09 February 2013

Forty and Proud of it...

As you can see its been a while since my last post and I have a zillion reasons for it...

Advancing age doesn't mean that work recedes - and I don't mean 'work' as in professional work - rather the pile of 'things' to be done seems to increase without one even realising it. Whatever be its source, work must be done and done in its time for it to have any meaning....

Talking of advancing age reminds me of a post I had written earlier and published on a website called 4indianwoman in October 2008. Its not available online anymore hence I repost it here, celebrating the fourth decade!!

They say it’s not polite to ask a woman her age. The answer you get may not necessarily be entirely correct! Some gallantly say that no woman is older than 35. However much we may shy away, none of us can halt the march of Time.

I did not really think much about crossing the dreaded 40 milestone. I was too busy in my ‘sansar’. Each birthday meant celebrations though I don’t remember having any parties when I was a kid but more than made up while in the IAF.

So when did this begin to hurt or rather matter?

The first brush was obviously with the first appearance of silver (not white!) in my hair. That was promptly dealt with Mehendi initially and later with more expensive (not necessarily) better tubes! You wont find many women crediting their white hair for experience- there isn’t any to! It would be more like the burgundy, black, browns or now blond!!

I managed this hurdle pretty effectively I thought. The next brush with my age came up when I went looking for a job in Pune. While I did not have an issue with belonging to the baby boomer group prospective employers certainly did as I got some really startling responses to my searches. Most seemed sceptical about my commitment. The really frank ones said what do you need to work for? This is not your age to work? Age to work? Hey I was just touching 40! Usually the person giving me this advice was someone touching 60!

Did I already have wrinkles and sagging skin? These comments forced me to increase frequency of trips to the parlour that lightened my wallet but did nothing much for my face. At least I thought not.

Any way. I managed to get a job and began working with someone slightly over half my age. It wasn’t so difficult actually in fact I think our combination worked quite well. Anyway I was not willing to get into a rat race and quit the job.

By now a couple more years had been added to my account. I joined the gym, which did wonders for my ego that had been bruised often in the age department. I found I could lift as much and more weights as a 20 year old and was certainly more flexible. Looking around I realised that most ladies of my ‘age group’ had this quality! Hooray! I guess that meant I had future bone, joint and hopefully heart troubles under control!

That’s when another enemy struck and at the weakest point! To be honest I am a firm believer in retail therapy and am an avid fan of malls, organised retail, exhibitions, stores … Fancying myself an ‘informed’ customer I always made it a point to read ingredients, expiry dates and of course MRP. Now this is where calamity struck. Silently my ocular lens and muscles had weakened and slowly but surely I found myself holding the product further and further away as I tried to read the figures and alphabets that suddenly looked like tiny black dots. Now this was a definite handicap. In crowded places besides fear of physical injury being displaced by other enthusiastic shoppers there is a real danger of misreading the digits (end up paying more) or buying expired stock (yes, I sadly discovered that glitzy shops too stocked those!).

I rushed off to the ophthalmologist and armed myself with a pair of spectacles. But that was not the end of my troubles. You see, spectacles have to be carried along and worn to be of use! Right from my childhood I had developed this concept that anyone wearing vision-enhancing eyegear was a lesser mortal. Probably arose from a staple diet of vernacular movies that showed that girls with less than ‘approved’ features or with add-ons like spectacles did not stand a chance in the marriage market!

Help in the form of husband and daughter is not always around and I gradually was forced to carry my new ‘eyes’ around. On a sober note, it made me aware how much I took vision for granted.

Now I plan to keep a separate spectacles pair in my purse and one at home.

I started writing and the Internet opened a whole new world for me. I was discovering skills even I did not know I had. In fact joy, sorrow, disappointment, success experienced over the years gave me a new perspective. They say wine gets better with age…

It took me some time but I am now quite comfortable and proud of my age. Next up on my list of to-do things is to join a dance class- obviously inspired by Richard Gere in Shall We Dance! Irrespective of external appearances, it is important to stay young and happy at a mental level. Keep yourself busy and learn something new. Age becomes irrelevant then…

I am proud to be over 40 and you should be too…



Anonymous said...

I love this post! As a bespectacled female in her forties I can relate. Although in my case, when I struck 40 I had to move from one pair of glasses to two and I never had the right pair on. I see you have signed up for the A-Z April Blogging Challenge. All the best for April. I'm looking forward to reading some great Challenge posts from a fellow forties and fab female ~ Judy

Archana said...

Thank You Judy!!