Come, sit down, she said, her beautifully eloquent eyes kohled neatly. She looked short and young in her dress, with her hair open. I had called up this 40 something woman,a bubbling enthusiastic friend of mine, out of the blue, while passing by her home. She insisted that I drop by and I did.
As we talked I saw my friend who is ambitious and driven enough to do her bachelors and then masters in psychology in her late 30’s expressed her fears about her children’s future. She also attends swimming classes and works regularly on her vocabulary and public speaking while continuously trying to maintain the inner equilibrium with rigorous yoga and meditation.Will my children make it? The world around is difficult, highly competitive,are my kids too laid back to make the cut?
I couldn’t answer that, instead we focused on her new venture of story telling. As an animated and expressive person, she is indeed best suited for story telling. I am sure her sessions like her own self are lively and interesting.
What is it about these 40+ women,( including myself), that is making them restless, is it a sense of time lost, is it a fear of not making it, is it the desire for self-fulfillment, is it about self-worth or the need for validation?
One common cribbing we share is ‘hello, I was busy taking care of the child/children and lo! the time just flew by and I am 40 and useless now!’
As if to make good for the lost time, we, each one of us have our own bucket list. A friend of mine, though momentarily down and feeling low due to dengue, we call each other ‘dengis!’, an imaginary sisterhood of all women affected by dengue, is aspiring to go to Harvard.
A good lady friend of mine with her children graduating is aiming to do her doctoral studies.
Another friend of mine is inspired by her dream of the grand world tour and a trip to Seychelles where she will sashay in bikini, I am told!
Some body wants to just quit work and play with the doggie at home.
Yet another friend of mine is dreaming of a companion of her kind.
The ladies in 40’s now are the sandwiched generation, you see, they saw their moms toeing the papa’s line as if it was the supreme command, sacrificing self for the sake of the family. Then they see their younger siblings living all the care to the world, having more fun while growing up and their kids who give two pennies worth to their ‘so-called wisdom.’
I guess then it is this feeling of ‘wish I had known this, I would have done it differently’, I am talking of living! sort of thing that makes us, women in 40s a restless lot.
You will often find us, the women in forties, talking yearningly about missed opportunities due to self-inflicted wisdom or the lack of it, compounded by the ‘I told you so’ of the older generation.
So it goes, the vagaries of human, read, womanly fantasies, dreams or desires. But it is so true and so beautiful. With new awareness about ageism and sexism, it does not look difficult to achieve what you want even in your 40s.
I am reminded of how in an earlier time 40+ was the beginning of ‘vanvas’ and clearly it is not so now. Thank the universe for that!
Did some one say, 40 is the new 20. Perhaps it is! What say!