Aging Gracefully? Please!

The “funny” thing about age is it just happens to you. One day you wake up and you’re old. Well at least older than you were. And for the first time since puberty you begin to feel your age.  Talking about aging is nothing new. In fact Nora Ephron did it a few years ago in her book “I Feel Bad About My Neck” which is a collection of essays about the dark passages of time. In the title piece she explains that her neck began to go in her early 40s, after an operation near her collarbone left a scar.

It was the post 40 aspect of this essay that I related to, as “waking up and feeling your age” is a phenomenon that begins to occur around this time. So what are the symptoms? Not sure I have enough room or time to go through them all, but I thought it might be worth highlighting a few that have begun to define me. Yeah, that’s right, define me.

In no particular order…..

  • Lack of memory (more on this latter)
  • Erratic sleep patterns (one night falling asleep on the sofa at 8pm and the next night walking the corridors at 1am)
  • Serious lack of libido for your husband but hello young man at the coffee shop making my latte what is your name…
  • Having to squint to read the small print
  • You have to make a choice between your face and your butt. What a choice! This leads me to…
  • Not just crow’s feet but marionette lines and all the lines without names that suddenly without permission appear on your face. Like above your lips, on your forehead and in the space between your eyes just above your nose. You know the one. It’s your very own harry potteresque lightening bolt and it quivers when you’re mad.
  • Turning into a b-i-t-c-h not just part of the month but most of the month. Watch out for flying plates and libellous slander heading your way, it’s a 40+ woman on the warpath and it’s not going to be pretty.

And that’s not to mention gray hairs, hot and cold flashes, teenage-like PMS, gas, aches and pains in the knees, neck, back and hips. I mean its pretty crap isn’t it?

Okay, for a moment, let’s talk memory. (Or should I say lack there of.) Here’s a prime example:

It’s Saturday evening and we’re getting ready to go out. Husband is in shower, I am applying last bits of make-up. Husband calls out from shower, “there are no towels here, can you get me one?” Sure no problem. I go downstairs and instead of going straight to laundry room where said towels will be I bypass and go straight to the kitchen. Could I have forgotten about the towel in the time it took me to walk down the stairs? Hmmm. I see my son on the computer. He is downloading the new Glee Vol. 1 album for me and I am pleasantly distracted. Suddenly, we hear a loud stomping overhead. “What’s Daddy’s problem?” my son asks. “Don’t know,” I reply earnestly. Back to Glee. The next thing we know Husband appears starker’s, dripping wet in kitchen with fierce expression on his face. “Whoops I forgot your towel,” I say finally clocking it. What came out of his mouth is not repeatable here but it had something to do with me having a very small brain.

So am I the only one in this predicament? Are there other 40+ women out there suffering with similar “symptoms”. Please share! And if you are reading this and not yet 40+ hold on to your twenties or thirties or whatever age you might be, and hold on tight, because you are really going to miss them when they are gone.

In the meantime let’s eat cake. And pink champagne cake at that. Because it’s girly and it’s pink. And looks a little bit like a tutu. Something most 40+ women haven’t seen in a very long time. Enjoy!

Pink Champagne Cake

I made this cake in honour of What’s For Lunch Honey’s champagne Monthly Mingle. I am slightly late in posting so I am hoping she’ll still accept it! Meeta chose champagne because it is four years since she started her blog. Which is an amazing achievement. Take a look at her blog as it is a visual treat you don’t want to miss.

For the cake:

2 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp nonfat milk powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
pink food coloring
1 cup champagne or sparkling wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 8-inch pans.

In large bowl, combine flour, milk powder, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.

In bowl mix butter, oil and granulated sugar. Beat until light and fluffy in texture and in colour, about 3 minutes.

Add egg whites, one at a time, scraping sides of bowl as mixing.

Add vanilla extract and pink food colouring (not too much or it will be very pink) and stir to combine.

Scrape down sides of bowl to make sure all ingredients are incorporated and slowly add flour mixture and champagne.

Stir ingredients with large spatula until just barely combined.

Pour mixture into prepared pans and tap light to remove excess air bubbles.

Place into center of oven and bake until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 25-28 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool in pans for 15 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks and let cool completely before decorating.

Layer and decorate with icing of choice and serve. I used a basic buttercream and added some more pink food colouring and edible fairy dust on top.

Comments

  1. Dropped by via the ‘other’ Heather, and so glad I did!
    Lovely post, and one other point to add re passing 40: you continuously kid yourself that ‘you too’ can get a bottom/legs/waist like that gorgeous young creature that just passed you by, nothing to it!
    See this by way of explanation: http://londoncitymum.blogspot.com/2010/04/gallery-lcm-goes-for-hat-trick.html

    LCM x

  2. Can’t go wrong with pink champagne and cake, at any age methinks. Any excuse will do.

  3. Don’t forget … finally not giving a toss for what others think about you

  4. I turn the big 5 0 in a month and a half, so I can definitely relate. How could the years go by so fast. I think we both deserve pink champagne cake!

  5. LOLLOLLOLOOL! So true and since I just had my birthday last week, I can so relate. Although I had a great birthday, a Pink Champagne Cake would have really been nice!

  6. I’m rapidly approaching 40, and realised that I was definitely my age when I had to explain why Touche Eclat really is a wonder cosmetic to a friend’s 25-year-old girlfriend. She didn’t get it, just as i didn’t all those years ago. Sigh. Nice cake, though.

  7. I recently joined the 50+ club and can relate to these symptoms! How about when your driving and wonder well the hell your going! LOL

  8. How well you write, and how well I can relate to this post. Just 30 minutes ago I asked my husband: What was I was supposed to do next Tuesday? His response: “Take your son to the hospital for surgery.” Oh, Lord, I’m becoming my mother! Love the recipe.

  9. Great post and so true, all of the above! And men just don’t get it. Well, they’ll have their diapers changed one day and then won’t they feel bad! ;)
    Hope you had a great birthday. Love the pink cake. I miss pink. Since I have all boys. Sigh.

  10. ROFL… I thought it was the story of my life that I was reading!! YAY you…beautiful cake and fab celebration. While reading the post, I was just going to suggest it would be perfect for Meeta’s…and voila, you were there before me!
    The cake is GORGEOUS! SU’d!!

  11. George (Dad) says:

    One nice thing about getting old, you don’t have to raise teenagers anymore.

  12. Oh yes – can identify. It’s all true. (44 by the way). Have just got my first pair of reading glasses. I keep losing them all over the house – my husband is threatening to buy me one of those chains you wear round your neck. No way! And I am not even a cougar. That champagne cake looks delicious by the way – gorgeous colour.

  13. This is a fabulous post and I am laughing out loud! You have (and should I say “sadly”?) described me to a tee! Absolutely! Reading down your list I found myself saying “Yes. Yes. Yes. YES!” oof scary right. Lucky thing that we can go through this, live this and laugh about this together! Happy birthday!

    And love this cake! Pink, girly and loaded with champagne! Brilliant!

  14. I’m scared! Forgetting your hubby’s towel is kind of funny – the way you tell it! I love your cake! How positively delicious with champagne!

  15. “Serious lack of libido for your husband but hello young man at the coffee shop making my latte what is your name…”

    OK it’s not the SERIOUS Lack of libido for the husband that has not really changed but the HELLOS to the younger man at the coffee shop has increased LOL! I’m 37 heading towards the big 40 – I feel good so far although see a few of those symptoms creeping up – Heather you made laugh with this post! Love it and love what you have made for my party. I’d be afool not to accept it!

    Hugs!

  16. I am still reeling from being told I “don’t look a day older than 35″ and actually having it make my day. I mean, since when should I be happy I look 35? I chose my face over butt, yes.
    I have nice genes in the skin and hair dept.,however, I got more than my share in the aches and pains-frankly I’d rather have the grays and wrinkles AND, my memory for certain things is freakishly precise, but I am the sort to forget a whole child somewhere.
    And now, a toast:
    “Real pain for my sham friends
    Champagne for my real friends.”

  17. What a killer story….Charles in his towel dripping wet and mad as a …. wet cat? You’re killing me! But the memory thing is a tough one and I’m in my late 50s, so I can assure you it gets even worse. To the point where you then have to seriously wonder if you’re catching the first signs of Alzheimer’s and you’re so smart you’re figuring it out ahead of time. At work, they call the sudden cessation of speech in mid-sentence as “having a Chris moment.”

  18. Jeni Arnold says:

    I’m so with you on the libido thing, what’s to become of us drooling over young men? It’s simply not fair :(
    My bad joints I’m putting down to my height & a lifetime working outside, I’m not giving in to this age thing!
    One annoying thing as well is having to colour your hair because the roots are too grey not ‘cos you fancy a new tone, I could go on….

  19. I loved this post. At 37 I’m just starting to enter this phase. . . but I can definitely identify.

  20. Nice post – it made me laugh. I am closer to 40 than 30 and have most of these symptoms. Also enduring some sort of baby brain where I keep forgetting things. So it’s a dummy whammy. Cake, even virtual cake, cheers me up!

  21. hoo yes! may I mention my bunions, gammy knee, and the funny grunting noise I now make when I get out of an armchair.

    (Which coffee shop? arf!)

  22. ha ha, i’m 30 and this is already a problem for me – i can barely remember my own name half the time!

  23. Oh God..it’s all true! And…as if the above were not enough…the looking in the mirror and seeing your mother looking back out at you! She’s lovely, but I do not want to turn into her! And…my husband is Peter Pan too, he didn’t carry 4 babies so has not stretched in anyway. And…I can’t sit on my feet anymore without getting cramp which makes playing cars with my 4 year old tricky…and, and, AND!!!

  24. Oh dear, that’s me too. Memory shocking, moods that change with no pre warning – not event to me! and the flushes.
    I tell myself, at least today’s 40 is the 30 of the 80’s :)

  25. Yes to all of the above. My symptoms are made worse by two things – a) I shall be 42 in exactly one months’ time b) My darling Englishman does not look his age. He is Peter Pan and he’s six years younger!

    Arrrrrgh

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