At some point in your life, you stop noticing how old you are. More accurately, you stop bothering about the number of candles there are on the birthday cake. Instead, we tend to notice new white hairs, creaky joints, and wrinkles.
One of the things that I've noticed about creeping past the 40-year-mark is that I have a renewed confidence about the things I do. Apart from fixing the leaky sink, faulty electric socket, or removing computer viruses, I think life has delivered me a flurry of experiences that has finally become pretty useful.
People in their 40s also tend to care less about what people think. "So, you don't like the new AWESOME home decor piece I bought for my bathroom? Screw that."
My priorities in life have also changed. I no longer care about making a statement when it is too much bother, keeping up with the Joneses, or what that guy I just furiously honked at thinks of me.
My social circle, online and offline, has also gotten smaller; I think it is only for the better. Instead of posting, reading, reviewing, checking, and then worrying all-day about something I or someone else wrote on Facebook, I've decided to limit my personal internet use to just Instagram and Facebook Page (not the usual personal Facebook. I've given that up like I've given up alcohol). It was wasting too much of my dwindling days on earth.
With my kids' feet halfway out the door, the prophecy about people in their 40s going into mid-life crisis mode is also sort of coming true for me.
Everything involving work, personal life, and family are kept in segmented compartments in my mental cabinet of life priorities. I need to take certain steps in the right direction in order to match the march of life my kids are making.
Finding someone to be with is not important to me. Instead, finding people who share my passions, love for wit, and exploration is on my cards. I am not Yoda but I seem to think a lot more like the Zen Master of Star Wars than ever before. I hate the misconceptions about it and we laugh about it...but what can say when it is the truth.
I am not afraid of being alone. I face the prospect of living out the rest of my life as a single, old lady with ten cats for company (I don't) but that does not worry me at all. I can already imagine the kinds of adventures I will do SOLO and with my kids (and their other halves - who knows).
It used to make me feel bad when a relationship or friendship ended. When life ended. But when you're past 40, these have become absolutes of life. They're the kind fractures in your timeline that you can't escape. No point fighting them.
The cheap date drunkard still lives on in me but I think has only intensified in magnitude...if that's even possible. #lol Health and family are more important to me now, compared to before; but apart from that, there's a sort of release from inhibitions that used to keep me caged up and awake at night.
While my kids still laugh at me and call me the 'the most unsavvy tech-savvy digital person on the planet", people come to me for advice or my feedback simply because of the few extra white hairs I grow every night. I won't tell them that I still struggle to change the light bulb in the toilet but I guess it's great that they value my opinion.
I just wish I remember where I park my car or placed my keys better. 🤦
There's also a paradigm shift when you're in the 40s, it is easier to find the good in something or someone. I begin to notice that I don't miss what I don't have. What I have right here, right now, is absolutely my right to have. And I appreciate that I have it. I stop focusing on people who wronged me or situations that could have turned out better, and instead, I look only at the things that went right.
In part, that had to do with the fact that, in our 40s, we suddenly face the issue of our mortality. Our friends, family and people we follow on the internet, fall sick, suffer from physical ailments, and losing their lives at unexpected junctures.
It's a reminder that that's every human being's ending. So, we better focus on the good and wonderful NOW before the chance slips out of our hands.
And if I can't continue being bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for very long more, I might as well enjoy being a little rough around the edges and take pride of being vintage.
While physically I may not be able to get up when I get down either on my knees or on squatting position, I think it's still possible now to get back up mentally and emotionally because of the grit I've accumulated. I think being stuck in a squatting position and calling out for help in the middle of the store can be disarmingly charming.
That's my take, anyway. At least someone's laughing.
At the very least, in the midst of this Coronavirus lockdown, I've got family, friends, my kids, things I need (basically), work to do, and people to spend the rest of my life with.