It seems (and is) a little melodramatic on my part, but every time I complete another year of life, it gives me that feeling of finitude.
The other day I was in the hospital doing routine exams and that fated patient’s bracelet with full name and age. In mine: 43 years and 11 months. Last days with 43 years old… from now on, it’s 44. Next year, I’ll be closer to 50 than 40!
One thing I learned that at 40, the changes are really big.
Of course, for those who had children or early events, it is another matter. But roughly speaking, from the age of 40, it´s no small steps.
You get real old. Your parents are approaching the end of life. Death comes to someone close to you, relentless.
More than the fear of aging, it is death and loss. The finitude of things comes, it is certain.
It is our parents who are getting old, and thank God I still have mine alive. But we know that today is not like before. Our parents are not eternal and now, we are the protectors and not the protected ones. They are already walking very slowly, the falls come from nowhere, terrible falls. Every weekend with them is a miracle to be enjoyed and blessed.
It is our friends and brothers, who are getting white hair, apparent wrinkles, loss of vitality and yes, we mirror ourselves – we are getting old.
At least it is good to grow old with friends: we laugh at our own old age, at our tired body, at the impatience for long rides.
However, I realize that the memories and day to day of my thirties are getting more and more distant. The routine is different, friends too, interests then …
I was lucky enough to pull my mom’s side and have late white hair. My father was already gray at 30. My mother started to dye her hair at the age of 75. At 44, I had my third white hair. I’m in the middle. I never pull them out (as my mother says, if I take one, 3 are born in place. We believe!)
I have trouble accepting finitude and enjoying its melancholy beauty. It saddens me to reach the end of a trip (anxious the way I am, already in the middle of that trip). It saddens me to know that my parents are getting very old and well, they will luckily spend two or three decades with us.
It saddens me enormously that my youngest nephew will soon turn 13 and thus we will have the end of a cycle, of children in the family. No more games, talking stuffed animals and board games.
It saddens me to see that 2020 is coming to an end, and we have not yet been able to embrace our loved ones, make trips, make crazy plans, and that we are confined most of the time (this is because we are the lucky ones who were able to home while so many others had to take to the streets to survive and secure theirs).
Overcoming we always do. We are resilient. Everything passes.
But how to go through this rite of passage more smoothly and happily? Instead of the loss, celebrate a new phase as a New Year, where everything can be new and better? I urgently need to focus my mindset on this. It will be more and more frequent and the changes more and more profound.
Yeah, friends, the new 40 has changed a lot. But medicine has yet to discover how to extend life to 150 years. I’d love to. For now, only solved erectile dysfunction and pill to grow hair and nail. Time is relentless and in a little while we will reach half of our lives, if we are lucky enough to reach 100.
Therefore, we are the ones who change.
May I, and you 40s like me, have the light and wisdom to sip with gratitude and love all that we are going to pass over. It´s no smooth passage, my friends.