Yay! It’s my birthday!
And I am not getting any younger. Well, I am not getting any older too. Uh! Huh! Not me…
In some ways, I am just getting started.
My birth records put me somewhere in my 40’s, not at the far end of course, a little to the left, a little more to the left and I would be in my 30’s, so you get it? (pssstt… it’s a red herring).
Anyway, yes! I am in the F league. The maligned F word that defines and defiles a whole age group of target audience.
We are a ‘captive’ audience for anti-wrinkle face creams and hair dyes and diabetes control and body shapers and boob pushers and mammograms and BP meds. Phew! Aisa karo balmaa, tum… marjaao!
Those are the rules and the expectations set by the Vanity brigade. Doesn’t mean it’s got to be that way…
The way I look at my foray into the forest of forties…it’s been the best years of my life!!! And I mean it.
As the gates of 40’s opened, a whole bundle of fears were flushed out, and a brilliant light of freedom flooded in.
A very close friend, a young mom 🙂 recently observed, Kavita, in the last few years you’ve been quite a dare-devil.
And she had nailed it.
The 40’s brought along a different devil may care attitude. I was through being embarrassed, being a little less than expected, being wary and being sober .
I could unmask and unveil a new me, unscheduled, unplanned and ever so often. I had no reservations about my roles in life, my position or stature. And that felt liberated.
All the things I vied from a distance, never able to try on, I was suddenly able to take a shot. ‘Coz I had shed the fear of failure. There was only one thing I focused on, I want it and I will at least make an attempt to go for it.
And boy! Is that liberating! It’s like how a bird would feel in the sky… just her and the wind. She will flap her wings to get some power, then she will just float and enjoy the ride.
And so it was, the late bloomer that I am blessed to be, my forties saw me as a pre-schooler’s mom when friends my age had teenage children’s problems to deal with.
In forties, I learned to drive a car. And when I rallied down the road competitively, from Mumbai to Goa in just a few months of being road worthy, I congratulated myself unabashedly.
In forties, I came to terms with my ‘healthy’ body. I matched the length of my smile to the girth of my waist. And they both sat well on me 🙂
I found new loves and rekindled some extinguished ones. (I am not talking about ex-es and y’s, though, I did muster the courage to confess to some old crushes 😉
The new love was for being trigger happy with a camera and being confident to buys my DSLRs.
I fired my penchant for traveling and all things off beat. I trusted my body, but I banked more on my mind.
And the most rewarding was the challenge unto myself for braving the harshest of climates and toughest of treks, the Chadar trek in subzero temperatures on the frozen Zanskar river. With osteo-arthritic legs, I started trekking mountains with my mind.
My forties also brought me into the world of friends. Who says you can’t make friends as you grow older? I have made some priceless friendships on turning the F knob. Friends from so many groups — young moms, old moms, college buddies, school mates, photography friends, friends from ex-offices… Bless WhatsApp and Facebook, for all their vices, they do bring people closer.
The greatest joy the tainted period got me was the joy of writing. More and more, I learned to write for myself. I stopped thinking at every sentence, is it boring? Who’s going to read this? My comfort with being me gets penned down, or typed down. Voila, I ended up writing a big fat book, a biography! I could have never imagined I would do that one day.
But the most priceless gift of the forties is life experiences. With so many years down the gullet, I can lead my child by example. I can tell her with confidence, in the end, nothing else matters. Let there be nothing in this world that you need to be embarrassed about. Don’t hold on to your fears. They are only in your mind. Once you take them head on, you can’t even catch its tail. It’s ok to fail, it’s ok to be not enough. Be you, not in parts and fractions, the whole Integer, YOU!
So, I raise a toast to myself and to so many of my blooming forties friends, who have had a very similar trajectory as I, but, well they don’t write a blog 😉
Happy Birthday to Me!