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I know the benefits of eating healthily and exercising. But the truth is, I do those things — or try to do those things — because I’m vain. I worry about what I will look like if I don’t take care of myself.

It wasn’t always like that. When I was in my teens and 20s, I ate junk and cared very little about the benefits of exercise. Exercise was a way to socialize. In high school I played sports — basketball and softball — and made friends with fellow jocks. In college I took aerobics classes (complete with my Olivia Newton-John outfit and headband — “Let’s Get Physical, Physical”) and joined a gym because I wanted new friends and I needed something to do other than study and go to bars.

And after college, forget it. I worked as a reporter where Dunkin Donuts coffee and doughnuts was my regular breakfast and late-night deadlines meant eating pizza or subs. Exercise was walking to and from my car and sometimes taking the dog for a walk. Fortunately, I did not put on a lot of weight. I was blessed with good genes, I guess. (Thanks, Mom!)

But as I started thinking about having children, I became concerned about my physical being. I knew that I should exercise. By then Jane Fonda’s aerobics videotapes were the rage, and I bought one complete with the step to go with it. (I still have that step!) I got pregnant and soon added pregnancy exercise videotapes to the collection. Read the rest of this entry »

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When we’re children and teenagers, we try to rush the future. We always want to be older than we are. We don’t want to be 9; we want to be in double digits and 10. We don’t want to be 12; we want to be 13–officially a teenager. We have high hopes for turning 16 and 18, and even higher hopes for turning 21. There are so many age milestones to reach for, and we don’t appreciate the age that we really are. That is, of course, until we get “old.” Then we realize how fast those years go by, and we tell younger people not to rush it.

An email has been passed around for years about getting older. It’s been attributed to comedian George Carlin, but it’s actually from actor and comedian Larry Miller. It captures exactly how we as a society perceive aging.

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you’re PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it’s all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 . . . and your dreams are gone.

I’m at the point where I’m putting on the brakes, trying like hell to slow the passage of time. And yet I still have difficulty enjoying the present. Mostly I have difficulty enjoying the moment. I take great pleasure in planning things, but when it comes to doing what I planned, my mind goes elsewhere. If I’m doing something that should be fun, I think about work that needs to be done. If I’m away from Paisley, I think about how I should be with her. If I’m in Florida, I think about being in Boston. The last day of a trip is especially difficult. The flight could be at 9pm, but I’m so distracted by what is waiting for me upon my return and what could happen when I leave, that I can’t just relax and enjoy the day. Read the rest of this entry »

Today I turned 42. How the hell did that happen?! I look at my 12-year-old daughter, listen to her sing her favorite songs, watch her giggle with her girlfriends, and hug her as she cries over a boy, and it seems like just yesterday I was that girl.

Birthday Cake

Fortunately — or maybe unfortunately — I still do those things, but on a different level. Get me with my girls, and I can be as goofy as any 12-year-old. Put on my favorite tune, and I still sing with abandon (when no one is listening, of course). And I still shed tears over men who were once boys — and I guess sometimes still act like boys. But now I have my life experiences to guide me, reassure me and keep me going, whereas when I was 12 there were so many unknowns and fears.

I would never want to go back to being 12, nor would I want to relive high school. Those years are just too tough — girlfriend fights, boyfriends (and breakups with those boyfriends), parents who drive you crazy, battles with your sister, school. And when one thing goes awry, you think your world is coming to an end. You don’t trust that there will be better, happier times. It wasn’t until I was in my 20s and 30s that life calmed down, and I began to feel comfortable with — and to accept — who I am. Read the rest of this entry »

I may not be too old for celebrity crushes, but I’ve discovered things that I am too old for. Most of these I’m able to avoid, some I still think I can still do but later regret, and some I’ll probably have to deal with until I get much older. Regardless, they’re all things I think I’m too old to for.

Pimples! — Why, at age 41, do I still get these?! They were supposed to have stopped by now. Ugh! I got my first pimple when I was 10. I remember it vividly because it reared its ugly head right before my first day of fifth grade. Not only was it the first day of school, but it was the first day at a new school. Super! That one eventually went away, but later came puberty and the accompanying pimple problem. We’re told that the pimples and acne will go away when we get older. But that didn’t happen for me. Here I am still dealing with this problem.

I'm too old to drink a lot of wine (Supplied by FreeFoto.com)

I'm too old for the hangovers that come with drinking a lot of wine (Supplied by FreeFoto.com)

Drinking too much alcohol — In college and even high school, my social life involved many parties and drinking lots of alcohol. I could chug beer and do shots of tequila throughout the night and shake off a hangover the next day with a couple of Tylenol and glass of orange juice. Those days are gone. The problem is, sometimes I forget that. Every few months I enjoy my drinks too much and end up paying the price the next day. Now my recovery involves sleeping away most of the day until the pounding headache and nausea finally passes. It’s an incredible waste of a day, and I always hate myself for doing that.

Unplanned sleep-overs at a friend’s house — It used to be that if I were too tired or too drunk to drive home from a friend’s house that I would simply sleep there. A sleepover! Not anymore. You will NOT catch me sleeping on someone’s couch, in a chair, or on the floor ever again. I need my bed, my toothbrush, my contact lens case, my pajamas — my own stuff. If I sleep anywhere but at my own house, I make sure I’m well prepared.

Worrying about getting pregnant — For most sexually active women, there’s only one small time in their lives when they don’t worry that they might get pregnant. And that’s when they’re trying to get pregnant. Other than that small window of time, they hope and pray that Aunt Flow visits every month. Read the rest of this entry »

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