Posted by: Little Miss | November 13, 2007

Middle Age Be Damned

There’s a train of thought that has been milling around in my head since my first grandson was born and even more so after my fibro diagnosis: I’m not old. These last two years, I’ve had an internal emotional debate because on one hand, yes, I am a grandma. On the other hand, however, I’m only 47 and I’m a very young looking 47. In fact, many people think my daughter and I are sisters and I can easily pass for around 37. The classification of being a grandma usually makes me think of little old ladies in rocking chairs sitting around knitting. And yes I do knit. But, again, I’m not old.

Then my body started changing. My spine has degeneration in it causing back pain unrelated to my fibromyalgia. Then I was diagnosed with the fibromyalgia and it explained all the stiffness, muscle aches, pains, and inability to do many of the things I used to do. But, again, I’m not old.

I’m writing this mostly to help me clarify my thoughts and come to a conscious conclusion about how I want to handle this fibro and how I want to continue on with my life. I can certainly understand the subtle desire in me (and it is there) to use this as an excuse to decelerate to a very slow crawl in life – mostly since I’ve been going at 250 miles per hour for the last 25 years or more. I’ve worked full time for 25 years, many jobs required overtime, while simultaneously raising two daughters alone. No father in the picture and so child support. I’ve also had hobbies, served on non-profit organizations’ boards, dated, remarried once briefly, and traveled some.

Now, crawling at a snail’s pace may not be a conscious decision I make, but it may be one my body forces on me – time will tell. But my nature has always been more the suck it up and move on variety. I may not have a choice.

But for right now, I can still function to some degree of normalcy and I fully intend to continue doing that. I am young. I want to travel, socialize, enjoy an empty nest, visit my grandkids and be able to help my daughter with her newborn when he arrives. I want to be able to do everything every other semi-healthy woman at 47 can do. But time will tell.

This next week will be somewhat of a test for me. I’ve got several work meetings, and my daughter may go into labor at any moment, even though she’s only 37 weeks along. I will have to drive more than I have been recently, babysit my grandchildren, keep the house clean for visitors, and be more active than I’ve been in a while.

I hope I can do it. I really do. I want my normal body back. I don’t want to let this fibro  turn me into a hermit, afraid of going out in the world for fear of pain and disability. I don’t want it to make me shy away from dating when a man approaches because I’m afraid he won’t understand or support me. And I don’t want to turn into a frail, 87 year old woman 40 years too soon.

I’m calling bullshit on terms like middle age. I’m not old.  So I don’t want to act like it – unless my body forces me to.

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