AMA: Perhaps you thought this acronym stood for American Medical Association, but it’s currently stamped all over various files of mine and in this form stands for Advanced Maternal Age.
I’m aware, because shortly after losing all that weight, I discovered that I am happily, surprisingly, pregnant. And have been on bedrest for the last couple of weeks. More on that in a minute.
So although I’ve had two babies, I’ll be having my first third child after I turn 40. And I’m finding that it really is a different experience than it was at 35. I can’t believe how many people (okay, 4, but doesn’t that seem like a lot?) feel comfortable asking me if I’ll be having amniocentesis to test for Down Syndrome. (No comment at this time.) And a few more have asked me if I had help (only if you count my husband!)
I would be lying if I said my age isn’t a factor for me too. I kind of had thought that we were beyond the diaper phase forever and had been putting those funds into RRSPs. Although I’m thrilled to be able to take maternity leave, it was so not in my career plan at this time. And as soon as I’m through the newborn stage I’ll be hiring a personal trainer just so I can be in shape to chase my teen down the street when I’m 55.
But honestly – in 2010, is it really a big deal to be (almost) 40 and pregnant, generally? I don’t think so.
Here’s what I’ve learned through this whole experience so far:
Upon being ordered to bed, my first thought was “I’m too old for this,” although what I meant was, I’m too busy for this. My second was that it’s my fault for being of – yes – advanced maternal age. Guilt at any age.
I am totally a control freak about certain things – and I need to ease up, because I bet I have other life goals I could be reaching rather than adhering to my fridge clean-out schedule.
My family has been great at jumping in once I had to take to my bed – and so have my girlfriends. Who else is going to volunteer to bring you 3 seasons of Big Love and clean your house?
As trite of a midlife realization as this is, health really is a precious thing.
Decorate your bedroom before illness strikes, or you will be staring at it wishing there was a reality show for this where people would just come in and fix it.
When you’ve hit a road bump – a nice one, like a new child that nonetheless turns your life upside down – or a rough one, like bedrest or other challenges, what’s gotten you through it? What have you learned?
The New York Times ran a piece over the weekend about being unemployed over 50 in the US – and how bleak it can be. I know we’ve heard some of your stories about it in our forums and in comments to some pieces on the site.
At the same time reading that article I did have to wonder a little bit about some of the choices. Megan McArdle, the (much younger) business and economic editor for The Atlantic, does a good job picking a few takeaway thoughts out on her blog.
What’s your experience? Have you weathered a layoff lately?
Last month you all shared some thoughts about wine and getting together with friends. I loved some of the suggestions for keeping friendships going – texting at random moments, having a once-a-week phone call. They were great tips.
And I was able to read this article from the Globe and Mail about losing a friend for every romantic relationship without guilt – although I await the article on how many you lose for each child under say, 8. While you’re over at the Globe, check out More contributing editor Marian Botsford Fraser’s review of Let’s Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship by Gail Caldwell. I’m reading it myself and it’s lovely.
It was clear from the comments that a lot of us really do associate friends and wine, so I wanted to point out that for southern Ontario residents the Niagara Wine Festival is on, beginning this weekend, and it’s a great one to visit with a friend. If you can’t make it to wine country, LCBO is inviting customers to experience Ontario wines during their goLocal promotion, taking place in stores now until October 9th.
It looks like out west you’ll have to wait until October for the Okanagan wine festival, but the Vancouver Sun has a helpful top-ten list for you.
Pass this one on to your kids: Students who cheat score higher on tests for psychopathy than students who don’t. (Globe and Mail).
I have to admit this one quote in the article gave me pause, from psychology professor Delroy Paulhus, the study’s author: “We’re not talking about disordered people. After all, they’re at challenging universities.” As a child of a lifetime academic: but – haven’t you been on a university campus? Perhaps it’s not exactly a hotbed of Hannibal Lecter types, but narcissism at least (another part of the test) can in some cases be almost a requirement.
In fact I think the piece presents some interesting ideas about how to apply the information. And that’s key: How do you handle really any relationship if you suspect someone has psychopathic tendencies? Well at More we’ve got a look at the issue of dating one: the pseudonymous Chelsea Mitchell shares her experience. Have you had contact with a psychopath in your life (or suspect you have)?
Having grown up on an academic calendar, September still feels a bit like the real New Year to me (and is in some religious traditions). So in the spirit of buckling back down I wanted to share some sites that inspire me in different ways to get things done:
Zen Habits: I am one of the least Zen workers out there, which may be why a lot of the thoughts on this blog feel fresh to me. I can’t say I’ve managed to implement many of them, although I’m working on it.
Lifehacker: This site is kind of the opposite of Zen Habit’s big-picture view: loads of specific and practical tips for how to really work. Warning though: You have to take it in small doses or it will impact your productivity.
Tim Ferriss’s blog: I admit that I did not find The 4-Hour Workweek a particularly comfortable read, because I couldn’t implement it that way. But it did make me think and so does Ferriss’s blog.
Rocket Watcher: April Dunford’s blog about marketing for start-up companies doesn’t always relate to my role as a web editor but her pragmatic advice still inspires me. And, she’s Canadian.
I know I’ve missed a few, but my time for this task is over. Please add your favourites to the comments!