I haven't seen the movie This Is Forty, but if it's at all realistic I imagine that it's the characters experiencing, at ten-minute increments, things on their body becoming creaky, painful, droopy or non-functional, interspersed with things on their house breaking, leaking, molding or rusting and requiring intervention that costs some multiple of a thousand dollars.
My knee has been a problem since a few years ago when I got the stupid notion that running for fun and exercise (as opposed to only when someone's chasing me with a chainsaw) was a good idea. My shoulder (which I fell on when Lucy tried to kill me on the stairs) complains when I try to put on a coat or moisturize my back (in my memory I used to be able to put moisturizer on my shoulderblade, but I think it's more likely that my thumb used to graze the very bottom of it, and this made it feel moisturized, and now that I can't do that, it constantly feels dry and itchy). My hip is acting up now, I don't even KNOW why, maybe it just wanted some of the attention.
At the beginning of this week, I woke up feeling absolutely wretched. I was utterly exhausted, my arms ached even though I hadn't been to the gym for five days, and my head ached like there were poisoned boulders rolling around inside. I decided I probably had Total Body Cancer and hit social media to say good-bye to everyone. Hannah kindly talked me down and offered the consolation that I was probably just about to get sick, with a huge assignment due, a husband in Florida and a bunch of stuff to drive my kids around to (I'm not being sarcastic, this actually WAS consoling). But no. I didn't get sick. Apparently that was just the feeling of daring to be alive and awake in my mid-forties.
Do I have wrinkles and pimples at the same time? I do. Frequently the zits land on my neck, which is painful and gross. Why is this? Are my forty-five-year-old zits so senile that they've forgotten where they're supposed to go?
Let's not even talk about my periods. Wait, we just covered neck-zits, why would we balk at the Crimson Tide? See this book title? IT DESCRIBES MY UTERUS ONCE A MONTH. I know I shouldn't be so eager to move my status from Mother to Crone, but Jesus, at this point I can't help thinking Yay Menopause.
I know, I know. Consider the alternative. I will just continue my pathetic cycle of three weeks of regular, invigorating exercise followed by three months of whimpering, limping and physiotherapy to heal from the invigorating exercise. On the days when I can't do squats or lift weights or go on long, hard walks, Lucy and I will take a slow turn around the park and remind ourselves that every day above ground is a good day. Well, I will. Lucy will chase squirrels in the passionate conviction that THIS TIME she will ABSOLUTELY catch one, and roll in anything that's vile-smelling or dead.