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To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am. -- Bernard M. Baruch

>> 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...?

5 comments:

Lance 7 December 2009 at 11:47  

Mimi,
Well, how about that! I just turned 40 about a month ago. So, I CAN relate to what you are saying.

I don't feel 40. And I still feel like a kid. And sometimes I am lost and not sure if I'm making the right choices. The difference is that today, I am okay with that. I am okay with who I am, and that I question life. And I very much feel a sense of "life is now".

Mimi, your writing here today is beautiful. I really mean that. This is so touching what you have written and shared. It feels deeply personal...and it touching my heart in a special way today.

You shine so wonderfully...

MindFul MiMi 8 December 2009 at 15:45  

@Lance: Thanks for your true and honest comment. I have come to realize there is an age to feel and know certain things. I am ok with occasionally being lost too :-) I am also ok with who I am. I don't like the reflection in the mirror every day (especially on bad hair days - it's a woman thing!), but the I know it will be better the next day. And if not, I'll just stop looking :-)
Thanks for being such a regular visitor.
M

Akemi 9 December 2009 at 23:15  

You know, I really don't remember when I turned 40. And I just cannot believe the age on my ID card.
... this is the secret of staying young, you know ;)

Blessings,
Akemi

Tim 10 December 2009 at 06:36  

Hi Mimi:

Happy birthday!! As someone who just turned 40, I'm here to say I don't have it all figured out and that I (thankfully) still feel young. This was a great post and I love the fact that you've spent so much time creating...I bet that, along with your family, is a fountain of youth for you.

Thanks for sharing your feelings at this interesting time in your life...I know what you mean, middle age?

MindFul MiMi 10 December 2009 at 14:30  

@ Akemi: Thank you for visiting. I am so glad many people seem to think like me. It's good to know I'm not the only kid out there :-)

@ Tim: Thank you! Creating is the best! Whether it's a painting for our living room, or just some splattering with the kids. It's all good :-)
I know exactly what you mean :-)

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