Time Is Change

Today was my annual eye exam. I completed the paperwork, removed my contact lenses, and settled in.

“Have you noticed any trouble seeing things that are close to your face?”

“Uh, no? Why?”

“Well, you’ll start noticing some vision changes pretty soon. Don’t worry, bifocal contact lenses are a good option for you … unless you’d want reading glasses.”

Wait. Hold up. Bifocals? I’ve reached bifocal age?

I remember turning 30 so clearly: going out with friends, drinking too much tequila, kissing Robbie at Vulcan Park. I remember that birthday, but none since. The time between ages 30 and 37 is muddied by sleep deprivation and hormonal shifts; thankfully, now that my youngest child is nearly four, I’m beginning to emerge from the fog.

Maybe a small part of me knew when we decided to start a family that pieces of ourselves would fall away, dissolve, and disappear. That is aging, after all — but aging is time, time is change, and change is uncertain.

I do not like uncertainty.

Maverick is changing. He won’t hold my hand in public anymore, and he shies away from my hugs. It hurts way more than I expected it would. I wasn’t ready. But yet, much like my eyesight, I can’t prevent it; I just have to lean in, gracefully, and pretend that my heart isn’t breaking.

I remember being 8 and not liking my mother for some unexplained reason.

I wish I could go back and be nicer to her.

Much like everything else in life, the bifocal situation will be determined by how I choose to view it. I could lament the fact that I’m pushing 40, wallow in grief over the loss of my youth, OR, I could give myself a kick in the ass and be proud of the fact that I don’t look nearly old enough to need BIFOCALS.

Today, I choose the latter.

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I’ve Never Been As Happy As I Am At 35

I’m 35 years old.

People around me are using terms like “advanced maternal age” and “yearly mammogram.” I know I’m getting older because all of my friends are, but you know what? FUCK THAT NOISE.

I’m not old. I’m loving my mid-thirties, and here are a few reasons why.

Enjoying the rooftop view in New York City.

Enjoying the rooftop view in New York City.

When I go shopping, I know exactly what will fit my body. I no longer waste my time trying to jam these hips into “boyfriend jeans.” It ain’t happening. Ever. It’s liberating to breeze past that bullshit and head directly for the “curvy” cut. Those suckers will slide right on and I won’t even break a sweat. Boom. Done.

I spend less time in hell, otherwise known as the fitting room. I remember a time, back when I was fresh-faced and only had two bills to pay, when I went shopping every single Friday. Apparently, I had nothing better to do with my time or my money than to peruse the sale racks at Gap and try on things just for fun. I know, I hate me too. That silly, rested BITCH.

I am a better person. I used to lie awake in bed at night and dream up my outfits for the week. Outfit planning. That’s what kept me up at night. I’m not gonna lie, it was grand — but also self-absorbed, shallow, and unimportant. I like my 35-year-old self a lot better. My current nighttime train of thought is significantly weightier: I forgot to sign the permission slips AGAIN. I have to remember to do it before school tomorrow. What is our escape route if there is a fire? Is the mole on my husband’s back cancerous? I better Google it in the morning. Right after I sign those permission slips. But not until I have my coffee. Are we out of creamer? OH MY GOD, WE ARE.

See? Much better.

I know who matters. The people who matter now are stuck with me for LIFE: through sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer. And I’m not just talking about my husband. My true friends — the same ones who loved me even when I was a silly, rested bitch — still love me now as a tired, frazzled one, and they’re like family. What life lessons and terrible breakups have joined together, let no man put asunder.

I have more fight in me at 35 than ever before. I don’t know if it’s age, experience, a buildup of hormonal rage, or what, but if something riles me, God help whoever stands in my way. As the years tick by, I have begun to grasp the weight of things that are weighty and the infinite value of things that are precious to me. The things that are important are worth fighting for, and at halfway to 70 years old, I better make the most of the time I have left.

I have finally learned how to use profanity in a way that suits me. That takes time and practice. 35 years of practice, to be exact.

I can hail a cab, fall down in public, use a cocktail shaker and light a match without screaming like a girl. This is monumental. Shut up.

Being 35 is awesome. You should totally try it.

© 2015 Harmony Hobbs, as first published on Scary Mommy.

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So Many Questions.

This advertisement from Soma was in my inbox today. Can someone please explain to me how a bra can be “age-defying?”

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The arrow was added by Harmony.

I clicked on the link because I wanted to learn more about this magical undergarment, but it was already sold out. So … does it work?! Is that why there aren’t any left? DAMN IT.

I am now in search of age-defying panties and hats. See you on the flip side.