals that I don’t want to be bucket list items–I want them now. Or soon. This is one more sign to get focused, get my 2020 vision. To get going.
But first, I will moisturize, take some calcium, and touch up my grays…