Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Two Months to 40 (A stream of consciousness)

This was 1?

I'm having a HARD time accepting that I'm approaching 40. And by approaching I mean I'm on a bullet train and they have already announced this gigantic mid-life benchmark is the next stop. I still think I'm in my late 20's or early 30's. I swear College was just 10 years ago. 

The truth is I have not been taking good care of myself. I probably drink a tad too much wine. I don't exercise. At all. I'm ashamed of it but I can't figure out when. I used to do a lot of night work, like 8:30pm-10:30pm and I'm the one on kid bus duty at 6:52am so I couldn't swing a 5am workout, I tried those and I was exhausted by 9pm. Lunch was out of the question because I worked straight through it for the overtime or used that for errands/kid appointments/etc. And don't even ask me how many diet cokes I drink a day. 

Looking back on the past decade of my 30's I see the two greatest gifts of my life; Ford and Amelie. They have brought me more joy (and have aged me more) than I could have ever imagined. 
This was 31

I have made it a point lately to slow down and just sit with them. Listen to Amelie's made up language, hold Ford's hand coming back from the bus stop. Children, and me admittedly, really just want your time and attention and love.

This was 34

Looking back I also see my Mom's journey with Alzheimer's. I know I shouldn't but if you asked me to describe my 30's in one word it would be sh*tshow. I was raising kids and working and helping with Mom whenever I could. I might have been two hours away but I think Dad and I talked almost every single morning about BB. Her status, things she did, what we thought we should do next, lots of tears. It was an impossible decade. It was an incredible decade. But I will admit it has left me exhausted. BB's Alzheimer's spanned the entire 10 years. Her diagnosis was in 2011 (but could have been earlier) and her death in 2018.... with me just now slowly climbing out of this hell hole of grief. Last summer I spoke for an Alzheimer's event and one of the keynote speakers said something that has resonated with me ever since. Alzheimer's changed the trajectory of his family's life. Forever. All future holidays and birthdays and memories were permanently changed and altered from the disease and what it did to them. 

This was 3

The other reason I'm thinking so much about my birthday is that birthdays were a big deal growing up. Unless a huge snow canceled my party (which happened multiple times) we always always celebrated. St. Patty day themes, Mom hiding Easter eggs for all the kids, a super fancy dinner at Joe's Crab Shack with a Matchbox 20 concert. Even into my 20's my parents would send flowers to wherever I was working. My Mom's love language (besides telling everyone she loved them) was giving gifts. I think the most spoiled I ever was, was the birthday after we got married. My Mom and Dad got me my first Barbour jacket (which come to think of it needs to be re-waxed) and Juliska goodies and fancy napkins and literally showed up with balloons and flowers. It never mattered the actual gift, it was her presentation of the day. 

This was 30 

My 30th was a favorite, when asked what I wanted to do I told my parents I just wanted a good old fashioned Boylan house party with Dad's red beans. And party we did..

This was 28

I worked in an office back then and me and the "guys" (the 10 guys in the QA lab at the software company I worked for) always went out for me and Willie's bday....complete with cake and basketball brackets. Don't laugh but if you don't have an office environment your birthday is forgotten. And you might be like seriously Katharine? We will drop off a Publix cake...but it was just the camaraderie. Don't lie, you like facebook birthdays. I do too.

 Our first lunch at Roosters was with my best friend Elie and her soon to be husband and happened to be on my birthday. Some years I would just pamper myself, pedicures, blow-outs, and lunch at Dean and Deluca (RIP). Last year I bolted to Florida as it was also Mom's one year anniversary. 

This was 35

This was 37

This year I think I'm just having a girls weekend in Asheville. And maybe one before with College friends. And maybe another in May. Or I might just bolt to some quiet beach house stocked with wine and books. 

This was 27 (And a bachelorette party)

But I'm not excited about it. It's 40. I'm scared of genetics. My grandparents didn't live past 65. My mother died at 69. I cannot see in dim light. Anyone else? I hate driving at night. I have some weird thing called meibomian gland dysfunction. I have receding gums, and from the Wells pic below I must have a receding hairline. Seriously why is my hair still falling out? I thought for sure we would be in our forever house by now (Like one with a garage and a play room and HARDWOOD FLOORS). I thought I would know what I wanted to do when I grew up by now. 

Today marks 10 years at my current job (I'm writing this waiting for a meeting to start) and sometimes I feel like I'm treading water career-wise. I'm insanely grateful that I can work form home and balance kid duties and work duties but approaching 40 has me wondering if I could have done more? Have I settled for mediocrity?  I definitely thought I would have Leontine Linens (or Matouk or Biscuit bedding) by now and would have fixed what my children did to my abs. (They straight massacred them) I still don't even know what wrinkle cream works with acne prone skin and NEVER figured out how to do beach waves. Seriously, why can 14 year olds do this and I cannot.

Is this a pity party? I don't care if anyone thinks so. (Repeat that to myself b/c I do care but I'm a project)  I'm sure someone else out there feels like this and this will resonate with them. If there is one thing I am working on its to stop caring so much what people think of me. This is HARD HARD work for a people pleasing insecure anxiety ridden Enneagram 2. But I am the happiest when I am being 100% Katharine. And if I'm being the best mother and wife and friend I can be all while remaining my silly enthusiastic self, I think that is a win.

This was 28

I daydream about what Mom would have planned for this year. It has been so long since she had her own thoughts I honestly have no idea. In 2015 I invited a group of girls up to Asheville and I went up a day early to hang birthday banners. I remember being on my tippie toes with push pins in my teeth decorating the mantle and my Mom asking, what is that for? She didn't know. And I think ever since then I have made it my responsibility to take charge of that day. 

Pedis and Blowouts with BB in 2014

So to all you 1980's babies, tell me what you are doing for self care. How you are celebrating? And if you want to watch two kids and two dogs so we can run away to an island just text me.
This was 26


  1. I remember forty as the age where I stopped giving a FF about what other people thought and starting listening to myself. In your forties you're still young but old enough to know better!