Tag Archives: middle aged

Keeping a Running Tab On What Matters

candles

 

I love my birthday and if you’ve been around this site, you know I write about it pretty much every year.  Once every 365 days I make it a point to take a breather from reporting on the simultaneous brilliance and idiocy of my kids (Brag Alert: guess who made Honor Roll?!?  Right, the same kid who tried unclogging the toilet with a toilet BRUSH and snapped it in half, lodging that, too, into the pipes…) to focus on me.   Why not, right?  I don’t dwell on getting older and I don’t mind having to buy a monthly dose of brunette-in-a-box to keep everyone thinking I’m the sister of Dorian Grey.  Since a blog is like a real-time diary, I think it’s good for my kids to take a look every so often to see how cool their mom is.  So sure, with full aplomb I say yay me! once a year.

If I’m being 100% truthful, I’ve got a lot to knock on wood about.  My family is healthy, nobody’s got a parole officer yet and despite finding out I’m the same age as was Rue McClanahan when she started in The Golden Girls (Lord.  Now that was a moment), I feel good.   I feel smart, too, because I happen to surround myself with some pretty amazing friends.  Sure, it’s a magnificent thing (the whole you raise me up thing) but the downside of that is it’s really impossible to measure up much of the time.

We’re a tight-knit group We are blue collar bikers and white-collar workers and business owners and bartenders and nurses and everything else in between.  We are moms and dads, all with kids who are alternately perfect or colossal frickking asswipes, depending on the day.  We are beer drinkers.  We are patio and bar floor dancers (not Joe; he’s just a danger to super expensive equipment and sound systems, but he’s a super good time so we let him “dance”).  We are fiercely loyal.  Oddly enough (given the obscene amount of Coors Light and buffalo chicken dip) we are a collectively healthy crew.  We have marathoners among us.  And cross-fitters.  And spinners.  And (back pat) we are far from thirtysomethings.

So you see, we are a lot of super awesome and gigantically good things.

What we are not … is invulnerable to awful things happening out of the blue.

Some serious medical issues made their way into our tight circle since my last birthday and while not a direct hit to me personally – as we all know – the shock and awe of a horrible diagnosis for a close friend hits one’s core as if it had been.  So at the very least, this gateway to middle age has been an alarming wake-up call for my crew.

A couple of months ago I found myself at the start of Lent pondering the cliched what to give up dilemma.  I wrestled with the coffee and wine I didn’t want to live without for 40 days.  I felt selfish about that.  Then I thought about the dairy and the animal protein my doctor discourages.  I shuddered (thinking about bacon this time) and then felt selfish about that, too.

My thoughts wandered to my friends.  Right at that time we were all still reeling from the recent news of a massive heart attack that had befallen one of us.  Far more serious than we could ever fathom, we had found ourselves hearing the unimaginable phrase lucky to be alive for – absurdly — not even the first time.  This was the third time in a calendar year one of our healthy comrades was very seriously, very scarily out of commission.

I decided that rather than give up something, I would instead do something for Lent, something that would force me to stop taking my good health for granted.

So ever so quietly and without any Facebook fanfare, I started running.

Now, every person in the universe already knows that running is the most dreadful activity there is.  I’m here to report that – as a recipient of the 1978 Presidential Award in Physical Fitness for successfully running the 600 in the nationally prescribed time at Lenox Elementary School — probably the last time I ran, period —  this activity most  definitely, absolutely, positively STILL sucks just as much, all these years later.

 

But here’s the thing.  Within my tribe are a ridiculous number who run and (please sit down for this) they do it for fun.  While I was selfishly deliberating avoiding ice cream for a month, my good buddy was hauling around a portable defibrillator in case his heart stopped again.  Another love was being fitted for a post-mastectomy bra.  Both of these crazies would have given anything in the world to be running at that time. So for 40 days, as a private nod to them, I decided to at least try to do what they could not.  Remember me saying it is impossible to measure up to these people at times?  No lie there.

To keep myself from backing out of my Lenten promise, I registered for a 5k a month away.  That it was a town wide St. Patty’s Day fundraiser is, let’s just say, apropos.

The first time I went out I barely made it around the block.  I will spare you the details of the injured walrus I resembled but for certain the pain and fire inside my chest had me convinced I, too, might be needing a defibrillator.  I was awful.  And cumbersome.  And excruciatingly slow.  And yet …

… each day I went out and tried to run a little further than the day before.

Ever hear the expression easier said than done?  Yeah, there’s that. Popping out four babies?  Pfft.  Bring it.  This was the hardest thing I have ever attempted.

By Race Day it was a secret no more.  To the contrary it was a full-blown party (have I mentioned my group’s affinity for barley & hops?)  Some friends joined me at the starting gate; others waited at the finish line. I made myself a cute t-shirt, put on a rockin’ playlist and clocked my first 3.2 miles in my 51 years.

 

5k cover

 

It was amazing.  So was my tribe.

 

5k sign

 

5k group

 

Somewhere within this journey I got caught up in the milestones of running further and further.  Somewhere within this endorphin-laced insanity I also let my running friends talk me into joining them in another race:  a 26.2 marathon.  Unbelievably the words it’s only 4.3 miles lost their scope of science fiction so I next set a goal for hitting that a few weeks later.  It was hard to say no to a team that would be pretty damn special:  2 miracle friends – both lucky to be alive – would be running it, too.

5 days before my 52nd birthday I crossed that finish line, too.

 

26

 

A RACE

I enjoy and appreciate my birthday every year — seemingly more and more as the years fly by.  I think everyone should.  We are all spending more time than we’d ever like in hospitals and funeral homes.  Our parents are passing.  We’re worrying about our kids spreading their wings, or leaving or (worse) becoming adults.  Scouts honor:  the best part about getting older is finding out nothing really matters all that much.  It takes a while but we finally start to get it:  It’s not the end of the world if a kid flunks out of college, or has a baby before marriage or a spouse loses his job.

When we finally realize we’re all here temporarily it’s kinda sorta embarrassing looking back on all the hours we spent bitching about Little League playing time.

I have some pretty strong opinions on the pitfalls of middle age (most involve imploring Mariah Carey to stop – please – wearing lingerie in public) but hell, we’re all traveling that road.  The stress of aging is unavoidable.

I say give yourself – and your friends — a reason to celebrate.  Without or without sneakers.  But definitely with some beer.

(How do you like me now, kids?)  😉

group

 

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram. 

 

Missed the start of A Momoir?  Catch up here:

Chapter 1, Click here:   https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/07/29/a-collection-of-eyerolls-chapter-1-yes-billy-joel-we-will-all-go-down-together/

Chapter 2, Click here:  https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/08/13/chapter-2-sometimes-kids-suck-a-lot/

Chapter 3, Click here:  https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/09/22/chapter-3-sorry-were-tied-all-kids-are-filthy/

Chapter 4, Click here:  https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/12/02/a-momoir-chapter-4-a-moms-plea-to-seth-rogen-enough-with-the-masturbation-already/

Chapter 5, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/04/20/a-momoir-chapter-5-the-magnitude-of-the-middle-aged-mom/

Chapter 6:  Click here:  https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/08/24/a-momoir-chapter-6-im-not-always-like-you-mom-but-thats-okay/

 

 

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A Momoir, Chapter 5: The Magnitude of the Middle-Aged Mom

wine

 

I’m at that age where my chin hair is growing in quicker than my leg hair.  It’s okay, so far there’s not a lot of it.  Just the occasional (cough, frequent) white, barbed wire-ish strand that I’ll absent-mindedly touch, then maniacally pick at, then frantically keep feeling for, then obsess over for the remainder of the day until I can yank it.  (I now keep tweezers in my desk at work.  I also keep fiber powder in there, too, so I bet you can tell where this is heading.)  It’s not pretty but it turns out there are far worse things to fret about once you reach The Milestone birthday.

 

I try to remain positive but I’ll admit I’m finding middle age to be quite galling.  Things are happening to my body utterly out of the blue, completely without reason and entirely against my will.  Yes, there are things women who’ve celebrated The Milestone know are coming.  We’ve been duly cautioned that hitting a certain age may find our hair turning to straw, our necks morphing into topical maps and our midsection gaining independence as its own sovereignty. We’re also aware that despite how much we slather, our crypt keeper hands will forever tattle our true age.  But hang on now.  There is some serious unpleasantness happening on the downslope of that hill that people keep leaving off the memo.  Some of that stuff probably deserves a heads up.

 

For instance, how come no one ever tells us we will never sleep again?  FortheloveofGod, most of us haven’t even caught up yet from the sleep deprivation of having babies.  It is cruelly ironic that this bombshell comes on the heels of hearing every fitness expert alive shouting the same warning:  that women cannot ever (EVER) lose weight unless we are getting a good night’s sleep.  Whaaaaat?

 

Where’s the asterisk on this throat-punch revelation that also reveals – SURPRISE! – 90-minute-intervals of (let’s call them) naps are your new nighttime from this day forward.  Hissss.

 

Every single night I find myself sweltering …  until I am convinced I am frost-bitten … or I am passed-out-exhausted …. until I am wide awake an hour and a half later – for the rest of the night.  My better half and I (wisely) upgraded to a king-sized bed a few years ago and between our alternating aches and pains and our temperature battles and our long-nights-journeying-into-days… I’ll be dammed if that bed sometimes just isn’t big enough.  It really blows.

 

Also, speaking of missing chapters in the guidebook, what about the poo?  (That opening paragraph wasn’t a red herring; you knew this was coming.) Good grief, just when we’ve got diapers AND adolescence (those inimitable non-flushing years) in our rearview mirror, all of a sudden poo is a thing again?  What.  The.  Fkkkkk?   I used to go away for entire weekends and – legit – not go to the bathroom until I was safely back home three days later (yeah, that freaked out my man in the worst of ways).  I used to marvel at friends who could effortlessly go multiple times a day, whenever and wherever they wanted to (complete freaks, if you ask me) because nope, that was not me at all.   Welp.  No sooner did I blow out a few dozen candles on a birthday cake did a tsunami of change sweep in.  I’ve had more times when I’ve entered a ladies room to pee and — what the – let’s just say did a helluva lot more than pee in there.  No joke:  when it first started happening my initial shock was palpable:  I wouldn’t have been more surprised if another baby had dropped out of my body and into that toilet.   Worse, no sooner did the new me start seeing lavatories in a different light did my doctor start heralding fiber as the cure-all to everything.  You have got to be kidding me (now you understand the aforementioned office staple, next to my tweezers).

At this point though, a couple of years into my brave new world of Milestone Menopause, my reaction is a more mellowed meh and a shrug.  Sigh.  Tis just poo.

 

Fo’ sho’:  this getting old thing is not for the weak.

Without question, there are some pretty awful things about middle age: the overwhelming feeling of incompetency that comes with re-entering the work force (or – kill us — the dating game), having to navigate the holy hell that is social media (screw you, Snapchat, you’re stupid), even the phantom pains that spring up for no apparent reason (like rising from the couch.  UGH).  Throw in ridiculous weight gains and all the daily directives to give up sugar and dairy and alcohol and animal protein and carbs and be sure to walk six miles a day and do yoga stretches and meditate and take your Me Time and enjoy life (without dairy or alcohol or animal protein or carbs) and OHMYGAAAAWD.  Who saw this coming?  Remember when we used to complain about baby throw-up on our shoulders?

Deep breath.

Here’s the glass half full:  It’s not all doom and despair.  There are some super cool things about middle age, too.  It is without question a great, great time to be a mom.  Our kids are getting older, becoming real people, doing awesome things and becoming more companions than charges.  Somewhere down the road they become fun:  we can now play off-color board games with them and watch R-rated movies without hiding under pillows with embarrassment.  Another truth: I am a completely different mom than I was so many years ago, a lot calmer and less uptight.  Hell, I’ve even stopped screaming.  Now I go low:  the more my kids yell in protest (because hello, I’m not dead – there are still RULES, PEOPLE) the lower my voice gets when reacting to their nonsense.  It’s like a villainous whisper out of a Saw movie and I highly recommend it; kids can’t grasp what hit them when we start acting like Anti-Mom, the total stranger who’s shown up to guide them from this day forward. Trust me, good times.

Middle age also gives us a boatload of hall passes for dumb things.  We can completely ignore pop culture now because it has very little to do with us and that’s a blessing.  Remember when it did?  Remember when a sexy, ripped sweatshirt, some leg warmers and a dream made us believe we could escape a steel town?  Remember when we wore business suits with (cringe) sneakers and socks and didn’t think for a minute it’d hurt our chances at a promotion?  Remember how we worried if our lives measured up without city friends or coffee shops or Manolo Blahniks?

Turns out, a surge of self-confidence comes in with The Milestone and makes us realize we could care less what people think about our minivans and mom jeans.  I don’t understand any song on the radio and I don’t want to because it seems everyone’s supposed to be grinding or smoking weed or living the thug life.  Please.  I’m happy to stay out of the loop on a lot of things now.  Pass the Dutchie and allow me my presets of classic rock stations, thankyouverymuch.  Keep your Kardashians and if I need a role model I’ll just Google Christie Brinkley because holy mackerel, have you seen her lately? — that chick is ridiculous

 

We’ve been liberated:  anyone out there really give a rat’s ass about Iggy Azalea?  Didn’t think so.

We’re in a pretty good place now for sure but I’d be remiss if I didn’t reveal the absolute worst thing nobody ever tells you about hitting The Milestone.  This one’s a doozie and I completely understand why no one talks about it.  It’s the freight train that body slams you and knocks out your breath and is far more sinister than sleepless nights and bowel issues and belly fat and reading glasses in very room of the house.

 

What could be so bad, you ask?

 

How about the insane ticking of time – more like a Telltale Heart thumping – that is constant within your head?

 

Once you’re over The Milestone mountain there’s rarely a day that ends without at least one thought about the passage of time.  It usually catches me by surprise when I least expect it, on the most innocent of occasions, and some days it’s just devastating.  I once scrolled past a Facebook meme and became paralyzed at the words:

“One day you will pick up your child for the very last time and not even know it…”

The raw truth of that statement shattered me.  My mind raced to try to remember.  When did I last hoist any of them up onto my hip?  How old were they… five?  Seven?  Eight?  How could I not know?

 

How could I not know?

 

That simple sentence stayed with me – and saddened me – for days.

 

Another time my son tried to drum up some laughs by popping in an old video of his mom — super-duper un-sober — at a neighborhood party a dozen years earlier.  Alright, alright, alright, while not my finest mom moment, I’ll admit it was pretty funny.  But as the tape played I soon became fixated at the sight of him — my tow-headed little prankster — running around the scene in the background, no more than 5 years old.  It was like falling down a rabbit hole.  I became transfixed, watching him jump into my lap and snuggle into my neck, my neck which now, a dozen years later, may be morphing into a topical map.

It was debilitating.  I pretended to laugh along with him in present day but inside … my heart was aching at the past, watching both his little hands hold my face and kiss me sweetly.

My eyes flickered between the screen and his college-age, muscular, hirsute frame.

 

How in the world did I get here so fast?

Tick tick tick.

Thumpthumpthumpthumpthump.

 

I don’t care about my crows feet.  I don’t mind the girth of my muffin top.  And being ready for bed by 9pm most nights really doesn’t bother me, either.

But the ferocious speed of traveling down the other side of the hill?

That is without question the absolute worst part about hitting The Milestone.

Really.  I’d take the poo any day over that.

*     *     *      *      *      *

Missed the start of A Momoir?  Catch up here:

 

 

Missed the start of A Momoir? Catch up here:

Chapter 1, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/07/29/a-collection-of-eyerolls-chapter-1-yes-billy-joel-we-will-all-go-down-together/

Chapter 2, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/08/13/chapter-2-sometimes-kids-suck-a-lot/

Chapter 3, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/09/22/chapter-3-sorry-were-tied-all-kids-are-filthy/

Chapter 4, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/12/02/a-momoir-chapter-4-a-moms-plea-to-seth-rogen-enough-with-the-masturbation-already/

Chapter 5, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/04/20/a-momoir-chapter-5-the-magnitude-of-the-middle-aged-mom/

Chapter 6:  Click here:  https://tinadrakakis.com/2018/08/24/a-momoir-chapter-6-im-not-always-like-you-mom-but-thats-okay/

 

 

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram. 

Happiness Is Doing What Your Mama Says (even after she’s gone)

DSC_0731

 

My mom died five years ago today.

 

I’ve spent the past four anniversaries of her passing confounded by the shock and awe that goes into the passage of time.  I wrote about it last year, and the year before that, and so on.  I’ve always focused on my kids because – truly — nothing is a greater catalyst for maternal awareness than grief and loss.  It halts us:  little boys sprouting facial hair and muscled man-limbs in the blink of an eye, teenage girls blossoming into fascinating young women (with – eek! – boyfriends) and the dizzying commitments on calendar pages that keep us busier and busier (and busier…) with each passing year.  If only we had a dollar for every friend to lament, “Where did the time go?” on a post or picture.  It happens every day.

 

I think this year, though, I’m feeling different. I’m certainly still amazed by the quickness of time (and yes, I am still in disbelief that I can now legally grab a beer with 50% of my children). But I’m finding as time moves on, I am less paralyzed by the passage of it and more accepting of the presence – and present — of it.  I like it.  I really, really like knowing – and even not knowing – something’s coming ahead.  This slight shift in my personal paradigm keeps me excited and hopeful for the future, even on the down days.

 

Graduations.  Colleges.  Engagements.  Professions.  A stubborn boy’s long hair FINALLY getting chopped … There is so much greatness going on at every turn of our lives, and so much promise, it’s almost unfair not to be happy.  I have to be honest:  if my mom ever caught wind that there was anything other than joy where her grandkids are concerned, she would be one pissed chick.

 

So while I miss her like crazy, I can’t often stay sad for more than a moment or two.  That’s just not how she rolled.

 

I’ve no doubt part of my mind shift came with turning 50 this year.

50.

Holymutherfkkingsh*t, right? How the effing hell did that happen?  I’m pretty sure I can still dig up my tee-shirt that boasts “We work less and party more, cuz we’re the class of ’84.”  Seriously, this is something.  A lot of reflection comes with that magic number.  I remember planning my mom’s 50th surprise party.  We crammed all her friends into my tiny newlywed apartment and basically threw her a keg party.  She didn’t drink beer but we did, and as far as entertaining, okay, we knew little else. It worked.  She was elated – and equally annoyed:  she had just become a grandmother and was none too happy that her little baby Jesus didn’t make it to her kegger.  Still, she was surrounded by love.  And was until the end.

 

On these anniversaries I think of the friends my mom left behind and I am so, so sad for them to be going on without her.  I know profoundly the void they feel.

 

She taught me well.  Like her, I’ve become adept at insulating myself with friends who care deeply for me, friends I would do anything for in return.  Most are a phone call away.  Others, a car ride.  One, a plane ride taken on a moment’s notice.

 

Growing up, I used to read Erma Bombeck all the time.  I loved the stuffing out of her.  During winter break of my senior year of college I came across her column in the New York Daily News entitled “No Greater Friend Than a Best Friend.”  I clipped it and held onto it for a couple of months and then mailed it in a birthday card to Kristi, my best friend since 5th grade.  There was rarely a time we were ever living in the same state together for very long.   Kristi held onto it for almost a decade, then sent it back to me in a card for my 30th birthday.   I framed the yellow newsprint and sent it back her way when she turned 40.

 

Naturally it made its way back to me a few months ago.

It’ll hang on my wall for another ten years until, well, you get it.

 

 

How unfathomably fortunate that I have a 40-year friendship going strong?

How impossibly amazing for my mom to be the subject of such beautiful memories for so many?

How ridiculously wrong that my own children didn’t plan my 50th festivities???  (I kid, I kid.  I masterfully controlled every detail.)

 

I think about her every day but I honor her today.

 

You’re on so, so many minds today, Mom.

Cheers and love.

xoxo

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram. 

Wait, Who You Calling Old?

mom jeans

Not gonna lie:  I’ve been known to be a little judgmental.  (It’s really just one of the many book titles I’m laying claim to in the innards of my brain:  “I’m Just Saying What You’re Really Thinking”)  So it’s  actually with great irony that I must report how very publicly I was personally  judged this weekend.

 

It came from a twenty-something waitress as she collected menus following my party’s drink and app order.  We asked about the live music scheduled for later in the evening.

 

She surveyed our table and suggested that we might want to leave before the band arrived.

 

Excuse me, what?

 

“Well….they’re a little……” her voice trailed off.

 

What, we pressed.  Loud?  Violent?  (I’m a big music fan but I draw the line at some of the stab-your-grandmother music that’s out there) What?

 

“Ummm,” she shrugged, “I just don’t think you’re gonna like them.”  She walked off.

 

Where’s Steve Martin when you need him:  Again,  excuuuuuse me?

 

Detecting a challenge, we scrapped our plans to move on to a different venue later on and instead got comfortable.  We claimed a pool table and kept the rounds coming.

 

When the band eventually began they opened up with a pretty awesome  Tom Petty song.  (Cue the confused looks at our table. Huh?)

 

For the next three or so hours they played great covers of everything from AC/DC to Van Morrison .  I lost track of how many times I lifted my beer to proudly declare “Ha, THIS is on my I-pod, too!” (it’s a Nano but, you know, whatever).

 

I kept thinking, that snotty waitress can kiss my Adele-sized ass.

 

Now, I’ll admit there might have been a few vibes that (maybe.  perhaps.  if you stretched) hinted we may not have been the hippest bunch.

 

Getting to the bar at 7:30 might’ve been the first red flag,  I get that.  Young people —  like vampires —  repel sunlight and bars before ten.  I know, I know, been there done that.  But I will boast that we were indeed asked to “kindly depart” after the bright fluorescent lights had been on for awhile at last call.  Not a proud mother-of-four moment (and certainly not the first fluorescents we’ve ever seen)  but hey, no one can deny our chutzpah.  It happens (so does taking the next day in its entirety to recover).

 

Also, there was one of us whose six-foot frame took out a speaker (and maybe a couple of bystanders) with a very animated fall on the dance floor (NOT ME).  Lacking the grace of Brian Boitano (funny, how these always seem to happen in slow-motion), okay, maybe that could’ve shined an aging spotlight on us.  (No one got hurt.  I think.  Maybe just their roadie?  I dunno…)

 

And (alright, alright) perhaps a mob of middle-agers hysterically fist-pumping on the dance floor was a bit telling..  Ah well.  Three fingers up to make a W:  What-ev-ah.

 

Maybe a final dead giveaway was how we interacted.  One thing that definitely set us apart from the youngsters around us as how we sat as a group and talked and laughed.  You know, TO EACH OTHER.  At one point, a group of four girls nearby all tapped away on cell phones at the same time.  Having fun, ladies?

We sure did.

Take THAT, kids.

Here’s an interesting end note.  Our waitress was arguably the worst restaurant worker in the history of food service.  Her lack of charm paled in comparison to her professional skills.  We had to hunt her down throughout the night, usually finding her sitting with friends chatting (I know, right?)  Yet we still tipped her well because we are a different generation that does the right thing.  (Not to mention that collectively we could put a sitcom into syndication with all the eyerolling actions of our own young-adult-spawn).  It makes us somewhat forgiving.

 

Yes.  That would be us:  forgiving, freakishly good dancing and not-quite-ready-for-early bird-food-specials fun mongers.      #We’llSleepWhenWe’reDead

 

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram.

 

 

 

 

Sleep Me off My Feet (PLEASE)

exhausted

When I was in college, you knew it was time to start getting ready to go out on Saturday night when my roommate, Theresa, exited the shower, walked across the apartment in her towel, and cranked up “Caribbean Queen.”

It was like a dog whistle.

Within minutes, bathrooms were bustling, Stiff Stuff was spraying and lips were lining (with precision).

And it was 10pm.

 

Nowadays, if 10pm rolls around you can be damn sure I am hoping my night is almost over.  Why?  Because I am freaking tired, that’s why.

 

I’m not exactly proud of it but I’m certainly not ashamed by it either because I know I am faaaaaar from alone. I want to sleep so badly but all my kids are at their rite-of-passage vampire stage so I’m outta luck.  I have teens coming in later on weekends and that stinks.  I have ‘tweens staying up later on weeknights and that stinks worse.

 

I know we all signed the (We’ll) Sleep (When We’re Dead) Contract when we became pregnant and that was all fine – back then.  But for the love of God, was it signed in placenta fluid?  Is there an expiration date?

 

Listen, I’m entitled to be a little cranky.  I happen to be running this show alone now.  My husband’s job keeps him out of town a lot and I must admit brag that I’ve gotten awfully good at keeping things afloat as a single parent. So long as everyone’s alright with egg sandwiches for dinner and a minimum of clean socks, I’d say this machine is running incredibly smoothly, thankyouverymuch.

But I have to be honest.  I am beat, man.  Throw in the Middle Age First Amendment (Thou Shalt Not Sleep Three Consecutive Hours Once One Hits 40 Years Old) and you are looking at an explosive yet very potential mixture  of sleep deprivation and homicide.

I can’t be like my kids and catch up with sleep on Saturdays because come on, there are dogs to be walked and husbands to reconnect with over coffee and  — you know – that litany of things on a never ending Weekend To Do List to tackle.

And forget lazy Sunday sleep-ins because let’s be real, we all know how those go: if you’re not where you’re supposed to be on Sunday mornings (cough, church) you’re definitely where you want to be (baseball/soccer/football field or well, a diner….) so THAT never works out either.

I suppose I could try sleeping a few hours as soon as I got home from work, waking up in time for dinner but — seriously, who can do that?  Oh wait….that would be a high school senior, who naps, then effortlessly drinks coffee at nine to stay up for three more hours of homework.  Screwy, right?

 

I think the greatest irony to this whole dilemma is that …

 

by the time all the chaos of kids and chores and commitments winds down …

 

… the Middle Age Second Amendment is suddenly upon on:  Thou Shalt Not Sleep Past 5amEver.

Can I get a collective “Craaaaaaaaap…..” from all my tired sistas out there?

 

 

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