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As I bid a teary farewell to my thirties and tentatively step into my 40s. I am apprehensive and anticipating a melt down on my part but astonishingly, I am quite indifferent. After all, age is just a number, you are as old as you feel. And I do want to believe in the notion that 40 is the new thirty, though, it will sound much better if they replace thirty by twenty. But anyways, what has changed as I cross 39, apart from inability to read fine prints without removing my glasses or creating a 100 meter distance between the eyes and the prints or the loss of agility and ability and the fact that when someone says middle-aged, he actually is referring to me. What new has happened which was absent in my 20s and 30s.
The innumerable physiological changes start to show their effect. The first signs of aging make their debut. My night stand resembles a shelf of a drug store with all the possible creams for all the fine lines which has already apperared or is way too eager to make its appearance. Metabolism is slow. I just gained a fold on my tummy while writing this. But not all is downhill from here, at least figuratively.
My kids feel that 40 is a big age. My mom feels that this is my prime age. Google, my all time referral point, uses words like middle-aged, pre menopausal, for the young women like me, which definitely should be shunned from the dictionary. But what does a forty-year old think about being 40. Well, let's see.
Forty means being comfortable in my loose skin. I don't crave for external validation now. I am comfortable with my choices. Anxiety generating stressful stage in career and personal life is gone. The coping mechanism is all in place and is working.
Now, this feeling comfort has totally spoiled me. I look for comfort in each and every aspect which means goodbye stiletto and contact lenses. I chose comfort over style, way too often. ( read more often than not I resemble a homeless).
Marriage is rock solid than ever only because after 16 years of marriage we have finally discovered the speed of fan and temperature of AC, at which we both are comfortable. Using separate restrooms has also strengthened our marriage. So, in nutshell, hubby is more or less trained. He no longer forgets my birthday, he knows the difference of dirty and clean clothes etc. etc. Years of labour has finally started bearing fruits.
Kids, yes, that aspect continues to be tricky. They are growing fast, asserting their independence but still dependent for silly things. And I have started depending on them more and more for the technological glitches which life offers and for keeping myself updated with what's trending. And we do continue to fight like siblings.
By this time, life has seen so much drama, emotion and romance that a blockbuster can be made out of it. I am not advising you to do so. It's just that I realise the importance of ordinary. There is no wait for something momentous to happen, the significance of insignificant is known. I appreciate what i have, my mundane life seems enthralling to me.
I am more confident now. I know my vulnerabilities more than ever but I have also learnt to be strong in it. I know that I can't please everyone but I can be kind to everyone.
I am no longer squeamish about taboo subjects.
I have realized that super mom is the biggest myth, may be created by aliens to slowly annihilate us by the sheer pressure of obtaining the unattainable.
Teens was all about being weird, twenties was the age of idealism. In thirty I was busy striking a balance between ideal and real. Hopefully, 40 is as surreal as I think it is.
Passing time has not only aged me, it has made me more appreciative, confident, accepting and efficient. With time not only the lines on my face has deepened but my relationships with my loved ones, especially with myself, has also deepened. Each grey hair has its own story to tell. I look back at my life and realize that nothing went as planned, but everything that happened made me stronger.
So friends, enjoy your forties as the next milestone is fifty. And till now no one has said that 50 is the new twenty five.