I turned 40 recently and I have to admit, it came with a lot of soul searching and wondering. Have I accomplished everything I always pictured myself doing at this age? Am I living a fulfilling life? What makes me truly happy? What is the definition of fulfillment? I also realize that time is running out and that it is precious. Am I allocating my remaining time to right people and to the right causes? I am still grappling with these thoughts and looking for clarity in my life. I blinked and the last fifteen or so years of my life are gone. No one is guaranteed tomorrow so to be able to have made it this far is a blessing indeed. I like to joke I’d rather be old than the alternative. Society says women should downplay their age and act and look twenty five forever. That I should start covering my grays, fight the wrinkles, tuck and lift my body parts. There’s nothing wrong with a youthful outlook in life. The problem happens when we fight who we actually are. We need to embrace our older, wiser selves. Having survived the bumps and bruises of life has taught me lessons and patience that my youthful self could never have known. I am looking forward to my future years (God willing) with a little more introspective view. Not always living to please others. Not always having to be the loudest to be heard. Building on better, deeper, more meaningful relationships. Reaching this point in my life has been an amazing journey and especially because I have been blessed with amazing family and friends.
“Forty is a most beautiful age for both men and women. Did you know that in mystic thought forty symbolizes the ascent from one level to a higher one and spiritual awakening? When we mourn we mourn for forty days. When a baby is born it takes forty days for him to get ready to start life on earth. And when we are in love we need to wait for forty days to be sure of our feelings.
The Flood of Noah lasted forty days, and while the waters destroyed life, they also washed all impurity away and enabled human beings to make a new, fresh start. In Islamic mysticism there are forty degrees between man and God. Likewise, there are four basic stages of consciousness and ten degrees in each, making forty levels in total. Jesus went into the wilderness for forty days and nights. Muhammad was forty years old when he received the call to become a prophet. Buddha meditated under a linden tree for forty days. Not to mention the forty rules of Shams.
You receive a new mission at forty, a new lease on life! You have reached a most auspicious number. Congratulations! And don’t worry about getting old. There are no wrinkles or gray hair strong enough to defy the power of forty!” – Forty Rules of Love