When You Can’t See Age as Just a Number

woman standing outside silhouette. aging. the omaha momThere was definitely a time in my life when the thought of dying and the unknown it entailed scared me. I have since grown in my own faith and understanding of what comes after and now I see my fear has shifted elsewhere. Something new has begun to bring on feelings of unease and worry. . .

Aging

First and foremost, I know I’m not old. . .yet. I’m almost 32 and most days I still feel 22 (that’s for all you “Swifties” out there). But when things start to happen to my body and I begin to fall into the dark rabbit hole of common internet answers, I don’t feel so 22 anymore.

Like, why am I losing such a seemingly large amount of hair when I shower even though I’m well outside of postpartum life? Aging

Or, why do my armpits all of sudden have these little skin bumps showing up? Aging

How about the crow’s feet by my eyes and my easily cracking hands with noticeably new lines? Aging

And then my nose. I mean, I always heard about how it and your ears don’t ever stop growing (it’s actually a gravity thing) but why in the world can I visibly see it happening in pictures from then and now? Aging

The list goes on. Being flagged for cavities for the first ever in my 30 years of living, bruising easier than I already have my whole life, having a dryer/itchier scalp, and weight being way easier to put on than get off.

I can imagine some of you reading this and thinking “But age really is just a number. Life is what you make it.” And you’re absolutely right. I have two beautiful leading examples of this through my grandmothers who are both still physically active with bowling and golf. They have servant hearts and volunteer where they can. One of them even still travels out of the country almost once a year. So what’s my deal?

Social media, my own life choices, and my peers kill me with comparison. It makes these changes with age too hard for me to just “shake it off” (last one, I promise). Even though I’ve never lived extremely unhealthy, it was later in life that I started to take health and fitness more seriously.

Eight years of making exercise more of a priority and doing my best to eat healthier, through dialing in on nutrition is still my biggest struggle, I found times when I was in the best shape of my life. I even did 75Hard last year! Unfortunately, the last few months I have found myself discouraged as I realize how much harder it is becoming to lose the weight and then keep it off.

Should we even get started with the influence of social media? I can scroll through there with the very factual thought that there are a lot of filters and a lot of posed “unreal” posts and still feel down looking at what I would like to be.

It’s the same with people around me. How do they eat like that but still look the way they do when they’re the same age as me? How can I work out every single day and I don’t even think they’ve lifted a weight, but still fit in smaller clothes than me? How come they have their nutrition in check but I can’t get it together?

So. Much. Influence.

Oof! I need a step back. The thing is, I do get hung up in these moments of mourning my youth. But then I see my three kids and the joy they bring me reminding myself of the miracle my body endured to bring them here.

Or I climb steep trails (REALLY steep) on our family camping trip and feel the desire to keep going long after we had to end our hike.

I can lift heavier, run a little longer, keep up with my own kids and all of the kids I work with, and still have energy and stamina to go on fun adventures with my family. Age may creep up on us and get us down sometimes but;

Our bodies give us more reasons to feel grateful for them in those moments and show age really is just a number.

Brittanee was born in Denver, CO and moved to North Platte, NE when she was seven. She has been married to her high school sweetheart since 2013 and after graduating from UNK in 2014 she moved to Washington where her husband was stationed with the Navy. There, they would have their first daughter before moving to South Carolina where their second daughter would be born. In May of 2020 after her husband's contract with the Navy was up, her and her family happily moved back to their home state and made roots in Omaha where they couldn't be more grateful to be. Brittanee enjoys all things family, reading, spending time outdoors, working with kids, being artsy fartsy, and is honored with the privilege to write for Omaha Mom. She's always down for lazy days on the couch watching movies or binging a good show.

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