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Midlife Years: the Vulture Years?

Better to fly with the vultures than roost with the turkeys, at least for humorist Marcia Kester Doyle. Here she explores the joys and many, many pains of the midlife years. Avert your perfectly-working eyes, youngsters! Read more from Marcia on her blog, Menopausal Mother

My daughter convinced me to watch a reality show about models on the cable network. As I stared in disbelief at the slew of twenty-one-year-old, anorexic-looking models gracing the screen, two thoughts came to mind:

1) Someone should tie these girls down and force-feed them doughnuts, and
2) Was I ever that young?

Right now I feel more like something an anthropologist unearthed from King Tut’s tomb. My brain is convinced that I’m still twenty-five, but my body has fast-forwarded into a new century populated by people with graying hair, pot bellies, and saggy skin. Is this really the generation I was born into?

What happened to red leather pants and Boy George? If someone had told me thirty years ago that I’d be spending my weekends in the backyard using a pooper scooper, I would have laughed in their face. My husband feels the same way every time he gets behind the wheel of our prehistoric minivan that should have been shot and put out of its misery years ago.

midlife-years-vulture

For the most part, I’m young at heart. But some days I feel like it’s time my kids wheel me into a nursing home and spoon-feed me soup. I’m already getting fliers in the mail pestering me to buy burial plots and to take tours of local retirement centers. Just the other day I was on the walking trail with my husband when I noticed a vulture following us overhead. It circled for a mile or two, just waiting to see which one of us would croak first. My husband raised his fist to the bird and shouted, “We’re not dead yet!”

I never had age spots on my skin. Then suddenly, I woke up one morning looking like a leopard.  I rushed over to the dermatologist, convinced that I had some sort of skin disease.

She chuckled and said, “Welcome to middle age!”

Now the spots are all over me—enough that if I’m bored, I can play connect-the-dots on my skin. Some dots are larger, some smaller, and some are lighter while others are darker. Some are the size of Africa. By the time I’m eighty, I’ll resemble one giant, brown age spot, because all of the dots will have connected. On the plus side, I’ll look like a have a great tan without even trying.

My eyes have also gone to hell. My mother promised me when I was little that if I ate my carrots, I’d have good eyesight. She lied. I’m blinder than the love child of a bat and mole combined.

Lack of energy nearly kills me on a daily basis. I was the Energizer Bunny until my batteries corroded. Now megadoses of caffeine are the only reason I’m still standing on two feet at the end of the day. I’m a human percolator.

I now depend on certain “senior accessories” to get me through each day. A gallon jug of skin cream (heavy on the SPF), Benefiber, aspirin, lip balm, ear plugs, nose spray, padded shoe inserts, reading glasses, a knee brace and my mouth guard. I suppose I could throw in a tube of Icy Hot, B-12 pills, support hose, and some high-heeled orthopedic shoes to make my life more interesting … to an eighty-year-old.

Time to embrace the vulture years!

Marcia Kester Doyle

Marcia Kester Doyle is the author of the humor book, Who Stole My Spandex? Life In The Hot Flash Lane, and the voice behind the midlife blog, Menopausal Mother. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, Country Living, House Beautiful, The Huffington Post, Bonbon Break, Purple Clover, and Scary Mommy, among others. Marcia lives in sunny south Florida with her husband, four children, one feisty granddaughter and three chunky pugs.

Marcia @Menopausal Mother

Thursday 16th of October 2014

I have a few on my arms but I'm getting bunches on m legs! I hate it! I donut want to spend my life looking like a spotted leopard!

Marcia Shaw Wyatt

Thursday 16th of October 2014

I remember the day when my mom noticed age spots on her hands. She always took great care of her hands. She moisturized them every night, and her beautiful nails were always painted perfectly. When age spots appeared on her hands, she got really upset. I remember her showing them to me - moving her hands this way and that in the bright sunlight so I could see the spots. I sympathized with her - but only a little as I recall. I didn't think it was that big a deal ... until recently when bright sunshine was shining on my own hands. It caused me to notice that age spots that have suddenly appeared. And now I get it, Mom. Now I know why you were so upset that day! Ugh!

Kim

Wednesday 15th of October 2014

I'm already popping the B-12 and am blind as a bat. My body hates me, I swear. Knees hurt, I make noises in the morning that no almost 34-year-old woman should be making and I can't even stand punk kids anymore. Now I'm the one screaming "Get off my lawn!" Oh sure, I can still party but holy crap do I feel it for a day or two afterward.

Now will someone please pass me some Tums?

Marcia @Menopausal Mother

Thursday 16th of October 2014

Hangovers take more than just a day to get over, right? That's the WORST. They hang on for DAYS!!

Gary Sidley

Wednesday 15th of October 2014

There are worse things to resemble than a human percolator - a continual source of coffee, warm and bubbly, and emitting an aroma that would seduce any potential house-buyer!

Marcia @Menopausal Mother

Thursday 16th of October 2014

Ohhhh I like the way you think, Gary!

Theresa Wiza

Tuesday 14th of October 2014

From one spotted leopard to another, fun post :)

Marcia @Menopausal Mother

Tuesday 14th of October 2014

Thanks, Theresa---maybe we should start a club!

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