My Expat Life, Hitting Mid-Forties

aha moments My Expat Life
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Mid forties.

What are we to make of it?

Low energy, thin hair and getting out of bed with aches and pains has become my reality.

Moving to Hungary from France came at an interesting time in my life. When we left for France from Canada we felt young and vibrant! I was 37 and Alfonz was 39 and we were in the best shape of our lives. We had just sold off our life in Canada and felt a huge sence of adventure and freedom like never before.

While my twenties were about making new discoveries, and trying to feel comfortable in my own skin, my thirties brought a sense of security and contentment when we started our family. We were grownups at last and travelling with kids in tow around the world. It was a time full of possibilities, happiness and the children brought us endless amounts of entertainment and joy.

If I am honest my forties have come too soon. My kids are growing up too fast. I tried to savour every moment; enjoying every stage, but alas here we are, mid-forties wondering where did the time go? As forty-somethings a combination of things are happening both positive and negative; from less financial stress and knowing exactly who we are, but also it has brought a downhill sliding motion taking us to the end of our lives.

If there’s a good time to have a midlife crisis, now is the time!

Forties are more about short fuses; on both the teenagers part that have taken the place of my adorable children and myself with perimenopausal symptoms.

Hormones are the theme of the household.

I transition into the second half of my own life without reproduction being the key fixation. while the kids simultaneously hit puberty. You can imagine the upheaval. The drama and conflict between the family members as I say a final goodbye to the reproductive years as the children are just on the cusp of saying hello. I tried to plan this out better, honest I did, but I thought menopause was something that would happen in my fifties! Oh lucky me!

It is not an easy phase.

In prehistoric times (like my grandmother and mother’s generation) they had their children early for a reason. They hit their thirties with teenagers in the house with enough energy and brain power to effectively parent, manage schedules and take them to where they need to be. They helped with the PTA, drove their children to dance and had full time jobs; and still look pretty fresh and vivid when serving dinner.

I find that by late afternoon I start to fade and everyone asks me, oh you must be tired. I think, WTF I just got up from a nap! It seems I can’t sleep at night so well, so my after lunch snooze has become my favourite thing in all the world. But age is starting to show with dark circles even after a rest.

My hair is thinning! I can’t seem to grow it out past my shoulders. The fat around my hips and belly doesn’t move even when I lose weight and exercise every day. It just hangs on. And even eating right, meditation, yoga and loads of water; nothing seems to change my overall appearance. So I turn to my red wine, because it doesn’t judge me and after a glass, I don’t care about any of it.

I have no idea what people are doing having children in their forties. I know it’s a trend. To me it sounds like mental suicide to have sleepless nights with baby teething and hot flashes at the same time, or worse; nursing and mood swings along with aches and pains and sleepless nights from hormonal imbalance. And don’t get me started on the fifty-something mothers that look like grandmothers pushing their strollers. I always think that those are old egg babies; there’s something so unnatural and scientifically wrong about it all. Franken Babies.

Now here I am in this beautiful new country and I have no idea what I am doing. I wish I was telling you a joke and the punchline is about to follow, but it is so far from funny that it actually would make you laugh. Where once I felt on fire with prolific ideas and an eagerness and willingness to change, I find myself getting comfortable in routines, not needing to make decisions. Finding little pleasures in little things and I want to find peace in knowing that things might stay the same. At least for a while. But who am I kidding. This too shall pass.

I am definitely entering into a new phase of my life.

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