Things to watch for when you turn 40
Let me start by thanking you for saying/ thinking/ being shocked at me being 40. My mirror doesn't think so either. 😁
I appreciate every single one of my special gangsta babes out there who boosts my confidence with her compliments.
All 5 of you including my sister!
Hahaha. Big pack huh?😂.
Ok so here's the thing. All the ladies we heard growing up, about how 'Life begins at 40'? They got it right.
I'm telling you! There's a freedom that comes with the new age threshold. I don't know how to explain it better than give you some examples of what I mean.
There's a slight shift in attitude.
I'm saying slight, but it could be drastic for some and maybe not so much in someone else.
But there's certain steel to my spine now.
And I have no time for BS.
I was speaking to a gf the other day and telling her how my new frame of mind seems to be " oh you don't like this about me? It has been nice knowing you. Byeee".
I feel like those days of trying to be in everyone's good books seem so tedious to me now. And life has taught me that someone, somewhere, is always going to have a problem with you.
Think about it. Suppose you're a nice neutral sweet kinda person. Say your attitude is akin to turning a blind eye so that you needn't confront anyone. Or "it's not my problem" is your motto.
And this really works for a lot of nice people I know.
They're Everyone's friend.
Except they don't have my respect. Too selfish for my taste. I'm friends with them socially, but I don't necessarily like them.
See what happened there?
They're literally well-liked except for some hard nut who decided that she doesn't like that attitude.
So it doesn't have to be right or wrong. It's just the way things are.
Someone will always have a problem with you.
Now there are two ways to deal with it.
You can stay captive to that pressure. Just twist and turn and bend over backwards and try to please everyone and still come up short.
Or you could take a chance and expect people to respect your choices. But this carries the risk that you might lose said, people/friends.
Personal Note: I have taken the risks and found friends that respect or at least love me enough to not like my choice but still support and love Me for me. And I do the same for them. It's a relationship currency.
Lost some good ones along the way too, but oh well 😋.
Also, please don't misunderstand me. I am still an advocate of the honour culture. I'm talking about breaking up with toxic expectations and to practice peace.
So if it's a horrid aunt that causes you to be horrible too: Move away. Do it with dignity and grace. From a place of self-preservation, not an attack on the other person.
Taking care of your emotions and your mental health is also part of what we've been reading since we were kids. Sadly we're not taught this angle.
Now re-read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
New International Version 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies.
Not giving in to human manipulations seems like a step in the right direction. We don't have time for games people. Life is happening too fast and there's much to do!
Intentionality has begun to set in.
And this is by far the nicest part about me these days.
I think God has been teaching me this surely and thoroughly through a close girlfriend, through a prayer partner, through devotionals and also preachers. I mean I can't ignore all the signs, can I?
I've been learning that as a Christian, my stewardship has to be beyond my 1/10 compulsory tithe.
My stewardship is in how I live. It's in what I choose to buy and what I choose to not.
It's in making small, intentional changes to my lifestyle. And in trying to make up for the things I can't afford to.
It's in buying products that are made with the aim to be safer for our planet. It's in switching off additional lights around the house, to bring down consumption.
It's in making sure that my kids are learning how to be good humans with sustainable practices and not just be well educated.
To teach them to be conscious and to make conscious choices for themselves and others.
My stewardship is in loving my pets that God has blessed me with. In making sure that they have a good diet and are loved and healthy.
My stewardship is keeping myself updated about another human being's social situation. Praying for people is not the cheapest thing in the world. It's not empty words when done right. It's standing before God and pleading for someone else. Selflessly. Humanity being the only agenda.
I've been learning that there is a symmetry to my life and parts that can do with pruning and parts that could be better highlighted and worked on.
That life is more than just meal planning according to some diet plan and that my shampoo shouldn't be bought just based on fragrance.
So step two was to unlearn some bad habits and pick up good ones.
Ex: Old bad Habit = Buying according to the discount offered.
New Habit = Buying according to the ingredients listed. Safe on skin and the planet would be best.
Intentional Living is a daily practise until it's the only practice.
Personal Note: I would LOVE for us all to be on an eco-warrior drive ok? Believe me. If I could, I wouldn't buy high street fashion or regular soap at all.
But practically speaking, unfortunately, it's not possible yet.
An eco-friendly, completely sustainable, Indian, handmade kurta costs upwards of 2900 rupees.
That is not affordable for most people as a regular choice.
So I'm trying the next best thing that'll work for me.
I try to thrift when I can, swap where I can and for special occasions I do buy high fashion, but make it last longer and also try to upcycle.
Sustainable living and how I'm trying to make it work is a whole different post and I will get to it soon :).
The bottom line to this being that living intentionally and making choices that nurture God's creation is part of my stewardship learning and system now.
My physical appearances matter. To Me.
Ok, so maybe those words are misleading 😃.
I mean that in my head I've begun to be conscious about my looks. Explaining further, it's become important to me that I feel good about how I look or dress or do my hair. But I'm doing it for me to start with.
It coincided with the whole lockdown and how we had nowhere to go. But staying in became synonymous with staying unkempt and it started irritating me. I'm so grateful that this is my particular peeve. It might sound frivolous, but this comes naturally to me. I've spent a few years cashing in on my ability to put pretty things together and in fashion and it makes me happy.
If we're friends on Instagram, you've probably seen my lockdown fashion journey.
Do what makes you happy right?🌷
So anyway, since turning 40, I've begun to be more careful about my skincare. If you're in your sniggering 20s, I'll be waiting to chat with you in a few years, enjoy your baby face while it lasts😏😋.
I've also started a new hair regime called the Curly Girl Method. If you have naturally curly hair, please read about it. I'm loving my hair now!
(More on my CGM journey in another post. Promise 🙃.)
But the point is not that I'm trying to make myself into something I'm not. I'm just trying to be nicer to the body I have.
My workouts are not sculpting me (as I'd hoped), into some petite bombshell, but I'm trying to be healthier at least.
I may not always have the patience/time to go get Gel nails every 15 days, but it's not an excuse to slip into chipped, flaky nails either.
I'm liking the light freckles that are popping up on my face. The laugh lines slowly making an appearance. And while I'm not trying to compete for Dumbledore's wizened features nor am I willing to grow out the grey in my hair just yet, I'm more comfortable now in my skin. Comfortable enough to work around or accentuate what I like and to ignore and more importantly, not beat myself up over what I can't help. I'm trying to work around the love handles and still be stylish.
I'll cover my greys but with safer products.
Do you get my drift?
I'm liking and celebrating Myself.
The bittersweet truth is that my kids are becoming beautiful teens.
This is the worst!💔.
Me growing older means that so are my kids. And more independent. And it means that I'm now the irrelevant adult to some convos.
I don't get some of their music choices. I don't get some of their jokes. I mean I understand them, but they're not funny to me.
And some of mine aren't funny to them.
Sometimes I say something that sounds cool in my head, only to have my kids roll their eyes at me.
Thank God my kids aren't mean to me. I mean if they called me an idiot to my face that would hurt.
It's God's grace that I'm not disconnected from my kids 😅. They both make the effort to chat with us and we're definitely very involved in their schedules and their emotions and their lifestyle choices.
We have vocal, frank and sometimes loud convos about most everything under the sun. And for this I'm grateful. I can't emphasize enough that it's a blessing to have the relationship I have with them.
And yet, there's a part of me that knows that something has shifted.
Maybe it's that once a baby boy, he's now head and shoulders above me physically.
It could be that once my baby girl, she now has mini woman needs.
And it's all beautiful.
And it breaks my heart.
That's the other thing: I'm easily emotionally stirred about my heart matters.
I think this can be considered a downside to my chronological journey.
The passions and tears flow a bit more easily. I don't know if its the age, or the unusual year and it's toll, but it's a tricky path for me and mine. There's a reason my husband has extra patience. God knew he needed it!
Don't worry, no hair pulling or any destructive scenes when I say passionate.
I just mean that the other side to not caring two hoots for the unnecessary means that the necessary becomes super important to you:). There's a thin line between loving and clinging and clingy right? And it can take a toll on people sometimes.
So maybe let's just blame the hormones for this one! Hahaha. Played the woman card after all didn't I?
But seriously, prayer and saying sorry is the key for me.
So a balance is achieved, but sometimes at the price of a few tears or some stomping. But I get there. And I give myself points for that.
And do I need to add, that I'm more vocal? I mean you have been reading what I have to say, up to this point for the last 8 minutes haven't you?😁
To you, this probably sounds like a handful, but it's a symmetry.
I'm not there yet, but it's not just a mundane day in and day out rote.
I can see some masterpiece unfolding as my life plays out. I really do. Maybe it takes as many years to even start seeing it.
So what to watch for when a woman turns forty?
A beautiful wild creature rediscovering herself with the freedom that comes with that milestone birthday.
I'm picturing a fiery dragonfly.
I'm picturing a colourful tangle of ropey roots.
I'm picturing a beautiful midnight dance on a moonlit beach.
I'm picturing rows of vibrantly delicate paper lanterns.
I'm picturing a table overflowing with rich shades of flower bouquets.
I'm picturing a flamboyant storm.
I'm picturing Me.