I am almost there! I am turning forty, in few days. And I am wondering, why Alibaba had forty thieves in his story!!! I guess number forty has been on the minds of people for ages. Even God had some plans for mother earth, when he created ‘Roaring Forties’, strong and gusty westerly winds, found in southern hemisphere, between latitudes 40 and 50 degrees. 😉
I am introspecting; and suddenly I realize that I am seriously introspecting. It’s not that I haven’t done that before in life, but I am doing it way more seriously this time. I also actively did some things on the eve of forty, which I would not have done otherwise. Some of them are funny and I kept telling myself that I am doing them in jest or for the sake of doing them; but honestly I am pretty serious about them. I got myself medically checked up. I am still little sad about that extra LDL cholesterol count, even if it is marginally high; I plotted a pessimistic excel sheet of my probable income till I turn sixty; I calculated what age my kids would be when I’ll be sixty and whether they would start earning by then or turn out like their lazy dad. 😉 I have already started eating right…..ya ya ya….not totally…but the guilt that I get after eating garbage is tad more than what I would have felt ten years ago. I have started taking my exercise seriously. I have decided to stop coloring my hair……or whatever memory of hair left on my head 😉
The original carefree…..rather careless….me…is getting affected by number 40.
I started browsing about the topic and my God, there are oodles of opinions available on Internet, about turning forty. Turning forty is far different than turning anything below forty. Obviously, it has to be, that’s the reason why I am writing a blog about it 😉 Actually turning 39 is way too close to turning 40, but still it is very different. It’s as different as being in your thirties and getting in to your forties. In your tens you are ‘oblivious’; in your twenties you are’ invincible’; in your thirties you are ‘still young’ and now that forty is so close, the word that I can think of is ‘vulnerable’…. I find myself to be most vulnerable because of the ‘work-in-progress’ nature of life. I am on my way to destination but still not there. I am definitely not old but am definitely not young either.
Today, I received a message on whatsapp, which talked about slowing down and smelling the flowers on the way etc.; and I realized that the friend who posted it is turning forty too 😉 I also had a discussion with another friend about ‘understanding people’ where she made a reference to ‘young generation’. All this made me aware that I don’t belong to young generation anymore. I am not sad about it but just blatantly getting aware of it. Being in teaching profession, I am part of varied groups, on various social media. I am also a rare fortunate, on this planet, to be in touch with my childhood friends as well as my school friends. The messages that I receive on younger groups are all about living vigorously and vulgar jokes; and the kind of messages that I receive from group members of my age are, at least, ‘forty’ percent, about life lessons and philosophical. 🙂
I am not complaining. I have lived my youth to fullest.
And I wouldn’t have written above two statements, if I weren’t turning forty…..ha ha ha ha ….!!!
So what actually turning forty means? It means that I need to be careful….careful about what I do, about what I eat, about what I talk, about where I talk, about how I talk, about my mother’s health, about my health, about retirement plans, about financial health of my family, about getting adequately insured, about ‘slowing down’, about not going for that lunge while playing as it might break some bone and bones are difficult to connect effectively at this age, about riding slow, about driving slow, about increasing my understanding, about not getting wild in anger as it may increase my ‘blood pressure’…… in short, about being who I am not.
It’s a change, which every generation endures. You are neither affected by health, to be really careful about it nor actually inclined to do so. It’s a cusp of two ages….an age of ignorance, learning, foolishness and an age of wisdom, serenity, sanity…..!
Like any change, this one disturbs the equilibrium of your life….rather the way you live. It is slowly seeping in, syncing in. It will have its share of turbulence. There shall be repercussions…. psychological …physical ….. social…!
Then there shall be peace. Peace with the aging, peace with the social implications. There shall be a sincere attempt made from my side to wipe off the word ‘vulnerable’ and extend the phase of being ‘still young’ 😉
And I am sure after a few days while playing my daily badminton…..I’ll say ‘fuck it’ and go for that lunge again and will tell myself confidently …… I’ll do it forever because I am timeless!!!
But my dear friends, I am turning forty and I seriously don’t hate it! 🙂