I am now 40. Yes, it’s happened. It’s not a big deal, I know, except, that it sort of is.
What I mean is, that even though I don’t think it changes much, but, just by the fact that you enter another decade (and that everyone around you does not let you forget that one minor point!!), you are forced to retrospect. Which, of course, I love to do. Give me half a chance to reflect upon my life and my mind kicks into over drive. So, turning forty was hardly going to pass by without a bit of what-am-I-doing-with-my-life kind of thoughts flooding my brain.
I told myself, though, that I was not going to be hard on myself. I will think about the future with a degree of objectiveness, as much as possible. I liked what I thought. I have a lot of angst about not working right now, since I had kids late in life (older one was born when I was 34 and twins when I was 38), but, if you ask me, I would not have done it any other way. This is not to say that I do not see the merits of having kids young, there is a HUGE advantage to that. Some of my friends’ kids are teenagers and they are relatively free to carry on with their own lives, while mine are starting school! But, the big but, is that if I had to turn back the clock I would probably do exactly what I did. I lived up my twenties (which is why at forty I see little excitement in having a drink-till-dawn-dance-to-chamak-chalo party) While I was doing, what I think callow twenties are meant for – living it up, completely- some of my friends were changing diapers. Thirties were domestic, as I stepped on the accelerator big time and got married, had kids and all that.
Forties, now, will be different. While my kids are not going to grow up overnight, it will get better. I already find that I have more time. Also, I feel that I am forced to stay young – if you have three little kids you better stay in shape, both medically and mentally. So I spend my days trying to do a bit of work (have started my own web content consulting, a tiny tiny step) and alternating between playing jingle bells and Lady Antebellum on youtube for the kids (sometimes I manage to get “my song” in and play Lay Down Sally and we all jive to it). It’s a glorious time. And I wish I could silence that voice in my head and enjoy it fully. I can’t, no matter how hard I try. I have this nagging voice that says do-something-now, life’s slipping by and all that scary stuff.
So, I’ve embraced fortydom as I always thought I would – positive realism mixed with some trepidation. I like my life, and this may not be apparent to people around me (that angst tends to soar its ugly head). But I am, and maybe I keep saying it because I want to freeze these moments in a way, to enjoy the childhood of my kids and not worry too much about the future – it will get sorted out, in time. I hope.
And then there are resolutions:
Spend more quality time with the love of my life, my husband, my best friend.
Get Back to work
Listen to more music
Kiss my kids more
Be patient with my parents
Visit them more often
Get my hair straightened
Organize my papers
De-clutter my drawers
Learn to bake
Lose weight (how can that not be on the list?)
Do regular health check-ups
Write that book.
Here’s to the next decade. 40s, I embrace you.
7 responses to “The Big 4.”
HAppy birthday CM. Even I married at the verge of 30s and I cannot imagine being married in my twenties and I still dont advise anybody who cares to listen.
Thanks Sunita! It’s good to know you share my thoughts on marriage! I think it’s important to live life as a single person before taking the plunge!
Happy birthday!! I liked what you said about positive realism mixed with some trepidation 🙂
I married in my early 20s but had kids several years later (30 and 33) — very late by some standards! But I was bang-on with my peer group and now I see women (in India) as well having kids into the late 30s and I think that’s such a good trend. I think we’re all kind of well-sorted out and so much more mature at this age (well, one wishes that, anyway!!).
Good luck with your resolutions and enjoy the 40s 🙂
Thanks Aparna! Yes, I am happy doing this right now, the angst aside!
Guess, to each his or her own..
CM:Where were you? I just discovered your blog and LOVED it!! Thank GOD, Thank GOD..here I was feeling particularly shitty about the general work-kids shebang….Am going to dive right back in and read the rest of the posts…
and ho Hey, Happy Birthday!!
Hi. Thanks! I haven’t been doing much writing on my blog lately, been a bit crazy at home!
The whole “work-kids shebang” , like you call it, is so common that I think it’s one thing that unites women, across geographical lines.
Thanks for reading my blog, am going to go ahead and read yours..
Hi CM, belated birthday wishes to you and hope everything is fine at your end. I have tagged you at my blog and hopefully you can find some time to do it. Cheers!