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The body self implodes at 40?

Jan. 12, 2009

by Herald Journal & Enteprise Dispatch Editor Lynda Jensen

Well, I thought the body fell apart at 50+ years old, or at least it was a slow downgrade that would suddenly make you realize at the age of 55 that you were old. Then, at that point in time, you would gracefully accept senior discounts and laugh about it.

No so. I have been reassured by other 40-year-olds that yes, indeed, the body self implodes starting precisely at the age of 40, and I must say how utterly disgusting it is. I thought that I was a special case.

In particular, I find myself doing physical things that my mom used to do without thinking. For example, when I get into the driver’s seat of the car, I have to get SITUATED.

This means arranging a little back cushion behind me and making sure all the little things I need are within reach. Is the radio tuned to WCCO? Good. Got to get my dose of Dave Lee.

Ah, my former life of simply jumping in the car and taking off. They are gone. Now I carefully crawl into the car (don’t want to break a hip, y’know) and then get settled.

What? A pending snowstorm? Now, I consider the weather before jumping in. I used to hop in the car without thinking about a snowstorm ahead of time, but now I say to myself “I don’t feel like getting into a ditch today,” and decide to forego crazy drives that perhaps aren’t necessary after all.

So, here is my list about (sigh) aging:

Signs you are over the 40-year-old hill:

• you can’t read your own handwriting, and all the written shortcuts that used to be meaningful to you leave you completely blank.

• you get excited about any of the following: remodeling to your house, crowns (I mean teeth), naps and vitamins or other diet supplements.

• you start to make decisions about anything “fun” based on whether your back can take it or not.

• you start to think that prune juice doesn’t taste so awful after all. An obsession with gastro-intestinal subjects is not unusual. You are mindful of what different kinds of food does in relation to the body.

• your memory goes downhill, and you start to tell the same stories over and over again to the same people. They think this is boring.

I’ll keep you posted of any new developments for mid-40s and the big FIVE-OH.