You know, I have heard this statement more often than I would like to admit, ”Age is just a number”. And don’t worry, I’m not about to repeat that here. Okay, so this past year I turned 40, and let me tell you, if you are thinking that it’s so far away and that you will be all ready to feel whatever that is, that you are supposed to feel when you turn 40, then you are in for a big surprise!!! Because, it doesn’t feel anything like that, at all; You just feel like your old 30- something self and the number 4 and 0, put together closely (rather too close for comfort), just takes you by surprise.
I remember when I was 26 or 27, watching a “Friends” episode where Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) creates a big fuss about turning 30. I started wondering if I was going to feel the same way too. 30 seemed so far away then (Oh we are so naïve and stupid when we are young). Now imagine turning 40…
I’m supposed to feel old and tired and hormonal and all that by the time I am 40, right. I had a picture in my mind about how I would look when I reach this age…But I don’t feel that way. Wait..something’s wrong…I am not ready yet to be forty. Come on… I don’t look forty, I don’t dress forty and I don’t even act forty (at least, that’s what I think, in my head). I’m still my silly old self. I feel like it was just yesterday that my husband and I got married and started our new life together, like it was yesterday that I held my babies and as if it was yesterday that I pacified my little pre-schooler on his first day of school and cried on my way back home. Yes it all seems like just yesterday…..
But let me tell you what it’s like to be forty for real. You feel content, you mellow down, you don’t get hassled about mundane things that easily; and you definitely feel so much more in control of your life. There is no sense of urgency and no insecurities about that house you were looking to buy and the loans that were bogging you down.
I definitely don’t miss the panic attacks I got when I was a young mother, having a nervous breakdown almost every day and all those sleepless nights worrying whether my baby is doing fine. I don’t miss wondering during those never-ending diaper changing, feeding, burping and cleaning up the vomit sessions, whether I would ever get back to work outside home. I definitely don’t miss packing those diaper bags for either short trips or overseas travel. Yup, I’m pretty sure I don’t miss them.
Now, looking back I feel happy that I had survived all that; that my kids have turned out as wonderful as I imagined them to be and that I own a house I dreamt of and about being in a job that I love and mostly being content with all the things that were a question mark and a distant dream in my late 20’s. More importantly, with kids a little grown-up, travelling and exploring has become a whole lot easier and exciting!!! And what’s more, there’s lot more room for me-time too!!! It’s a whole new world out here.
Another plus is that your friends are a sensible lot too, more practical and open-minded, which gives way to some wonderfully profound and enlightening talk sessions and delightful chats.
Yes, content, happy, comfortable in my own skin, and oh, this is an important one – not worrying about what other people think about me….these are the things I have earned over the years, by trading off my age and No, I am not ready to trade it back at any cost. Believe me when I say that no amount of reading or practicing these kind of stuff will make you the above said things. (I had read such articles when I was twenty and it didn’t make me those things, no matter how much I wanted to…..only experience can teach you); It will happen sooner or later, right about the time when you are 40; Because some things can be learnt only and only through experience.
Right now I am at my happiest, trying new things, getting back to doing things that made me happy, letting things be and adopting the “go with the flow” mantra; life is just peaceful and serene.
So, to sum it all up, being 40 is absolutely fabulous. You are going to love it!! To those who are a little apprehensive about the Big “Four O”, I just have one thing to say – “Come on over guys…..the view is great from this side”.