28 April 2009

the f-word

Since I entered it ceremoniously, this world of the big four-o, I've become more and more aware of a constant feeling of being on the edge - not in a nervy way but in a "teetering on the edge of a very steep precipice" kind of way (think Cathy in Wuthering Heights or the second Mrs de Winter in Rebecca just for that extra, windswept drama effect). Which is a lot more scary and quite a new sensation for me. It doesn't leave me either. Actually it just gets stronger. Things feel decidedly different to me now. Day to day things, they seem much more important, more serious and I have a very definite sense of urgency about me which suggests that I'm watching an imaginary clock ticking away while running at an increasing speed to make things happen. Even my children's comments seem more poignant to me. Probably because I'm referring back to my own childhood when I remember making the conscious and rather stubborn decision to stop counting my parents' ages once either of them had reached 40. When I hit forty I didn't think it would make a blind bit of difference, I laughed at the thought of it: "Bring it on!" I used to shout. I don't shout anymore, now I'm fairly quiet about it. All my determination and nonchalance is nowhere to be found, in its place an overwhelming sense of life and its meaning, and how precious it is and how living for today is paramount and how every second counts. That's what occupies my mind these days. I wonder if all this is normal? Fortunately I am an incorrigible optimist - so while I'm teetering up there on the edge of that precipice, my mantra 'the best is yet to come' is also ringing quite loudly in my ears. Other welcome side effects of being forty (at least for me) are confidence and assertiveness. They make life so much smoother and more enjoyable. Like I said, I wonder whether it's just me...?


Anonymous said...

i didn't shout "bring it on" when i turned 40. i had been anxious for that b-day since i was 38. talked to friends about it who had already reached that point, and everyone said "no worries". now being almost 43, i can tell you the early 40's are great. i am more happy with myself than at any other moment in my life. i wouldn't change with a 20 year old, not even for the body(they have super wide hips and more cellulite then i have now!). going towards 50 will be another thing. my hubby is going turning 46, and ain't happy about it. he still feels young at heart. luckily i know some 50+ women who still look great, seem young. so i think positiv and will follow their road. xxx,laurien

style inside said...

good for you! Reading your comments makes me feel kind of the same as you - happy with it, very happy, actually! x

Jane said...

I am approaching 50 and my feeling mirror yours. I feel that every second counts and want to make the most of every experience and not be afraid to try new things (although the fear can get greater with age)
Having teenagers makes you appreciate your time with them even more, as there is the impending feeling that they wont live with you forever.
Also there is the feeling that at last maybe its time for me to have that career I down sized to accomodate my family. I dont want any big powerful job, just enough time to indulge and spend time on doing what I love and make a living from it.
Getting older is a blessing as one has the wisdon of age and the confidence to be sure of what you want and what you believe in.

The Womens Room xx

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