Sunday, July 14, 2013


I'm turning forty at the end of the year.  

And I'm really looking forward to it.

Don't believe me?  Think I'm in denial?  I might be I guess.  I suppose I might wake up on my birthday this year in a pool of my own self doubts and regrets.

I do have all the usual worries about getting older and about my own mortality.  And I am feeling the burden of regret.  A sadness around the things I wish I had done, or done differently.

But somehow I have come to feel that the best way I can avoid fears around my own mortality is in fact to not be weighed down by the gravity of regret.  It cannot be changed in any event.  The past cannot be altered and the future cannot be predicted.  All we have is right now.  And right now I am looking down the lens at forty.

Mostly I am feeling like this is both a breakthrough and a relief.

A breakthrough in that I have this sense of my own authority.  Finally.  Because authority is something that I have always struggled with.  I still do, I mean it's not like the idea of turning forty instantly finds me more in control of my own life.  But the idea that I am about to be forty.  Well it has a certain command about it, doesn't it?

I mean forty.  It's old enough that I can trust my own opinions.  Trust that I have learnt enough about myself and the world around me that I can afford to stand up for those opinions.  I no longer have to defer to the opinions of others.  I need not assume that others might know something I don't.  I can safely say that I have been around long enough to understand how things work and what they mean to me.

And a relief in the sense that I feel more sure of myself.  More certain of what I want to do and that I'm okay to just do it.  No need to care at all what anybody else thinks.  No need anymore to ask for permission or approval.  No need to worry if I'm the only one who thinks it's good idea.

It's a relief as well because despite the aging process and the constant creep of mortality I feel more at home in my own body.  This is a beautiful legacy of pregnancy and childbirth.  I no longer need to reprimand my body for not looking the way it might.  It produced life.  Twice.  It's done it's job beautifully well.  And if I'm really as grateful as I think I am, I should spend the rest of my life repaying it by treating it well, feeding it well and telling it how amazing it is every single day.

All of this is a very liberating feeling.  It's a nice little sense of fuck it I'm (nearly) 40.  And I like it.  In fact I think that's going to be my mantra next year.  And it's going to help me give myself permission to do the things I want to do.  Because if not now, when?

Because at forty no one is watching.  And if they are who cares?  I am just getting on with my own stuff.  And I am so much less concerned with the judgements of other people.  It really is wonderful to be seceding from the opinions of others.  Wonderful to be communing more with my own desires and objectives.

For me there is something wonderfully autonomous about forty and I think I'm going to like it.  Yes, I think I'm going to like being forty very much. 

Are you at peace with your age?

Listen to: The Beatles Birthday

Image Licensed Under Creative Commons