Why for me, forty is only the beginning...Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net
In a little more than six months time, I shall be turning forty. This is often seen as a “milestone” of sorts, and often not such a positive one at that! “Middle-aged” is an accurate but a little frightening “tag” that have been attached to being “forty”.
However, upon contemplating and digesting the positives that come with age, I thought I’d share a few with other readers, who may relate to these. I’d be interested to know if other readers and writers have had similar experiences.
1. Learning to just “let go”. Whether the realisation of life’s brevity, or a weariness upon discovering the reality that is one’s ineptitude at “solving the unsolvable”: life has become simpler. There is a lessening of the intensity of feelings that seems part and parcel of the painful undulations of joy and sorrow that’s seem to belong to youth.
2. A better sense of humour. As the shortness of life becomes increasingly focal, sometimes it just is not worth it to take life too seriously.
Learning to laugh has lessened depression, anxiety and helped me adopt a more accepting outlook.
3. Refining of, and prioritisation of one’s own personal value system . There is a greater urge for me to live an authentic life. There is also a major dimming of the urge to prove myself to peers, if it cannot coexist harmoniously with these values.
4. More experience. As a natural progression from learning from one’s mistakes and successes, it follows that if you have been around longer, you have accumulated more of both of these under your belt. This experience can serve as a more solid platform than you might have had in your youth for learning more quickly.
5. Greater patience. I still have a long way to go, but through countless experiences I have learned that anything worthwhile takes time. As a result, there is greater enjoyment of the fruits of perseverance.
6. I forgive myself and others more easily. I don’t know about others but as I become older I am more aware of the utter frailty that defines being human – we are capable of foil and folly as well as great wonder. I try to see beauty in everyone and again realise, life is so short: not forgiving may be something I regret. Forgiving oneself is necessary to move on: you can’t be in two mental places at once.
7. I Love more. This is related to a more stark consciousness of my value system (which I often still stray from) and realising it’s the people I love that make life worthwhile.
I am ready to embrace the next ten years with open arms and hope further insights will continue to enhance the quality of my life, and the contribution I can make.