Feeling old

March will be a busy month for me. I was out of town this past week for training, and will be heading out again tomorrow and for the last week of March.

Though I was happy to have the opportunity to pilot the training I worked on for most of February, I noticed something while I was away last week.

I was exhausted.

I didn’t have the energy to write in the evenings. I didn’t sleep well.

I know a lot of trainers who travel frequently, and many of them take sleeping pills. I can’t. I tried at one point, but couldn’t take the side effects. I’m not fond of the side effects of most medications, but that’s another story.

I used to really enjoy the opportunity to travel for training. I’d get my work done during the day, go out with class members or co-facilitators in the evenings, and still manage a decent day’s writing.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve noticed that I just can’t do it anymore. I can only pack so much into a day. Or an evening.

Last night, my mother-in-law commented how the circles under my eyes look so much more pronounced than usual.

Feeling old, with the grey hair, wrinkles, and dark circles to prove it :P

Feeling old, with the grey hair, wrinkles, and dark circles to prove it 😛

It’s a family trait, but I do look more bruised when I’m tired.

I’ve never been one to have those traumatic, age-related realizations that others have.

  • At 20: I’m not a kid anymore.
  • At 25: I’m a quarter century old!
  • At 30: My baby-making days are numbered (for women only).
  • At 40: I’ve lived half my life at this point, and what have I to show for it?

I’ve not hit the big five oh yet, so I can’t go any further than that, but I’ve never felt any of that age angst that friends have reported. And mostly, it is women. At least, I rarely hear of a man complaining about his age.

Aches and pains, yes. Age angst, no.

I’ve always felt young, relatively speaking. I may have felt fat, or prematurely winded because of smoking, but neither of those are age-specific complaints.

This past year, however, I have been feeling increasingly old. O.L.D.

It’s interesting more than distressing, but it’s also inconvenient. I need to write. It’s not an option anymore, and when I can’t write, I feel legitimately crappy. If I can’t write because I’m feeling crappy to begin with, that only makes me feel worse.

This can result in a negative spiral that leads to burn out and depression. I know those two feelings. I need to manage them carefully.

I just have to remind myself that I am enough, that I’ve done enough this day, and that it’s been a good day, because in most cases, it’s true.

We can only do what we can do. We can get back on the horse the next day and rock it.

How about you, my writerly friends? It doesn’t have to be age, but life has this habit of happening while we’re making other plans. Are there things over which you have no control that complicate your life? How do you cope?

Please share.