Wednesday, September 15, 2010

On turning 40 ...

Okay okay it should actually be on turning 41.Well, why I remembered it today is because I am getting my Reading glasses today. I still remember when my father started wearing glasses. He seemed OLD. So am I old now? Well though I don't feel old, there are surely some imperceptible changes and some not so imperceptible changes in me. So onto the process of aging....

For a start, the hair starts greying at the temples and you need to dye your hair once every couple of months. Not only children, even college going kids(?) start calling you 'Aunty' and the word does not echo all around you, like it does in the advertisement for an hair dye. All these days you thought going for a walk was only to stay in shape, but now you realise that it is to keep blood pressure and diabetes at bay, if it is ever possible.

Then when you talk of being old, your peers, probably conscious of old age creeping on them too, react very strangely - "Come on, it is all in the mind. You are quite young. You don't look forty" And one good friend Jayanthi said "Eh let us keep it this way. Forty is not old. Fifty is. And then when we move to Fifty, we will keep Sixty as old." Can you think of Moving goalposts better than this.

Some very subtle changes in the body remind you that you are aging and it is better to come to grips with it. You no longer merit a second glance from good looking guys :) though it seems odd initially, you then realise what liberation that is. It actually feels great to be sort of invisible while in the public domain.

Does all the above mean that I am giving up on life for good? Hell, no. If anything, I am more alive than ever before. I feel all my pleasures much more intensely than I ever felt. I relish every small happiness that comes my way. I live more....I laugh more...I experiment more.... Now that I know how mortal I am, I don't try too hard to live a perfect life. I don't try to pack everything in my daily schedule. I have kind of learnt to let go, just flow along with life and at the same time be aware of what I want from life and make sure that I get it. I no longer need to prove anything to anybody and whatever I do, it is only for my happiness and that is invigorating.

So 40 is not all that bad. Neither in the passions of youth, nor in the aches and pains of old age, 40 actually feels good. And so you have a choice - of aging gracefully and at peace with oneself or entering old age kicking and screaming just as you entered school reluctantly. Either way it does not matter much - time ultimately claims you - your body first and your mind later, if you are lucky. A reminder then to live lift to the hilt .....

7 comments:

Balu said...

I am travelling, so I am not able to comment my thoughts on this topic which would be very very long I will liesurely get back again on this topic

jane said...

welcome to the club of fabulous forties. i feel this is the right time to look back with all the understanding u have now and look forward to a phase of life which is funfilled, meaningful, liberated (as noted by u) doing worthwhile, like reading non fictions, thinking of contribution to society, seeing our adolescent children growing,etc. u have the wisdom of 40's now and also the youth to have fun. Is int forty a great age dear?

mesmerised said...

u are a star!! like balu, this entry had million things triggered in my mind, i have summed it all in the first line. here is a quote for u :)
"And as I've gotten older, I've had more of a tendency to look for people who live by kindness, tolerance, compassion, a gentler way of looking at things."
-Martin Scorsese

Balu said...

Had some time to write on this topic, will not be rich in language as yours, but managed to communicate. Read at
http://balu-rational.blogspot.com/2010/09/in-4ts.html

krishnakumar said...

No. 40 is not at all old. Take it from me. I have been there 4 years before. Anyway welcome to the club.

prema -just sharing my thoughts said...

hai, dont worry about being 40 we are old enough to enjoy the pleasures of the youth and wise enough to understand the old... lets not bother about the number 40 as Shoba DE rightly said - on turning 60- its after all a number .Our figures do keep us happy... let us enjoy...

jane said...

hai.ijust entered this club and jayanthi made me read this. i love ur penultimate para on this topic. i think i have started to be like that in my late thirties itself. but i think 40 is only a number. let the number be anything. we still feel younger day by day. i loved the way u have said this on behalf of everyone.
prameela