I am not in my 40s, but sometimes I wish I was. Life at 30 feels frantic - which I know is mostly all my fault - working all the time, cramming friends in where I can, sitting on boards, occasionally dating, and all the showers and stagettes that go along with friends getting married and having babies. It's joyful and wonderful and fun and meaningful and hard work and really really tiring sometimes and I need to learn to just take a break.
Anyways, my vision of being in my 40s has something to do with being settled, in the best possible way. This is, I'm sure, just as likely as my teenage vision of having it all together and knowing exactly what I was doing with my life once I turned 30, and of course, you carry your same self through life which means that unless I actually make changes I will be equally harried when I am 40, possibly with babies at my feet. Especially since this excellent New York Times article What You Learn in Your 40s calls the 40s the "rush hour of life". Great.
Here are some of my favourite lessons from this article:
- "There are no grown-ups. We suspect this when we are younger, but can confirm it only once we are the ones writing books and attending parent-teacher conferences. Everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently."
- "Forgive your exes, even the awful ones. They were just winging it, too."
- If you worry less about what people think of you, you can pick up an astonishing amount of information about them. You no longer leave conversations wondering what just happened. Other people’s minds and motives are finally revealed.
- You don’t have to decide whether God exists. Maybe he does and maybe he doesn’t. But when you’re already worrying that the National Security Agency is reading your emails (and as a foreigner in France, that you’re constantly breaking unspoken cultural rules), it’s better not to know whether yet another entity is watching you.