Things they don’t tell you when you’re 20

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life50 Comments

In less the a month, my 50th year on the planet will come to a close, opening the door to Year 51. I’ve taken many selfies during the year under the #cz50selfiesat50 on Instagram. I haven’t really taken 50 yet. After a while, selfies can feel like pulling teeth when you never really leave your house.

Bottom line: vacations are selfie GOLD, my friends. I really should go somewhere.

That said, I had this thought the other day while climbing the stairs in my home, grasping the handrail to avoid putting pressure on a tweaked knee, a knee that was fine until I simply turned right one day in the kitchen while doing dishes… and that thought was: why didn’t anyone tell me that shit starts to fall apart at 50?

Now before you think this going to be a woe is me kind of post, let me assure you, it’s not. It’s just that it hit me the other day that one day, my children may have children, and how is Grandma going to quietly carry the sleeping baby up the stairs with knees that appear to be getting worse by the week? Because you know I will getting as much time as I possibly can with those yet-to-exist grand babies, right?

That’s jumping ahead. I get it. But still… 50 was the year of realizing how creaky things are getting. True, I didn’t take the best care of myself last year from a nutritional standpoint. I started out with a real bang, but it all nosedived somewhere in the middle of the summer. I’m a firm believer in food as a healing agent, so the fact that I ingested hella amounts of sugar last year (and yes, wine is number one on that list), is no surprise to me that there was a lot of creaky, achey joints.

Or was it all those physically punishing years as a figure skater? We’re my little bird legs just too weak to support all of that?

This year, I’m looking at nutrition to aid in getting rid of the creakiness, and yet one little knee tweak makes me think, “Really? I was JUST getting a handle on this.”

And the chin hair. What is up with that? Seriously? Aunt Flo packed her bags almost four years ago and now this?

I’m just saying there are things you don’t talk about at 20. Chin hair and the inability to take stairs smoothly being at the top of that list.

Maybe I need to design a new set of printables with sayings like, “Where the hell are my tweezers?” or “Remember this… knee pain.”

Yeah. I’ll get right on that.



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Cathy ZielskeThings they don’t tell you when you’re 20

50 Comments on “Things they don’t tell you when you’re 20”

  1. #1

    Oh Cathy this is all so true. Now add lack of ability to sleep all night , thinning hair and it is quite the package. But….you do learn the value of perspective and what really matters. If and when those grandkids come you will be overwhelmed by the new love and the strength you have to maneuver with them! (Of course you will collapse the minute they leave but its all worth it).

    1. #1.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Oh right… forgot that one, mostly because that’s been my normal for over 10 years now. On average? I’m up three times a night, sometimes as many as five. And yes, I’ve tried many nutritional supplements.

  2. #2

    First, the saying is “woe is me.”

    Second, my mother (who is seventy five) remarked the other day that she rarely has to shave her legs anymore. I said “Well, that’s a good thing!” to which she replied “Not really. Now it’s growing on my face.” Guess there is no winning! However, every day is a blessing…so a good attitude and a sense of humor will be key.

    1. #2.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Oh my AUTO correct. Yep. Woe.

      Yeah, the not needing to shave my legs is a huge bonus! 🙂 That and actually being alive, of course. 😉

    2. #2.2

      ROFL!!!! I had a dear elderly friend say something similar to me last year — “my hair is falling out, which isn’t really an issue as I have a ton of it on my head. The problem is it’s landing in some really bad areas….like my chin! ” She looked me straight in the eye and said “two words my dear…..magnifying mirror!” LOL I still giggle when I think of that conversation and yes, I now own a magnifying mirror and a seriously good pair of tweezers…the battle is never ending.

  3. #4
    Nicky H

    I’m 42. I thought my six thick super growth chin hairs were it. Now I’m scared.

    Love you girl!!

    1. #4.1
      Cathy Zielske

      It literally started when my period stopped. It kind of cracks me up, but again, just didn’t know this would be a thing. 🙂

  4. #5

    Yes…like a fine wine….we age…we change….but as a women who just turned 56….this is really been the best time of my life. My kids are all grown, happy, healthy and self supporting themselves. I have more time to explore and try all kinds of activities. People keep asking if I am anxious for grandchildren….and my response is….”not yet.” “I want time to fully immerse myself if the joys of empty nest syndrom for awhile.”

  5. #6

    What you wrote here is why I adore you so much!!

    So, weighing in at a mere 47, I can say that a lot of this started around 45 for me and has kept me thinking “ah, so, THIS is mid-life…” Still can’t wait to send Flo packing, and starting to really understand why the “wee” hours are called that…. Seems like it’s a fun new “discovery” each year. ?

    My guys are only 14 and 15, but I’m already thinking about future grandbabies and how much fun I’ll be able to have with them. (I have an occasional tweaky knee that keeps me careful.) I watch a toddler now, so that’s at least reassuring

  6. #7

    Cathy have you tried Kinesio tape for your knee? I use it for my plantar fasciitis and it really helps. There are lots of YouTube videos on how to tape for specific issues. I get the precut sections and it’s a thing of wonder. My son, who is a distance runner, has used it for a few years to help with his IT band issues. I also love it for shine splints…. my body is protesting my re-embrassing of running. The kids laugh and say I look a bit like a patchwork quilt when I go out to “run”! LOL

    1. #7.1

      Oh stop the presses! Tape for plantar fasciitis? Why has nobody mentioned anything to me about this golden idea? Second time in 10 years with this and I’m on month 3 with a big vacation coming in 3 months. Heading to Youtube, thanks a million!

    2. #7.2
      Cathy Zielske

      I have never tried this! I know my daughter has used it when playing ultimate frisbee. Hmmm. Must check out!

  7. #8

    As I sit here with tweezers in my hand, I have to laugh.

    Also – on the yoga question a few weeks back – my wrists do okay – but it killed my knees the first month or so — I’ve been back to regular practice for almost a year now and can tell my [older than yours] body is doing much better – keep at it!

  8. #9

    Oh chin hairs — I can so relate! It’s like they grow in overnight. You think you got them all and then there’s 2 or 3 new ones the next morning. I’m 51 now and have two beautiful grandchildren with a third on the way. At 2 years and 8 months, I can definitely feel it when we’ve been taking care of them, but it is the sweetest joy in the world. My heart is so full I can’t even describe it. Just absolutely love your posts Cathy. You are so real and relatable.

  9. #10
    dondi may

    I feel you Cathy.
    I’m a few years over fifty, and I don’t know where the time went.
    I do know that it took many things with it, the list is growing but here’s a key example – my ENERGY. Nothing is more demoralizing than injuring yourself doing NOTHING. I pulled something in my shoulder just getting out of bed – really?!? How is that a thing?
    I was recently diagnosed with hip bursitis and I wanted to cry – that had “old lady” written all over it. All I did was up my walking game and try to add a few stairs in. I just picked my old bones up and start again – this time very S L O W L Y. =)

  10. #11
    Kay Gregory-Clark

    Yeah, Cathy, those chin hairs just keep multiplying—wait another 20 years! Now I have daily date with my tweezers. And the creaky knee? Definitely relate to that and other twinges. I’ve found a good knee brace helps a lot. But I echo the other comments regarding joy of grandchildren and time of life when freedom has come to explore things I want to do, not what a boss or someone else directs me to do. I am in a happy state at 72! My perspective has changed so much, thankfully. I look forward to each day, being only a little frustrated that it doesn’t have enough hours. Time is quickly fleeing, which adds another layer to my thinking: make it count! So there’s a little dust on the coffee table and sunlight highlights all those dust motes through the glass top—I have a scrapbook layout calling my name.

  11. #12
    dawny dee

    i am 55 and aunt flo is still around – in fact some months i would benefit from a transfusion – and the chin whiskers are spreading down my neck. but with my poor eyesight i dont notice so much.
    and its the thought of future grandkids that inspires me and has me paying attention to my health.

  12. #13
    Jori Maguire

    But you have fun yet to come with the chin hair. I still have them, however, they have now turned white–meaning I don’t see them until they are approximately an inch long. That was mortifying. From MY DENTIST.

    But we’re all on the right side of the soil, so that’s something to be happy about.

  13. #14
    Lois Houston

    LOVE this. I’m turning 50 this year and so totally get where you’re coming from. Thanks for keepin’ it real. 🙂

  14. #15
    Denise Medeiros

    Oh my NOW I am really worried! I turned 40 in September. The following month fell off my extra high bed for no other reason than clumsiness! Since then I ofte. let out involuntary moans/grunts when I bend over or turn my body too quickly. My knees have been shot since the half marathon last summer. The eyelashes are thinning but the chin hairs are coming in even faster! Woohoo!! I’m up at least twice a night to use the restroom so I never really get a full nights sleep. So thankful for every day that I am on this earth but I too never thought all this stuff would start falling apart so soon!! Sounds like it’s only going to get more fun!!
    And yes take a vacation as much as possible or at least once a week go somewhere not Target or the grocery store!!

    1. #15.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Oh right, the EYELASHES! Two years ago I went to my dermatologist to ask her where mine went. LOL. But again, I’m on the right side of the soil as someone posted above!

  15. #17

    Been there done that, wait till you are in your 60’s ladies. Every two years I seem to have body parts that require surgery and that is only my hand and foot. Loving my 3 wonderful granddaughters (11,8,6) who keep me young hearted, silly and loved. The best is yet to come, maybe at a slower, creaky pace, but still worth while.

  16. #18

    Chin hairs DO grow over night.

    And when you’re home for a day or two alone, and don’t think about tweezers…well I tend not to remember til I’m in the car and happen to touch my chin haphazardly and uh oh…feel the growth. When I was a know it all teen and twenty person I used to wonder why the old women (HA!) didn’t deal with that awful facial hair! Can’t they see those hairs sprouting everywhere? I think it’s kind of like when you smugly think…I’ll never let my child (fill in the blank) and then you have children. Karma’s a bitch.

    1. #18.1

      Ummm. Small swiss army knife in the ash tray/change jar of your car fixes that. The tweezers on those things are the BEST. Also, natural sunlight is the best for those chin hairs. I read that somewhere. Ahem.

  17. #19
    Esther Andrews

    Yes to all of the above 🙂
    Thanks for sharing it on behalf of all of us 50+ young people!

  18. #20

    I’ll be 43 this summer. I really wish Aunt Flo would take a hike already. We’re done with having babies. The chin (lip/neck/cheek) hairs have arrived en masse. The hot/cold flashes are making their way into my sleep. The hormones are back at teenager swing levels (heaven help you if you piss me off on one of those days). Aunt Flo really needs to take the hint and vacate the premises.

    (So far, no joint/muscle complaints except a minor ongoing plantar fasciitis issue that leaves me hobbling along for 10 seconds or so when I get up in the morning/sit for a long time.)

    At one time, I wrote a long document titled “the things no one will tell you about being pregnant/having a baby.” I had many a friend who had kids before I did, but there was a long list of “why the hell didn’t you tell me?” going through my head after I had my first. So I wrote it all down and would send it to friends having their first kid (if they were interested. I’m not a total masochist). I’m starting to think I need to put together another about getting old. 😀

  19. #21

    Hair!! – you lose it in some areas and gain it in others – unfortunately the loss isn’t in an area you really want to be sparse and the gain is in an area that would best be left bare. Two words – Regaine and Electrolysis 🙂

  20. #22
    Sara S

    I’m so glad that at least I’m in good company! I have gray eyebrow hairs and one eyelash but otherwise they are thinning. And I now keep a pair of tweezers in the car because there’s nothing like sunlight to really show off those chin (and neck) hairs. Oh and my new magnifying mirror isn’t strong enough for my weakening eyesight. I miss my 30s!

  21. #23

    I agree with so much of this. The hair that’s no longer on top is on my face. I made my 28yo daughter promise she’d take care of it if I have to go to a home someday. I just turned 60, Aunt Flo is on vacation due to an IUD, and I’ve had two falls in the last month – wet wooden steps and stepping down from a chair while painting. I did get some R+F eyelash boost and after three months have more eyelashes that are longer than ever. Expensive, but you do what you can. Now if i could find something to put on every night to keep chin hair away.

  22. #24

    May I highly recommend a Turmeric supplement? I get the one from Costco, because I’m cheap, because I’m there at least once a week for vegetables, and because it works. At least for us. Helps immeasurably with my husbands aches and pains in his joints, and for me, my old lady hip is gone. Can not recommend it enough. Turmeric. Get it. 🙂

    1. #24.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Um, consider that on my list! I was just reading about turmeric supplements. Will totally pick one up next time I’m there!

  23. #25
    Tracie Claiborne

    Well I’m 46, almost 47, and I can totally relate! Hair thinning, skin looks old, I touch my chin about 10 times a day, feeling for the hair. I get a few once a month and then I’m good until the next month. I don’t know what makes them come out but they do! But I’ve been having that problem for at least 5 years. I think I fell apart after 40. Ha! I went to see a movie by myself in March 2016 and fell down a flight of stairs in the dark because I was crying over the movie! Now one knee will never be the same. I just know it. Good to know you’re not alone, dear Cathy. Looks like we’re all in this together! 🙂

    1. #25.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Oh honey! Yeah… after having a foot surgery a few years back, my foot will never be the same but at least we’re here, right? 🙂

  24. #26
    Theresa Grdina

    as I huffed and puffed up the stairs this morning, protecting my arthritis-infused ankle, I thought “Getting old is hell.” Then I read your post……THANK YOU!! It made me laugh out loud and put it all in perspective!! 🙂

  25. #27
    Teresa Grau

    Cadthy I loved your selfie idea and I started last April on my birthday and have almost made it a year. I am 51 going on 52 so it was perfect, 52 weeks of selfies. It forces me to scrap about me and I love it. Also thanks for your Heck Yeah Hybrid video. I learned so much.

  26. #28

    Oh Cathy, how spot on you are. The chin hairs (also, what’s with the grey eyebrow hairs that stick up at odd angles??), that grunt you now make when you stand up after bending over to pick something up (I must remember to bend my knees next time). I’m 47 and this growing older lark is just one little new surprise after another… it bad to say I’m glad I won’t be a grandma for a wee while yet (little Miss is only 10 after all!)

  27. #29

    Ya know what they don’t tell you when you’re 20? That when you’re 56, you will be a dried up old woman. Dry skin, dry nails, dry eyes – everything is dry. That’s what they don’t tell you. Ugh!

  28. #30

    Getting old totally stinks…but let me say that all of this is happening to me at 45…it’s like I turned 45 and everything began to hurt. Lower back pain like nobody’s business and then there is the OB appt I had recently – won’t go there….yeah, getting old =total drag. Did I mention my son is only 9years old?!?! Ugh!

  29. #32

    Thanks Cathy! This was so enlightening and I loved reading the responses? I’m 48, and waiting for all of this…. I love the lady who said her hair was falling out…. onto her chin ? I’ve followed you for years Cathy and I love your no shit approach to life and how you can document it for us who can’t ??xxx thankyou

  30. #34
    Laura BC

    And the eye sight! No one tells you that it takes a while to refocus when switching between up close and far away viewing. Bifocals make me dizzy, never remember reading glasses – trying monovisiom contacts….

    1. #34.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Oh man, yes! It’s been so long since I started wearing readers that turned into a full on bifocal prescription, I count that as problems from my early 40s. 🙂

  31. #35
    Dolly Dykhouse

    LOL, I hear you chica! My standing Christmas present every year since 2012 has been a year long face wax package from European Wax; standing appointment every TWO weeks and I still have to pluck in between! I’m fortunate at 55 that my knees are good and I get out and walk 4-5 miles a day (love my No Calif weather!) but let’s talk about the neck/shoulder bursitis from all of those years moving a mouse around my work computer…ye gads! My Dr commented that you can’t even see my right clavicle because my right shoulder slopes down lower than my left. Getting older is not for weenies. The grandkid gig though? Heaven! Leaving for Texas in the morning for a week with the littles (5 & 6 oldest GS is 14!) and to help my youngest prep for baby #3 due in May along with a Duty Station move to Georgia 3 weeks before her due date. Maybe the chin hairs are not so bad…I couldn’t fathom 26 and three kids under 6.

  32. #36
    Kathleen S

    Thin skin, too. Shows off the crepe skin so nicely. And I come from a family of age spots. My smile’s still in good shape though!

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