What It Meant On Turning Forty

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We all age at some point. A few people managed to stay fit just about the same as their youth. But some might not. The 20s and 30s flash through right before our own eyes. And just like that, you’re turning forty, entering a new phase of life. In wisdom you are supposed to feel “life begins at forty”, or some articles would elaborate on how females tend to gain their highest self-esteem in this decade of fortyish.

The graying hairs that seem to be more persistent, re-appearing themselves racing with your last week-dyed hair.

From another perspective, reality presents you with harsher things. Physical aging can lead to anxiety. Constant clues that are showing how your metabolism is not the same as it used to be. All comparison to your younger self just flashed back. Energy tends to wither faster in the evening. Not much stamina for luscious drinking parties or staying up late with the kids on Saturday night. The graying hairs that seem to be more persistent, re-appearing themselves racing with your last week-dyed hair.

After all, the incidents here and there, harassing us with fears in the past of growing up, here we are still alive and well. Dare we say now in the future, what is that fuss all about?

As a way of making peace, there oughta be war first inside our conscience. 

Oh, but it is always a fuss when it comes to losing your comfort or security. It always will for most of us, women. As a way of making peace, there oughta be war first inside our conscience. There have to be questioned. Agitated feelings disrupt your sleep and make things even worse, gradually before it comes down to submission. However long that is.

In the second year of the covid-19 pandemic, just right after the first shot of vaccination, I realized that I haven’t been keeping up with health as much as I should. Sure, I exercise now and then, but that was no more than 5000 steps a day. I can’t swim due to a lot of covid restrictions. Even when the pool was open, I was reluctant on doing it. Moreover, there is zero medical checks up, ever since 5 years ago, none other than the usual blood work.


Small habits are never really small

List all your worries and start writing what you can or can’t do about them. This is the beginning of a change. Be aware and then be brave to make amends. Taking B complex supplements, a more routine exercise, or cutting back on gluten are tiny routines of it. But formed together, the regimen became a new power tool for your life. Sleep deprivation, making friends with anxieties, and demising self-care routines are the absolute key to a disaster in your life now. Though we might look like we can still maintain that toxic lifestyle, our physique is actually “whining” about it in unnoticeable ways. Such as hormonal imbalance, and the decrease of our immune system. 


When your body sends you signals, pick it up

Don’t push yourself beyond the limit. When your heel is” crying” with pain, stop forcing it to wear uncomfortable shoes just because you want to look good.

At this age, nothing is worth the pain.

Take a nap when your eyes need to shut down for a bit during the day. Taking caffeine to hold it up will only deprive the time needed to regenerate new healthy cells. At this age, nothing is worth the pain. Let it rest.


Embrace your new hairdo, even when it is graying

You’ve run a few numbers, and you made it up to here, even amid a dangerous pandemic. And now you’re complaining about gray hairs, the obvious gift that goes in one package with the “wisdom look” from God. You might wanna start dying it, but you can’t keep it covered all the time. Like make-up, we can’t be covered without embracing our true features. Showing it is one way to do it. 


Love better, Love smarter

Nothing is more fulfilling and alive than being in love. But when you’re turning forty, finding love or feeling love is more at the slowing down arena. We want to move carefully but still have the thrill of it. Less anxious by knowing the limits, but still taking daring opportunities at the right moment. Sparks and butterflies reminisce the old times but are only secure, and can be daunting too. So, follow your heart. Our experience makes our instinct sharper and our judgment wiser when it comes to weighing the risks versus benefits. Good luck!


I know this sounds cliche, but meditate and thank me later

Not everyone feels rejoiced in the benefits of meditation. Some might even feel out of place sitting in silence for a certain time. I can assure you that at this age we can appreciate more of winding down a bit, and yes, that includes meditating. Maybe not yoga, or pilates that took up flexibility and strength in a few parts of your body, it’s all about the state of mind. and mostly about breathing normally, not on any autopilot mode of anxiety, sadness, and other things that’s been occupying your head. because it turns out your breathing pattern is not something you can continue to neglect on and on. It controls everything that circulates in your body. Occasionally, turning forty you might feel a congested flow of oxygen levels in your blood. Causing things that you do not wish to happen. 

I can assure you that at this age we can appreciate more of winding down a bit, and yes, that includes meditating

On Mayoclinic.org meditation explains that clearing away information overload can provide several emotional benefits; including fresh perspectives on stressful situations, increasing patience and tolerance, and also reducing negative emotions. Mastering the elements of meditation will lead you to a certain skill of coping with stress and pain, all the bamboozles of turning forty. The elements in order are :

  1. Focused attention. Concentrate on one particular image, object, or calming sound that is present in your place. 
  2. Relaxed breathing. This technique involves deep, even-paced breathing using the diaphragm muscle to expand your lungs. The purpose is to slow your breathing, take in more oxygen, and reduce the use of the shoulder, neck, and upper chest muscles while breathing so that you breathe more efficiently.
  3. A quiet setting. If you’re a beginner, practicing meditation may be more accessible if you’re in a quiet spot with fewer distractions. No television, other people’s noises, or cellphones. As you get more skilled at meditation, you may be able to do it anywhere, anytime.
  4. A comfortable position, calming meditative sounds, and of course, add some essential oils if it brings a sense of serenity.
  5. Open attitude. Release all judgment-straining intensity for every thought you have. Just let your mind flow at ease.

Keep in mind, that it’s common for your mind to wander during meditation. If you’re meditating to calm your mind and your attention wanders, slowly return to the focus of the meditation (object, sound, or images) 


In the end, what matters the most to your body is your comfort

Whatever the situation is, living comes with certain “baggage”, just don’t let it burden you, or even tear you apart with discomforts. For example; Constipation is one of the effects of consuming too many glutens. Don’t excavate the cravings without a good substitute. It’s time to splurge yourself on some delicious fibers and lactobacilli. Make it a good meal. Be spontaneous with asparagus and garlic as a side dish, after taking your morning greek yogurt. As probiotics and prebiotics are the power couple.

You had migraines and you hesitated to take some ibuprofen because it is against your holistic principles to stop gulping chemicals. Now the question is why would you pay yourself a good amount of torture for it? Life is supposed to be balanced. Now that you’re turning forty, get a good sleep and the wisdom to decide what’s balanced between comfort and health.

Author: Fraya

A writer and entrepreneur with profound interest in humankind research and insights. An avid coffee drinker and book hoarder. Hours and days spent in Jakarta.

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