Turning Forty and Fighting Off The “Used To” Syndrome

| July 17, 2013 | 13 Comments

I turn 40 this week. Four more days to go. What the *%$? When did that happen? For those of you that have already reached that milestone, don’t go getting all irritated with me. I’m not suggesting it’s old. It’s just hard to believe. Didn’t I just graduate high school? My oldest brother is almost 50. That’s just insane. I know in my brain that he is close to 50 but I honestly still feel he is 20. Which would make me 12. That would be perfect by the way! That’s the age I would pick if I could ‘go back’. Old enough to be capable but young enough to be clueless. Anyways, back to the aging business. I know my parents are having a hard time believing how old we are. With two young children of my own, I often find myself amazed at how quickly time is flying by but they are only 8 and 5 so in the grand scheme of things, it hasn’t been too long but I figure by the time they are 50 it won’t seem so fast. According to my dad however, it seems like just yesterday that he was racing to the hospital for the birth of his firstborn and today, just like that, my dad is in his 70s. Which brings me to The “Used To” Syndrome. We all suffer from this ailment to some degree or another. Never heard of it? Let me explain.

Regardless of how old we are, we all have this built-in mechanism that forces us to blurt out random facts to others about our younger selves. Keep in mind that these may vary depending on gender. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • I “used to” be able to swing across the monkey bars (No kidding, I also “used to” be 40 pounds and only 3 feet tall.)
  • I “used to” be able to do cartwheels and bridges and back handsprings (Really? Try touching your toes now.)
  • I “used to” be able to drink all night and feel no effects the next day (Yes but you also “used to” sleep in until noon the next day.)
  • I “used to” have so much hair on my head (Was it a mullet? Or did you have a perm like me perhaps? Both you say? Nice!!)
  • I “used to” fit into size 28 jeans (Yes but they were acid wash and ugly so let’s forget about that time.)
  • I “used to” be able to stay up all night and go straight to school/work in the morning without any problems (Really? Do you know that the smell of beer permeated from deep within your pores? That’s a problem.)
  • I “used to” have washboard abs (When? When you were 16?)
  • I “used to” be able to eat whatever I want and I never put on any weight (I’ve got nothing sarcastic for this one, it’s true. Sniff…)
  • I “used to” work out 5 times a week (Really? Were you wearing a leotard and leg warmers at the time?)
  • I “used to” be great at math (This one has nothing to do with age, but as a mathematician, I hear this one often from others. What this usually means however is that they were great at multiplication, maybe long division. Fractions killed them.)

I could keep going on but I think you all get the point. We all want to see ourselves in the healthiest, fittest, and brightest light possible which easily translates into the “Used To” disease. Getting older usually means more responsibilities, more stress and less me-time so we long for some younger version of ourselves. It’s fun to reminisce about all the stuff we “used to” be able to do but time does indeed fly by and before you know it, it hurts to get out of bed in the morning let alone do a cartwheel. I swear I pulled a muscle vacuuming yesterday. But as I turn 40, I promise to reverse some of my “used to” symptoms for the better. Two years ago, I “used to” not be able to do one push up. Now I do 20. I “used to” get winded after running a couple of minutes. Now I run for half an hour. I “used to” dream about writing a book. Now it’s published and people are actually buying it. I “used to” worry about what I was going to be when I grow up. Now I … wait …. I’m still trying to figure that one out. Oh well. Cheers to 40 with all those little aches and pains! Let’s see what’s in store for me.

I "Used To" not shy away from colour

I “Used To” not shy away from colour

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Wellness

About the Author ()

Guest blogger!

Comments (13)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Jennifer says:

    Kathy, this is my favorite one to date!! As someone who has recently joined “the 40s club”, this had me in stitches and I’m not gonna lie, it had me tearing up in places as well. I am so happy to hear that even when I am 70 some years old like your Dad, the birth of Aidan will be top of mind. I found that quite comforting (now I am balling) since time is speeding by so fast right now. I wish I could find the lever to slow down.

    You are an amazing, accomplished professional and mom. Thanks for sharing/empathizing!!

    P.s. I had that same outfit in grade 3….think it will pass for next big board meeting???

  2. Katina Michelis says:

    Thanks Jen! Happy to see you’re still reading along to all my ramblings. As for the outfit, I say we try it!!:)

  3. Little Miss Kate says:

    Happy almost birthday!!!
    I know what you mean about the time going buy. I often talk to my husband about event that happened “just a couple of years ago”, but when he makes me actually do the math it was more then 10 years ago!!!

  4. Katina Michelis says:

    Thank you Little Miss Kate:) I’m officially in the 40-Club now!!!!

  5. Fariha says:

    Happy 40th! Embrace it! This post made me LOL 🙂 Great advice though.

  6. Kerrie @ Family Food and Travel says:

    As someone nearing 40 I know what you mean. I’ve been trying to convince myself to start doing those things I loved that I now say “I used” to do.

    Enjoy your 40th celebrations!

  7. Elizabeth L says:

    It’s funny (not really) how fast time goes by when you get older. I can’t believe it’s been so long since I graduated from high-school!

  8. Christine @MommyMatter says:

    Is it bad I am still young enough to dream of 40? I am almost 27, and long for the years of my 40s and 50s. They just seem like the most exciting years in life. My kids will be moved out, I will be dealing with empty house syndrome, but have so much left in life! I can’t wait to be 40!!!

    20s are so overrated anyways! It’s just the time we all do silly things we wish we didn’t do when we are 40 😛

    Happy 40th! It is your time to shine 🙂

  9. Lyne Proulx says:

    Welcome to this distinguish elite group of 40ish people! I have to say that I have enjoyed every decade and definitely empowering my 4o something! As you get older, you don’t only get more wrinkles, but also wiser and have a totally different outlook on life, and how you approach on your goals and dreams. Cheers to you and many more to come:)

  10. Katina Michelis says:

    Thank you ladies. You all put a smile on my face:)

  11. Lynn M says:

    I have to say 40 has been eyeopening for me,in a way of that I have realized that there is so much more that I want to accomplish

  12. Katina Michelis says:

    Yes indeed Lynn!

  13. kathy downey says:

    I enjoyed the read but i have advanced into the 50s,the 40s went by so fast

Thank you for commenting! Your comment is moderated before being published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: