Adapting to Changes of Middle Age

Been sleeping more the last few days.  I think I’m trying to fight off a cold, again.  Been hitting the fluids and vitamin C.  Hopefully this passes quickly.  I haven’t been socializing as much the last few days either.  I have been to tired to be much for decent conversation.  I have gone easier on reading the last few days too.  I essentially want to sleep as often as possible.

I getting to where I’m ready for spring.  Spring is usually my happiest time of year, especially in May and June.  For some reason I just don’t well in the heat of late summer.  August is traditionally a tough time for me.  I think I’ve gotten my fill of winter.  Fortunately it hasn’t been as tough of a winter this year as last.  We haven’t had much snow in my town since the first of the year.  The air hasn’t felt dry, it just hasn’t snowed or rained much in my town the last several weeks.

A lot of sickness has been going around my complex and my town this winter.  Other than a bad cold around the first of the year, I have avoided it.  Even though I still don’t socialize much in person, I’ve been making a point of leaving my apartment at least once a day the last few days.  I think I’m just wanting to be out and about more.  Even when I have deliveries to my place, I now meet them in the lobby rather than wait for them at home.  I usually have a decent idea of what time my delivery guys will arrive, so I usually go to the lobby a few minutes before they arrive.  It gives me an extra reason to move around more and gets me out of the apartment, at least for several minutes.

My mother’s birthday was yesterday.  She’s now in her seventies.  I was talking to her yesterday and she said her age doesn’t get her as much as having her youngest son (me) going to be forty this summer.  I guess being forty doesn’t traumatize me as much as I thought it would.  I do regularly shave now as I was noticing a few gray hairs in my beard.  That I spent much of my thirties with a beard.  I haven’t been losing hair but I’ve noticed my hair doesn’t grow as fast as it once did.  The only real part of being middle aged that bothers me is that I just don’t have the endurance I did even a few years ago.  I used to walk 3 miles a day all the way until my mid 30s with no problems.  Most of the jobs I ever had required me to be on my feet most of the time.  I now understand why people look for desk jobs once they hit their late 30s.  My mind is as strong as ever, but the body just isn’t keeping up anymore.  I’m still adapting to this.

I have now accepted that there isn’t any embarrassment in asking for help, especially with physical tasks.  It took me awhile to adapt to this.  For as long as I can remember until a couple years ago, I was the one who was doing physical tasks for others on a daily basis.  When I worked retail, I didn’t mind lifting heavy items or stocking shelves.  I didn’t mind the lifting and walking involved in factory work.  I enjoyed being on my feet when I worked as a janitor for a few years.  But that kind of endurance has faded over the last few years.  I was so used to helping others I didn’t bother to keep track of what I did to help others.  I didn’t mind living on the top floor of an apartment complex and parking as far away as possible from the front door just because I was quite mobile.  Not anymore, at least the mobility part.  I still try to help people, even if it’s as simple as keeping clutter off the floor so my cleaning lady can get her work done quicker.  For years I helped others and didn’t think of doing otherwise.  But I guess now I can ask for help as needed.  See, it does pay to help others.

Moving Into Mid Life With Mental Illness

I am no longer sleeping ten to twelve hours a day.  Instead I’m now averaging about six to eight hours of sleep.  Even though I usually sleep only three hours at a stretch, I still feel pretty rested overall.  I’m getting a little more active with each passing day now the days are long and the weather is getting warmer.  I have noticed I have some aches and pains, namely in my back and thighs that make walking for more than several minutes at a time painful.  Obviously the inactivity of a hard winter took it’s toll on me.  I changed my diet a couple weeks ago.  I think I’m starting to notice some difference.  I’m not as lethargic, I don’t get irritable as easily, I need less sleep, and I’m getting to where I actually want to socialize a little every day.  I still have days I want to just stay home, read books, watch youtube, and play computer games.  But with the better weather, I actually want to get out of the house.

I’m currently in the middle of my spring cleaning.  It’s kind of slow going as I still have the unexplainable aches and pains that don’t allow me to work as long as I once could.  Even as recently as five years ago I could spend several hours on my feet without a break.  Not so anymore.  I now understand why older workers aspire to desk jobs once their careers get going strong.  At this point I’m glad I can do a blog while sitting down.  I just can’t be on my feet all day like I could even a few years ago.  I’m sure a lot of this is due to weight gain.  And I gained the weight through inactivity while depressed and anxious.  Many of the psych meds out there do have weight gain as a side effect.  But I guess I would rather have a sharp and stable mind with a weakened body as the other way around.  It’s sad that mental illness often involves trade offs like this.

I am adjusting to the warmer weather and increased activity of spring.  It is a slow and sometimes painful process as my body doesn’t recover from pain as fast as it once did.  I knew this was going to come eventually, but I was hoping I could have put it off for a few more years.  It’s kind of a pity that I start falling apart physically right at the time I am figuring out what I’m good at and where I fit in society.  But I suppose every one goes though this as they transition into middle age.  I miss the vitality I had in my early twenties but I certainly don’t miss most of the younger years drama.  I’m ready to move into mid life.