What The Hell HAPPENED To Me?


I was just reading a great blog by Heather Christena Schmidt, who I enjoy immensely, and who’s blog you should definitely check out. Not NOW! I mean after you finish reading this little masterpiece, silly. Anyway, she is super duper funny, very smart, and she has the kind of sarcastic wit you probably don’t want to get on the wrong side of. She is very opinionated, and makes some really valid points in her posts. She also happens to be one of those chicks that has it SO together that even reading her stuff, I feel like a giant pile of lazy shit. I am going to encourage you to read the post about her being a 1950’s housewife– and I want you to read it, then report back to me your feeling of self-worth.

She was blogging about how she is annoyed with herself for spending over an hour getting ready every day, even when she’s got nowhere to go. All I could think was- ‘I don’t even have an hours worth of stuff I know how to do to myself!’ Seriously, I don’t. I still haven’t even figured out how to use a blow dryer correctly, I don’t, nor have I ever had an actual “hair style”, and it takes me about seven minutes to put on my make-up. I know, because I’ve timed myself before. While she wishes not to be the way she is, I am here wishing I at least knew how to fix myself all up. Maybe then I wouldn’t look in the mirror and think “Hmm…that’s IT? That’s as good as it gets?” Which is pretty much how I feel every single day now.

I didn’t used to feel this way at all. I used to do my little routine, shake out my hair, catch my reflection and think “Awesome!”. I know exactly how conceited that sounds, but it’s true. I hardly ever felt unattractive, to the point that I took for granted I would ALWAYS feel that way. I forgot to factor the whole aging thing into it. Aging sucks balls, and I’m sorry, doing it gracefully must require a lot less vanity than I possess in my clearly superficial little heart. I try not to be all dramatic about it ( there is a certain someone I know who gives Oscar worthy performances of despair and gloom while looking into the mirror and pulling her face so that it is taut and, honestly, frighteningly mask-like) because I don’t want to freak my older daughter out and give her the idea that this stuff matters more than it’s supposed to. Although, frankly, it does. At least to me.

Anyway, my 30’s have been the BEST time for me, as far as internal stuff- spirituality, maturity, financially, and just who I am altogether. So good, in fact, that it was shocking to find myself quickly sliding down  hill in the looks department. I just never considered it before. I guess I knew that someday, I would start losing my sex-appeal, my freshness, my head turning abilities. I never thought about when that would be, though. I thought I had a lot more time, for sure.

Now, don’t give me any shit, you guys. I know that 36 is not really old- there are LOT’S of hot ass women who are well into their 40’s. I know that. But those women probably work their asses off to stay that way, or have those freak genes that a small portion of the population (unfairly) have. I know that if I worked out, tried hard, lost weight, ate right, had a skin care routine and, possibly, a hair stylist, I could do much better. But that requires a bunch of effort on my part that I just don’t know if I have the energy for.

There are two cold, hard facts that I am dealing with here- 1.) There is no beauty quite like youth’s beauty, end of story. I see scads and scads of young people every day, and even the most awkward among them have that fresh and gorgeous, young beauty working for them. ‘Course, they can’t see it, which makes it a total waste, but oh well. 2.) There really is no substitute for having lived well. What I mean by this is simple- take a girl my age who has never smoked, used drugs or indulged excessively in alcohol, someone who slept regularly, drank water more than once a week, and who maybe exercised here and there. She is probably going to look a little better and/or younger than me. I have treated my body like a rental car almost all of my life, and it pains me to say this, but it’s starting to show. Let me take a break, I need to have a little cry. Okay, thanks. I’m back. Also, girls without children seem to age a LOT more slowly than those with. This is no longer shocking to me, now that I have endured 14 years with one of the most difficult children on Earth.

There’s more- a lot more. I never really learned how to take care of myself, or my stuff, or my house thanks to all those years in la-la land, so I struggle more than the average person with normal stuff. If my house is clean, my hairs a wreck. If I look great, my house is totaled. If my house and I look great, my kids are starving and my job has fallen to the wayside. I feel like my life is a giant, unending game of Whack-A-Mole, and the minute I bludgeon one thing into submission, two more pop up. No wonder I’m stressed out. I don’t know how to DO any of this stuff. I really don’t have a lot of regrets about how I’ve lived my life, because I think that is so pointless…but it would be nice if I felt a little bit more on the ball. I don’t expect to be gorgeous and slender AND have clean towels in the house all on the same day, but one or two in the same week would be spectacular.

Well. I really didn’t know I had all that rolling around this little, overused head of mine. Thank Heather Christena Schmidt for this one. And don’t forget to check out her blog! Also, it would be really great to hear what you think about this whole thing. Do you feel the way I do, that you live your life as a series of near disasters? Do you do a lot of frantic sprinting to keep yourself from slipping off the edge and hurtling into space? Or have YOU actually figured out how to keep on top of it, together? Calm, cool and collected? Let me know. I promise I won’t hate you for having a better life than me. Pinky swear.

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17 thoughts on “What The Hell HAPPENED To Me?

  1. I think for me personally, I’m getting to a point where I’m actually feeling like a real adult. I just got an awesome promotion and masking better money. I have a little left over after each paycheck to start a meager savings. I’ve always felt like a mess financially and I obsess over not making mistakes but life is about mistakes isn’t it? We can’t avoid them so I’ve stopped being so hard on myself. I don’t have kids yet but I would like to be a bit more stable before I do. I’m sure someone is looking at you and thinking damn she has her sh#$ together. Even if your house is a bit messy =)

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    1. You know what? People DO think that about me, especially because I was such a total, horrible mess until my 30th birthday when a miracle happened (I’ve been gradually turning into a pumpkin since then 🙂 ) and now I have a great job, and a wonderful life. I feel great for a while, but then I start to feel like I should be so much better at all this stuff! I’m not really this hard on myself all the time, though- a lot of it is just my sense of humor. Sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders- but don’t stop being a LITTLE hard on yourself! It’ll keep you a few steps ahead of everyone else!

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      1. I’m 31 so maybe we finally start to figure things out in our 30s. I was a late bloomer too, I moved out of the house late, I went to college late, I’ll probably have kids and get married late so I feel like I’m in a constant state of catch up. I guess I just have my own bizarre timeline. You remember to give yourself a break sometimes. I know mothers feel like they can never mess up and it’s simply not true.

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      2. I probably won’t ever get married. I did nothing by the book. I had a LOT of fun, but making mistakes was not something I worried about…until later on, looking back. That was hard. I just try to appreciate every day as it happens, and try not to look back with regrets or forward with trepidation. Not to sound like a cheesy cliche, but the past is gone, baby, gone, and the future may not even happen! Life is too short to fret too much!

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  2. Oh I can totally relate to this! I love the rental car comment. I have never figured out how to “do” my hair and it’s only thanks to Lori that my house is less than a complete disaster. You have a lot of love to give and that is more important than anything else! I love your honesty, please know that you are not alone, there are so many more out there feeling the same way,thank you for sharing and reminding us of this.

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  3. Raising kids is no joke, it takes a toll on your time, on your peace of mind, on your body. I have friends that never had kids and I have to say sometimes I envy them a little bit– they work 40 hours a week, they’ve got plenty of money, they have fun, low stress… but for all the effort you pour into the kids, it’s really so much worth it. The love is awesome, and just knowing that you’ve staked a claim in the stream of life, that the people you raise and put out there in the world, that’s you making the world a little better than it would have been without you. It gives me a level of comfort as I grow older that those with no kids can’t really have.

    Anyway, I’m with you– life seems like a crazy whirlwind, and I’ve been trying really hard to weather the storm and stake out some stability, some time and joy. I think… I think I’m closing in on it 😉 *fingers crossed*

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    1. Ack! I was right in the middle of answering you when my computer shut off- wasn’t plugged in, I guess. What I was saying- I am really happy 98% of the time,, I am. But there is always that idea that I could be doing better, you know? I don’t know…I have a LOT on my plate. I’ve come a long way. I’m not going to worry too much about the trivial stuff. At the end of the day, I just want to be able to say I did my level best, you know?

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      1. Yep, that’s all we can do… and the sad thing is, a lot of people don’t, so those of us who do can take comfort in the fact that we’re better than them 😉

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      2. Yeah, I like feeling superior. I’m not being facetious, either, I really do. It’s kind of a character defect I’m working on…we all have value, we’re all important in our own way, blah blah blah. I’m working on it- not quite there yet!

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    1. I’m sorry as hell you have to identify with this story, but I think it’s something we all go through. Some just keep it inside and don’t need to spill their guts in hope that they aren’t a total freakish weirdo. Like I am. And, apparently, you also. 🙂

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    1. thanks! I have about a million pictures that could have been really great if I hadn’t had a compulsive urge to make a ridiculous face. It’s kinda my signature thing, you know? Future generations will look at my photo’s and assume I am someone’s poor, mentally retarded auntie.

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  4. Absolutely! I agree that woman without children seem to age slower, I had my first and currently only child at 35 and since I am sure that the ageing process has accelerated 3 fold, which kind of stands to reason after your body has been put through rigorous peaks and troughs of hormones and consistently deprived of sleep for long periods. Ditto on the trying to juggle things and failing – I’m always looking at other mums thinking they must have some sort of secret recipe as at least from the outside, their lives look completely under control.

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    1. I had my first baby at 22 and my second at 35, and let me tell you- it is a LOT easier physically at 22! At 35, my body was like “We’re doing WHAT now?”. 13 years is a long bit of time, and it was hard. However, at 35, I am a much better, more capable, patient, loving mom than I was at 22. So it’s weird…I guess you kind of have to do the best you can with what you’ve got.
      As far as how great other people’s lives look from the outside, I bet if you asked them (and they were honest) you would find out that they have just as hard of a time with some things as you and everyone else does. People just want to look like they know what the hell they are doing, I guess. But I’m starting to suspect that no one really does! 🙂

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