One of the things I have noticed about getting older, is how much my tolerance levels have changed towards food, drink and sleep.
It amazes me what I used to put my body through and get away with.
Yet, it seems that now I am finally trying not to punish my body so much, it has decided that it is payback time for what I put it through in my twenties.
What a bitch.
I can live with the grey hair, the grey eyebrows and the brittle hairs that seem to sprout out of my chin with little or no warning, but there are some things that are sacred to me and they have been taken away.
I seem to need so much more of it but am getting less and less.
Even when I am not being woken up by a 3-year old needing a wee/poo/tissue/cuddle, I will wake anyway to check he is still sleeping soundly in his bed.
Or, because I need a wee.
I do not know when I stopped being able to make it through the whole night without needing a toilet break but somewhere along the way, I started to wake up between the hours of 3.30am-5.30am to use the loo and I do not like it.
I do not like it at all.
If the call of nature occurs closer to 5.30am than to 3.30am I will lie awake in my bed for another hour until I have to get up. Or, until I hear the familiar call of MUMMY!’.
If I have had a glass or two of wine the night before, I may as well kiss goodnight to any chance of an unbroken night’s sleep.
Depending on what time I fall into bed, I will awake approximately 3-4 hours later with what I call ‘The Fear’.
A wine induced fear of what I may have said the night before – be it in person, over the phone or on twitter.
Not so much that I think it would be anything insulting, but I do have a tendency to bang on a bit after a few glasses, so the very thought of what I might have said makes me cringe so badly that I want to tear at my own skin, rip it off and climb out of my body.
Eventually, I will fall back to sleep and start to dream of being stranded in a desert and scrambling around in the sand in search of an oasis. I will wake feeling parched and have to crawl downstairs to glug down a pint of water.
I’ll return to bed and slowly drift back off to sleep, but we all know that what goes in must eventually come out, and I’ll be up again soon enough.
It takes me about a week to get over a late night. I will feel like I have been hit by a bus for at least a few days after a particularly late one and will only feel truly recovered after five consecutive early/wine-free nights.
And, by early I mean going to bed after tucking my little 3-year old in.
Yep, rock and roll.
I do not dare to have a cuppa or even so much as a diet coke after 4pm, or risk missing my 10pm (ok 9.30pm) bedtime. If I stay up past 10pm, I might as well stay out all night, the effects are just the same.
Carbs, chocolate, cakes, crisps, cheese
Just one look at a bag of Minstrels these days is all it takes to add an extra 4lbs. I also get a bit of a headache from eating them and need a lie down. Before needing the loo again, obviously.
Sigh, those carefree days of old have well and truly passed.
When I think about how badly my body copes now with all the things I took for granted then, it amazes me how I ever functioned, let alone went back for more again and again.
And, it is really only because those things are available to me in such short supply now, do I realise how much I should have appreciated them more at the time.
If I could talk to my inner body, I would say:
I am sorry I did not let you sleep much back then and made you survive on pesto pasta and egg sandwiches, but I have given you many fruits and vegetables since then and even treated you to the occasional bit of exercise, so why won’t you let me sleep when I want to and stay awake when I need to?
I no longer eat what I want when I want to, and have enrolled you in many many different diet programmes, so why won’t you just let me be thin again? Or able to eat past 6pm without getting indigestion.
I am sorry that I made you grow a tiny human in your belly and attempt to push it out through an area that had thus far only ever been treated delicately, but that is no reason to take my pelvic floor away FOREVER.
Also, for the record, the bladder control thing is no longer funny. Do you see me laughing? Nope. That is because I CAN’T.
My inner body will probably just shrug and tell me it’s all part of getting older, to which I will smile wryly and say that youth is wasted on the young.
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