OK I’ve been forty for over a month now. And the fact is finally starting to sink in…
Nah, screw that. It’s really not. I definitely don’t feel 40. In fact, I don’t think I feel more than about 19. Maybe even 12.
That may be a *slight* exaggeration.
What I do feel like is a creeper – I’ve become obsessed with articles telling me what I’m supposed to be experiencing now that I’m 40. This includes info from lifestyle sites, health sites, etc… I’m trying to compare what it says to reality.
Since I know firsthand what it’s like turning 40 (and I’m officially an expert after reading 6 articles), I wanted to play a little game.
I’m going to list out a statement made by some of those sites and tell if it’s fact or crap…. for me. So this is a “getting to know Cody better” article, because some of this stuff may be completely different from other 40-year-olds. Still, I’m really interested to see how it compares to what my readers of all ages are experiencing.
1. Your metabolism slows (at 30 and 40)
Ohhhh I know some people are disagreeing with (or even hating) me here. (Stir that pot! Stir it good!)
I’ve had some people say, “There’s no way you have the metabolism now that you did when you were 20!”
I disagree. Does that mean I eat the same crap (and in the same amounts) that I did at 20? Not even close! But there’s a reason for that. To demonstrate, let’s look at my typical summer day when I was 20:
7:00 – 3:00: I worked a job that required me to mow lawns, trim hedges, clean floors, etc… It was fairly labor intensive (i.e. the opposite of what I do now).
3:00 – 5:00: Play racquetball with a friend.
5:00 – 7:00: Swim with my family.
7:00 – 10:00: Play basketball with friends.
10:00 – 12:00: Play tennis with another friend.
Sure I could eat whatever the heck I wanted when I was 20. But I exercised 8-10 hours a day. I’m not kidding. What’s that, like 7,000 calories? On slower days, I’d still get in a good 3-4 hours of basketball. If I exercised that much today, I’d still be able to eat garbage straight from the dumpster.
The difference now is I’m not that active. I became a lazy bum at 24 and gained a bunch of weight that never really left me.
Since then, though, I’ve found that if I exercise and don’t pig out, I can lose weight really easily. I can also gain it easily, but I feel that’s always been the case.
For the last 2 years, I’ve been exercising 4 times a week and still eating the same as I did at 24. The result? I’m the skinniest I’ve been since I was in my 20s.
2. Time seems to speed up
VERY fact. VERY VERY fact.
For instance, I’ve been in Arizona for 2.5 years.
Let’s just stop right there and say OMG!!!!
The fact almost 3 years has gone by is unfathomable. I still think I should still be in, like, the 9th month of my sabbatical. Instead, the sabbatical has been over for more than a year!
PLEASE GOD!! LET TIME SLOW DOWN!!!!
I really think this manifests itself more when you set a lot of time-sensitive goals for yourself. For example, the first few months of my sabbatical were VERY slow. It was amazing. Those initial months were the first time since I was a kid that time creeped by.
Let me tell you, it was a weird feeling! I seriously couldn’t process it half the time. It’s like I was watching myself from a distance.
Why was time going by so slowly (is anyone else humming Unchained Melody right now)?
It’s because the only goal I placed on myself was to write. I wasn’t thinking about publishing or marketing or developing or the future. I would just wake up, write for several hours, and force myself to let everything else go.
Because of that, it’s like I was pulled into a time vortex. Time evened itself out to the pace it held when I was a kid (another time I didn’t set all these goals and stuff).
Once those months passed, it’s like time had to make up for the slow months by moving by faster than normal. PLEEEEEEEASE GOD! LET IT SLOW DOWN!!!
3. You physically slow down
Crap. Kind of.
When I’m playing basketball, I don’t really notice much of a difference in my quickness. And on the volleyball court, I can still get around.
HOWEVER, I’ve found I’m much more injury prone.
And that SUUUUUUUUUCKS. So hard. That’s really the suckiest part about being 40. The tiniest, smallest thing can really set you off. I’ve successfully finished grueling Insanity workouts only to throw my entire back out sneezing the next day.
The proclivity for injury can really give the appearance of slowing down.
Honestly, I’m scared to give it my all sometimes, for fear of hurting myself. For example, I played in a softball league in Page. On one play, I hit a crappy ball and should have been out at first. However, I sprinted my butt off, outran the ball, and ended up safe. People were like, “Damn, we didn’t know you were that fast!” It’s true; I don’t really feel a huge difference in speed. The thing is, I strained my hamstring in the process. So, from that point on, I didn’t push myself as hard at bat.
4. It takes more time to learn and memorize
I don’t know. I chalk this one up to undecided.
This is a tough one to nail down. I’m doing a bunch of new stuff for work and seem to be picking it up as quickly as ever. Also, writing is relatively new for me and I’m doing pretty good at that, too. And I still memorize things crazy fast.
However, I do feel I lose things. All. The. Freaking. Stupid. Time. Keys, phones, workout bars, water bottles… you name it. I’ll set it down somewhere and immediately not be able to find it. And here’s the even stupider thing: I find that stuff in the WEIRDEST places. For reals, I’ll lose my headphones and end up finding them in the sink. Or I’ll lose my phone and find it in the pantry (???).
So is that age or other? The “I’ll never grow up!!!” side wants to chalk it up to “other”. Why? Because I have sooo much going on my life, I’m constantly thinking about other things. Most of the time, I don’t even pay attention to what I’m doing when I lay something down. I’ve taken showers and, instead of enjoying them, my brain slaved to invent the ending to a story. The result? I’ve gotten out and started drying off before realizing I forgot to wash my hair.
I’ve seriously done that.
As a kid, I wasn’t worried about so many things. So my mind had room for random crap like remembering I put my protein bar in the blender. I think, if I didn’t have so much going on, I’d be able to remember that small stuff.
5. Hangovers are worse
I wouldn’t know. Because I’m a virgin who doesn’t drink.
(In reality: fact)
6. Your eyesight starts getting janky
Crap. With a huge caveat.
That caveat? My eyes have always sucked. SUUUUUCKKKED. People try on my glasses to know what it’s like to be the Hubble telescope. I’ve been in bottlecaps since the 7th grade. And, while my prescription has changed over the years, I haven’t noticed a drastic difference in recent years.
I think it’s karma saying, “OK we’ll cut you some slack since your eyes are diarrhea.”
SIDE NOTE: I’m suddenly terrified that, because I’m writing this, I’m going to wake up blind tomorrow.
7. You become more of a morning person
Unfortunately, this is crap for me.
I really want to become a morning person! And, ten years ago, I actually looked forward to the day it would happen on its own. I mean, it’s happened to each of my siblings. They go to bed earlier and get up earlier.
My brain is still wired to hit the hay about 1:00. And I’ll still sleep til noon if I let myself.
Fun side note: This is a saying I’ve been using for years (coupled with “The best part of waking up is going back to sleep”). So this is my personal meme. I’m pretty proud of it.
Fun side note #2: I was talking with a friend about this whole night person thing. He was a new father and said he had the same problem. Well, he read about this technique and said it absolutely worked for him. This is the technique:
1. In the early evening, set your alarm for 5 minutes from now.
2. Turn off the the lights and lay down.
3. Pretend to sleep.
4. When the alarm goes off in 5 minutes, quickly hop out of bed and turn it off.
5. Repeat this exercise. Over and over.
This sounds weird but my friend insisted that, after a couple weeks, he found himself jumping out of bed in the morning to turn off his alarm… Without even thinking about it. It became a reflex to him. Whatcha think? Fact or crap?
OK now that I’m done, I’d love to hear from other people. Which ones of these are different for you? I’m curious to know if I’m a freak or just one of the herd.