Shelly Hickman

Ramblings and Whatnot

Middle Age, How Did I Get Here?

I recently came back from a Spring Break trip to California with my family. The first photo you see above is a picture my husband took of our kids nine years ago at the same hotel we visited this time. It’s one of our faves, so we thought it would be fun to recreate the photo. It sure doesn’t feel like it was nearly ten years ago that first photo was taken, and when you have kids, it’s a constant reminder of how quickly time passes.

My son is graduating high school this year, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. Don’t we all feel like we just graduated from high school? I mean, in my mind I’m still eighteen, with a body that allowed me to eat whatever and whenever I wanted. At the time, I didn’t even appreciate it.

Suddenly, I’ve found myself coming up on my 46th birthday, and my kids are too old for Easter egg hunts. My husband will be fifty next year. Fifty! How in the hell am I old enough to be married to a 50-year-old? Remember when someone in their thirties seemed ancient?

As I use my Panasonic Pivotal Trimmer to remove the fuzz from my face, it all seems so surreal. And the gray? Don’t get me started. The skin under my eyes is thinning, leaving dark circles, and the plethora of beauty products available for such problems doesn’t make it any easier.  You’d think with all these changes, I would at least see an end to the pimples I’ve fought since I was ten, but no such luck. Those still remain. 

Over the past several years, I’ve had a tubal ligation (signaling the end of child rearing), two hip surgeries (one of them a replacement), uterine ablation (don’t ask), and tissue grafting for receding gums. My OB-GYN tells me each time a person undergoes anesthesia, it can lead to hair loss for a year. And I wonder why my hair is falling out in fists. Three vaginal births have resulted in me peeing a little every time I sneeze or laugh too hard, and each year the love handles become slightly more prominent, the tummy a little more flabby.

But… it’s all good. I have a wonderful, blessed life. I may have aches and pains. I may get a pinched nerve in my neck from time to time, simply from the act of removing my shirt, but it’s been a good ride so far. I’m looking forward to the perks of middle age, such as grandchildren, retirement (still a ways off), and traveling with hubby. Just because we see an older body in the mirror, that doesn’t mean the eighteen-year-old inside has to age with it. Happy Easter everyone!

Oh, and I’d love to hear about some of the things about aging that have taken you by surprise. 😉

15 responses to “Middle Age, How Did I Get Here?”

  1. Shelly, I love this post! You know I’m in the same stage and experiencing the same changes! It’s great that you’re so honest about it all. I wish people would have warned me a little more! But honestly, you are aging beautifully, you look great. And we have a long way to go still. Look at pictures of women in their 80s and 90s and you’ll feel like a spring chicken! 😉 Such sweet pictures of your kids. It’s crazy how fast the time goes. We’ll go through the empty nest stage at the same time, and I’m sure we’ll help each other through it somehow!


    1. Shelly HIckman Avatar
      Shelly HIckman

      As always, you’re too kind! And unfortunately, I don’t think warnings help. It’s just something we finally understand once we’re there. LOL. But as they say, getting older is better than the alternative! 😉


  2. Shelly, I wrenched my knee this weekend while trying to stand up from kneeling next to the toilet after assisting a much-too-old-to-still-be-potty-training child with finishing the job on the toilet and removing his soiled underpants. There should be a rule that you can’t injure yourself like an old person while still young enough to have very young children. Then there’s the other end of the spectrum: I have a teenager who regularly begs me to let him risk my life so he can practice driving. It’s no wonder the gray hairs are sprouting on my head, neck… and other places. Now I’m going to go have nightmares about “tissue grafting for receding gums.” Until about five minutes ago, I was blissfully oblivious of that procedure’s existence. Thanks!


    1. Shelly Hickman Avatar
      Shelly Hickman

      You’re absolutely right. That should be a rule. Middle age must be a bit crueler when you’re still raising young children. Oh, and you’re welcome for the intro to tissue grafting. I hope you never have to experience firsthand what it is. 🙂


  3. Too funny. I’m 50 this year and I really need a facelift. Possibly a hip replacement too. Will let you know about that once I’ve been to the musculoskeletal clinic on Wednesday…it just all creeps up doesn’t it? I was fine when I was 40.


  4. Shelly Hickman Avatar
    Shelly Hickman

    Ruth, I was 41 when I had my hip replacement. 36 when I had my first surgery, which was basically a hip reconstruction. At least you’ll have managed to hold out a little bit longer than me, if you do have the replacement. LOL. I’ve been pain-free since the replacement though, so if you have to get one, it should be a good thing. 🙂 (Good God! We should not be having this conversation at our age.)


  5. Meredith Schorr Avatar
    Meredith Schorr

    I am fighting middle-age with everything I got! I’m only a handful of years younger than you but haven’t reached the marriage/children milestones, so imagine how difficult it is for me to think about gravity reeking havoc on my body and being called a “cougar” when I still feel 25. Ugh. Scares the crap out of me if you really want to know. Honestly, I don’t think it would freak me out as much if I felt more settled. The bright side: these feelings inspired my current novel 🙂


  6. Heather McCoubrey Avatar
    Heather McCoubrey

    Grey hairs, flabby belly, ready to go to sleep when I put the littles to bed…oh yeah, I hear ya! I just recently started seeing a personal trainer, even if I don’t lose a pound, I’ll consider it worth it when I can keep up a little better with the littles. It’s hard to look at the positives when you see these little reminders of middle-age creeping in the mirror. Good for you for writing this post and reminding us all that the positives are out there and we need to focus on them! xoxo


  7. Shelly, this post is so timely. Just this morning, I was looking in the mirror wondering how it is possible to have pimples and wrinkles at the same time! I have full on GROOVES wearing themselves into my forehead, I cannot dye my hair fast enough to hide the grays and my hair is also falling out in really large amounts. I shed more than my cats! It is so wrong. But just as you said, life is good! I have two beautiful boys, a wonderful husband and a new career that I enjoy. It is much more fun to focus on the good stuff than our rapidly aging bodies….


  8. Julie Valerie @Julie_Valerie Avatar
    Julie Valerie @Julie_Valerie

    Oh, dear. Oh, gosh. Middle age. What the heck DID just happened?!?! I had big hair and big earrings just yesterday. My clothing was way more hip back then. I knew stuff. I was going places…

    ARGHHHHHH!!! I’m having a crisis.


  9. Michelle James Avatar
    Michelle James

    Ah, Shelly. I don’t want you to get discouraged. The body sags and bulges, you buy stronger reading glasses, but some day before you know it you will be a grandparent. Everyday I ask myself, now how did that happen. I did I get to be old enough to have a 15 year old grandson and my oldest son can’t possibly be 42. Just go with the flow.


  10. Ah Shelly, I’m surprised by middle age every. effin’. day. I turned 48 in January, and when I realized I’m THISCLOSE to 50, I practically fell over. But if I did, I might not have been able to get back up again! 😉 I think the strangest thing my body’s done lately is produce what I call my “caveman hairs”. Front and center of my forehead, I have developed a patch of weird, fuzzy, coarse hairs that don’t grow past 2 1/2 inches, resist the flatiron, are immune to my keratin straightening treatments, and basically just sit there like kinky, spiky invaders, mocking me. WHAT the heck is that all about? I do not know. All I know is, this would NOT have happened to me in my twenties…


  11. What fun to come home from a busy day at work to read all of your hilarious comments. I guess it really is true that misery loves company. LOL. Jayne, your “caveman hairs” make me laugh, because I have a similar thing going on with this one black hair on my arm that seems to appear out of nowhere. And it’s pretty long when I discover it! I guess I should be glad I don’t catch it sprouting from my face. 😉 Thanks for commiserating with me everyone.


  12. Melissa Field Avatar
    Melissa Field

    Hello! I found you through Julie’s blog hop. This was a wonderfully honest post, I loved it. I especially loved your positive take on it all at the end. Seeing the blessings in life is what it’s all about!


    1. Shelly Hickman Avatar
      Shelly Hickman

      Thank you, Melissa. And I absolutely agree – focus on the blessings, and laugh at the rest whenever we can. 🙂


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About Me

Las Vegas native, Computer Science teacher, and writer (when the mood strikes). Author of five novels – mostly romantic comedies – available on Amazon and Audible.


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