>> 7 December 2009
She is turning 40 next week.
She has been reflecting about what that number means. Whether it should mean anything at all.
It is different from when she turned 30.
Then it was all about finding the man of her dreams or not, about ever having babies or not.
She had made her peace with a life without them.
Until she met the man and had two lovely babies.
Now it's more about finding the right balance between work and family.
About a purpose in life that has to be more than just a 9 to 5 job in sales.
About all sorts of forms of creating: painting, writing, photographing, educating, combining creativity and charity, creativity and the corporate world, and potentially turning all that into a business.
She does not feel 40. She didn't feel 30 either. She never really felt her age.
Forty is middle age isn't it?
She doesn't feel like she's in the middle of her life.
She is a wife, responsible for love, laughter and support in a partnership.
She is a mother of two, responsible for their lives, their education, their happiness, their well being, their health.
Somehow she still can't believe that.
Somehow she still feels like a kid - even more so now that she has someone to jump around with.
Somehow she still feels like a teenager - though she is no longer lost or insecure (well, not that much anyway).
She wonders whether other people feel like this too.
Or whether they have it all figured out.
Forty doesn't seem old all of a sudden. Maybe 55 is when you start to be old?
She feels comfortable, at ease with herself.
She has figured out that life is about the journey, not about getting there.
She has learned that the now is all we have.
She has experienced the positive impact of complaining less, of intending more.
It doesn't always work. She doesn't always manage.
She has a nervous breakdown or a crying or screaming fit from time to time.
The difference at forty is that, instead of hiding and feeling sorry for herself for a week, instead of blaming her life on other people, instead of thinking this is the end of the world, now, she accepts it, notices it, learns from it, forgives herself and gets up again the next day.
What did you realize when you turned 40? or 30? or 50? or...?