Way back in the old, old days, turning forty was literally the end of your world; if you hadn't succumbed to disease or childbirth or wars or starvation or complete and utter exhaustion yet, you would soon. In our grandparents and parents day, turning forty was the end of your world, for a different reason. At forty, you crossed into old age and became a washed working woman, a faded out housewife or a dried up old maid. Whatever your situation, you were definitely headed towards high-necked blouses and sensible heels, gentle walks or swim aerobics. Not that any of those aren't enjoyable; the hard part was automatically being slotted into a bracket and expected to "act your age".
Now that I'm 40, am I supposed to act my age? How is a 40 year old supposed to act anyway? And is it any different from how a 30 year old is supposed to act, or look, or think, or feel? Thing is, I don't feel very different. I still enjoy children's literature and family movies and Disneyland. I still think cute 16 year-old or 20 year-old guys are cute. I still jump at the scary parts in horror movies and I still can't be bothered to put on makeup. I still feel shy when I find myself alone at parties where I don't know anyone, and I still get a thrill when Alfie winks at me. Oh, I suppose there's a maturity to my thinking now -- more patience, more understanding, more big picture, less short term -- but that has come gradually as I've aged. It didn't turn itself on like a switch as my age counter clicked to 40 (which was officially May 22, 6AM Philippine time, or May 21, 2PM US Pacific time).
Forty is the new thirty anyway, so reaching forty isn't the tragedy it used to be. Sure, I've got a grey hair or two. A few more pounds on my hips than I used to. A few more wrinkles. A few more aches and pains. Tragically and unbelievably, even a few more zits. But I've also got more money. More kids. More people to love. More people who love me. More experiences, bad and good, to learn from. More accomplishments to be proud of. More happy memories to look back on and enjoy. More reasons to celebrate.
Forty's not too bad.
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