Being 40 and a woman you could say is bittersweet. All of a sudden you know who you are, you know how you want to feel, better still, you know how you don’t want to feel. There’s a level of clarity that you reach which I guess comes with some life experience.
The phrase ‘life begins at forty’ starts to make some sense. It feels good. It’s as though everything you’ve experienced and learned in life has reached its peak, like a graduation, the teaching has come to an end and anything that you do from this point on, you’re qualified to do. You can make better decisions – because you know what you want and how you want to feel.
Decisions are easier to make these days. There’s no dithering, it’s either yes or no. You know exactly who you want to spend your time with. You know bad vibes from the good, and you’re no longer will to just settle and people please.
I’m not saying we’ve got it all worked out, far from it. All I’m saying is, life is a lot clearer, for now.
Then there’s the other side to being 40 – for the first time, you look at yourself in the mirror, inspect your face closely and say, ‘well damn, you really is 40 huh?’ There’s wrinkles that weren’t there when you were 39 and all of a sudden there’s a lot more visible grey hairs than you first thought. You have mini veins on your thighs and getting ailments that you never expected to feel any time before 60. You can no longer tolerate wheat or gluten, and have to consider that midweek glass of vino so much more than you used to.
And then there’s the hormones which are all over the place – It’s like you’re a teenager once more with your unpredictable periods, spots, mood swings – some describing it as feeling ‘ragey’, you get headaches for the first time, some days you feel anxious for no reason, and you have night sweats.
Or is it just me?