This Side Of 40


In two months 40 will be upon me.

I’ve asked it to hold off a bit, until I can get a few things straight, but age is pushy, bossy and waits for no one. And from what I hear 40 is the most domineering of the ages. Let’s just say you don’t want to go ticking 40 off…10 years is a loooong time till sweet, amiable 50 can come and save you. So it looks like I only have a short bit of time left to pull myself together. I want to be able to look 40 straight in the eye and say “I’m ready”.

I think when 40 shows up, it will try to entice me by likening itself to my twenty something years – brazen, daring and fun but with a fiery edge that is wiser, more confident, and extremely practical. It will show me glimpses of the 10 great years we will have together of changing the world, with the most important area being my corner where three little beings live, relying heavily on me. 40 will tell me these years will be the most important because it could very well define their futures. There will be work to do. So pay attention, don’t slack off, and for sure don’t be a baby.

At times 40 will encourage me along and remind me of all the great and wonderful things I’ve accomplished and then nag me about the the list of things I thought I would’ve done, but have yet to start. And when I’m down and out, because it was right, 40 will again tell me not to be a baby and get on with it already. I’ll then be told to stay focused, put my game face on and try not to get distracted by frivolous things that waste my time and  don’t add value. Because time is precious. I know it now, but 40 will drive it home.

40 will be brutally honest with me while pointing out the wrinkles on my face, and agreeing I’ll never have the hips or waist I had ten years ago, and then tell me to get over it. Who am I to be exempt from real life anyway? 40 will sit idly by as my hair gets more and more grey and becomes too stubborn to colour and then say – “it’s natural” – Pfft. Buck passer. But then to soften the blow, 40 will draw attention to things like my hands –  looking so much like my mother’s and my grandmother’s – and in a weird way that will bring me comfort.

I’ll be warned that 40 may occasionally scold me if I don’t start: getting to bed on time, using a proper night-time face cream, incorporating more greens into my diet, stocking up on ointments, and saving my allowance.  40 will then dispel the lies and myths 20 told me about these things and announce they are NOT actually for suckers and boring people. But 40 will also cut me some slack every now and then because it understands some people are just hardwired a certain way and life can continue without face cream.

And lastly 40, will tell me it’s time to come to the other side. I’ve outgrown my 30’s and it’s now time to head into a different phase. One that will challenge and enrich my life in ways I’ve never known. It will tell me my years spent being 36, 37, 38 and 39 were stale and slightly boring – on purpose – it makes 40 look more enticing, exciting and a little easier to accept.

40 and I may or not be friends. I think it’s too soon to tell. But if it treats me as well as some of the women I know who have grown more beautiful after making 40’s acquaintance – then I think we’ll like each other all right.

For now, I’ll busy myself on this side of 40, making the necessary preparations so when the time comes….

…I will be ready.


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