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What No One Told Me About My Late 30s

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Today is my 37th birthday. An age that, as a child, seemed like it would be forever in getting here. As a matter of fact, I thought there was a good chance I would never see it, because it seemed so impossible to get to this age. But here I am. 37 years old.

There are a few things that I have discovered on my journey through my 30s. The first of which is that your 30s zip by faster than your 20s. The second of which is that by the time you hit your late 30s, your body begins to refuse to do certain things.

You can no longer get out of bed without sounding like a forest of snapping branches. You can no longer make a car ride of more than an hour without desperately having to pee. The decision to either color your hair to cover your grays or letting them take over naturally will have to made. You’ll think more about the state of your liver, lungs and heart than you ever did before (because you remember what your life was like in your 20s and early 30s and you are sure that you’ve done some damage.)

And dear God, why didn’t someone warn me about the crow’s feet? One day they just appeared with the wrinkles on my forehead and they don’t seem to be going anywhere.

Weight loss seems to be a pipe dream in my late 30s as well. Only I can lose 20 pounds at the beginning of the year and gain every damn pound of it back by Christmas. Should a famine ever actually happen, I’ll be the last one to starve to death. And I’ll probably do it and still be 20 pounds overweight.

This all sounds abysmal. I don’t mean to make it sound like 37 is a death sentence. It’s not. A time of transition I think is more accurate. There is certainly a mental shift about life that has been happening since about 35, when the balance of life tipped closer to 40 than 30. A shift to realizing that its now or never for whatever it is that I want to do with whats left of my youth. So, if I want to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro, now is the time (I don’t though).

The knowledge too that this moment is fleeting is there. These are the best days of my life. Both of my parents are still alive and healthy, my children are not yet grown, my husband is still young enough to keep up with me and I’m surrounded by friends and family. I am grateful for that knowledge. It is a blessing to know exactly what you have long before its gone.

Which brings me back around to 37. Here it is and I had better make the most of it.

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Jodie is a wife, mom, writer and lover of chickens and gardens. She runs her family's winery by day and cooks and writes by night.

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