How Far I've Come

by Sara Lindberg
Originally Published: 
woman 40s forties 40-something
Sara Lindberg

This morning I had the pleasure of working out next to my former self. She was young, fit, skin as smooth as porcelain, perky, young.

Oh, did I mention fit?! You know which girl I’m talking about.

I found myself being a tiny bit catty and snarky in my head while she was doing her perfect leg lifts. That’s not so hard, I said to myself. I can do that.

Okay, maybe not right now, because my hip hurts from the too-much-sitting-on-my-ass syndrome, and I am a bit gassy from the taco soup I made last night. After having kids, I find that in addition to urine leaking out all the time, I also have lost control over my flatulence. I figured doing leg lifts while squeezing my ass was not a good idea.

As quickly as the snarky comments in my head appeared, they disappeared. I smiled. I remembered how far I have come—not just physically, but mentally.

So I sucked up my pride, peeled my 41-year-old body off the floor and looked her way. As she was probably completing her 50th Jane Fonda-like leg lift, I looked at her and said, “great form.” She smiled, said thank you, and returned the compliment: “You’re really fit for your age.” I laughed so hard I snorted and possibly farted. She had no idea why I was laughing.

I might be older, not as fit, not so perky or smooth, definitely not fast or limber anymore, but I’m good with that.

Later that night, I found myself thinking about my unlikely workout partner from earlier in the day, thinking about what that 19-year-old girl said about “being fit for someone my age,” thinking about the way I laughed and actually took that as a great reflection on my life right now. Her comment got me thinking about just how far I have come and how I like the direction I am going.

One of the best parts about being “someone my age” is that I find that I just don’t care anymore. Consider the following:

– I love eating buttercream frosting from the bowl.

– I love that my husband pointed out to me that the blender was still plugged in and I had my finger on the trigger. Hey, I never claimed to be the smartest bulb in the bunch.

– I love that the guy at the Taco Time drive-thru knows us.

– I love that I don’t care anymore about how much screen time my kids get.

– I love that it’s more important to me that my kids stomp on ant hills than do homework.

– I love that I don’t buy everything organic anymore.

– I love that after we got home from parent-teacher conferences, I threw away all of my daughter’s standardized test scores.

– I love that my kids are getting to know the fun side of me.

– I love that I didn’t wait too long to say, “I don’t care anymore.”

– I love that I am finally confident enough in myself and my family to not feel the need to compare our lives to someone else’s.

– I love that there are perks to “being someone my age.”

So, this is life in your 40s. I think I like it!

This post originally appeared on Erma Bombeck’s Humor Writers.

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