I really wonder what all the fuss is about turning forty! It’s just another day and another birthday and another era. It sure doesn’t feel any different from being thirty-nine and let’s face it I have had at most nine years since turning thirty to prepare for forty. So what is the big noise about hitting forty? Sure I had panic attacks some few months ago while thinking about turning forty and the attacks were so real I had physical palpitations to follow. Sure I noticed some difference in my body mostly with my sight, I would definitely be getting some reading glasses soon. Sure some of my body parts are refusing to firm up but that’s just gravity at its best.
There is a popular saying “life begins at forty’ it had me thinking ‘So what have we been doing since then? Having a picnic?’ I think the slogan should be changed to the “Hustle continues at forty” That feels rather appropriate. Forty for different people means different things. For some, it means being old, for others Midlife crisis and for some it means achievement of some sort. During my fortieth I heard a lot of comments and questions bothering on how I feel turning forty. Some even said when we were young we used to look at forty as being very far and being quite old. Well I beg to differ. Hitting forty is not only a wonderful thing, it is a tremendous achievement. There have been friends in the past whom I have loved and lost and also friends that I have found and love. There have been ups and downs, beginnings and endings. There has also been knowledge and experience, pains and gains. It is inevitably Life. And after hitting forty, it still continues. For some it is a time to rediscover themselves potentially, sexually and academically. For others it is a time for sober reflections and regrets on past choices.
How do I really feel about turning forty? I actually feel fine about it, calmness and a certain maturity has sort of crept up silently on me. I constantly find myself taking in deep breaths and acting rationally rather than on –the- spur- of the-moment. I might not have gotten all I have set out to achieve but I am rather grateful for all that I have. To me forty is a time to give thanks and to continue to show love to my loved ones, my friends’ childhood and latter friends, my associates, my colleagues, my girlfriends and my parents. It is a time to give back to the society and do charitable good deeds. It is a time to take things and each day with a little more perspective. It is a time to be closer and nearer to one’s maker and creator. When I look back to my years, I realize that even if I had wanted a different life there is nothing and absolute nothing I could have done to prevent it the way it has panned out. And honestly speaking I wouldn’t have done it any differently.
My achievements and my failures are and were solely mine and have made me to this person that I have become today. Forty is realizing that I cannot be anything but me. It is also enjoying each fleeting moment and cherishing those rare and funny times and things. It is appreciating my very best and sharing laughter whenever it finds me. Forty is the assertiveness of life.
Forty is not knowing every new kid on the block on MTV base nor knowing how to dance to ‘Shoki? But guess what I am ok with it. Forty is choosing my comfort over that stylish bandage dress and being a traitor to my high heel six inches shoes and settling for three inches. Forty is being called Madam without wincing. Forty is preferring tele Mondo series to an all-nighter at a Sunny Ade’s Owambe.
Forty is constantly craving the goodness of a fine cuisine and that occasional ice cream. Forty is legally having that glass of wine or two without regrets or permission. Forty is wondering about child-birth and the joys of motherhood in this era.
Love me or hate me, I am forty and I am me. What I am trying to say in essence is that I am forty and fine with it.