Boy am I glad last week is OVER!
My birthdays always seem to cause an unreasonable amount of stress and I get a bit melancholy. I say the stress and depression are unreasonable because I have so many things to celebrate, to be thankful for. I have a good life. I am lucky.
But still...this nagging persists. It tells me that I have to do more, buy more, be more, write more, have more kids...The feeling is akin to a prolonged panic attack. This sudden realization that time is marching on. The realization that I can't follow every path, accomplish every goal, because one day this will all...STOP.
It's sad. What makes me the saddest is knowing that someday I will be seperated from Noah and Michael. How ridiculous am I? It's birthday time, time for jubilant bliss, streamers and cake, toasting to my Life. And my mind wanders over to visit with Death and Seperation. What a party pooper.
So, I turned 35 on Sunday. Big deal, right? I don't feel old. I enjoy good health. I shake my butt off 3 times a week at Zumba. I eat a mostly meatless/ heavy on the veggies diet. I laugh a lot. I sleep well. I don't smoke (except for the occassional crack...but who doesn't do that?). I drink in moderation unless I happen to be around my roll girl Melissa, who brings out the PARTY in me. But she's in FL and I'm in NY, so I drink in moderation! Yep, I'm the picture of health.
But 35 suddenly means that I am classified by a term that I never heard of before this week.
No, I'm not a "Cougar".
Suddenly I am classified in medical terms as someone who has reached:
ADVANCED MATERNAL AGE!
What???! I am trying to conceive, but my eggs are declining in quantity and quality! Miscarriages are more common! If I do become pregnant, it will be considered an 'at-risk' pregnancy...at risk of birth defects!
I put exclamation points after each of these sentences to illustrate the intensity that I was feeling all week leading up to turning 35, leading up to ADVANCED MATERNAL AGE.
My birthdays usually cause me to reflect on my mortality, but this birthday dealt a particularly hard blow with the realization that I may not be able to produce LIFE much longer.
When I spoke to my father on the phone Sunday, he was quick to tell me that the 30's are the new 20's...which would mean he's in his new 40's. But men don't have to worry in quite the same way...sperm are fresh and new everytime they are released. Women are born with all of their eggs, and the eggs age right along with you. Me and my 35 year old eggs.
To top it all off, bits and pieces of Eliot's "Prufrock" kept entering my mind all week:
"I grow old...I grow old...I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled..."
"I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, and in short, I was afraid..."
"That is not what I meant at all. That is not it, at all."
The torture! The agony! The pretentiousness!
But if you know me at all, you know that I don't stay down for long. I feel better already now that 35 is here. I will find a way, somehow, to live with my ADVANCED MATERNAL AGE. Or maybe I should reject the label altogether? That's right, I DO 'dare disturb the universe.' I DO 'dare to eat a peach.'