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Feral 40s Or Fantastic 40s? My Take On This Very Interesting Time In A Woman’s Life

Posted: December 5, 2019

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The feral forties are probably the worst period of time in a woman’s life. But what if they’re fantastic forties? The author likes to think so!

More often than not, my articles are a result of my conversations with people or my observations in everyday life. I try to quote my own examples to ensure that I am not talking in the air but from my own experiences.

So it was yet another conversation that lead me to writing this article. A chat between me and my bestie about midlife ‘crisis.’ Being a woman, I could only present the female perspective and since it was a guy that I was talking to, he just agreed.

Not the pillar of support anymore

I felt that midlife crisis may generally arise among women, like me who have spent a major part of their time being there for their family. (Obviously, I cannot speak for men or how they feel about it)

Some of us might have given up our careers to do so. Definitely nothing wrong about it. In fact, our mothers and grandmothers probably did the same.

It is all a matter of priorities. And no one holds the right to judge another for the choices they make- whether it is giving up a career or trying to balance both work and home.

We aren’t needed as much

Generally, by the time we are in our 40’s, the kids are grown up, and become more or less independent. The husband has been steadily climbing the career ladder. This may also mean longer working hours, and frequent travel. The result is we are left with much more time on our hands than before.

As the kids grow, their level of dependence on the elders reduces. Their time outside (owing to studies, other related activities and friends) is more than the time they spend at home.

So while the woman of the house can never be unimportant, her position tends to slip down. From being summoned for every little thing (searching for the socks, packing the tiffin to waiting for the sun to set so the kids are back home) it goes to being summoned only for the most important ones.

The need for validation

For some of us, this extra time in hand comes as a breath of fresh air. It may mean more socialising and more fun, if there is a set of friends who can join in on the fun. But some of us may have been too focused on the family to have such a group of people to hang out with.

Suddenly, from being indispensable, one has to wait to be given time and attention, thanks to the various projects, tests and targets that compete for more attention.

To top it all, if we are educated and smart, then, at some point, it also hits us that we are wasting our talent. In some cases, I guess this may also lead to some newer friendships (or even something more) with someone who may be willing to shower that kind of attention, even if it is momentary. I don’t mean that every homemaker in her 40s will go through this or have an illicit relationship.

Dealing with the emotions

Coming back to my own self, I did go through such a phase where I was beginning to get restless and annoying about the choices that I had made. It felt odd to sit around planning meals, making shopping trips for the essentials and trying to keep the house spick and span.

I know of women who are more educated than me and still go about playing the role of a home maker very efficiently. While I was never a very ambitious person, I thought I ought to be doing something more.

Maybe it was the independent streak in me that kept wanting to do something more and carve a niche than just being a hands on mom. To top it, I had friends who loved to remind me that it was good to be starting work all over again.

That’s when I took to writing. Initially, I needed a lot of encouragement from my family & friends. I would be anxious about the response to my write ups.

But now, three years later, I know my write-ups are well received. Some of them get to the top and some don’t. But it doesn’t matter.

I may not become the next JK Rowling or Priya Kumar, but I don’t have to either. As long as I am doing what I love, it is all that matters.

Second graduation

In a talk show, I heard one of the star kids say that she made a name for herself after she was 40. So while we graduate from our college and step out in the world in our 20s, 40s could turn out to be the second graduation of our lives. A time where we can learn new things, pursue a passion. And in some cases, even make a career out of it.

We live in times where we can get most of the things at our fingertips. With a number of sites offering online courses for almost everything, one can learn or relearn about anything from the comforts of their home.

For us, the creative ones- writers, poets, artists, and musicians, social media is at our behest. We can showcase our work on various platforms. And  before we know it, we have, not only the immediate friends but strangers admiring our work too.

Social media also boasts of reading clubs and writing groups where like-minded people share their views on the online platforms. I have come across several write ups where people from these online forums meet regularly.

Age no bar

As they say age is no barrier. Sometimes it is just about taking the first step, and if there is enough passion, there may be no looking back.

If you are someone who loves to do something but doesn’t know how to start, get on to Google and search for the options related to your area of interest.

What are you waiting for? Get started with your passion and gear up to get accolades, may or may not be immediately but will be there eventually. Yes, it will be tough to juggle it with the things you are already doing.

The new found interest may suddenly seem to take a lot of time. But it is a matter of getting the priorities right and finding enough time to do things that matter.

Remember, as long as we are breathing, it is never too late to start. All we need is the passion to follow our heart and do what we like to do, as long as it not troubling others.

As William Shakespeare said ‘The world is your oyster.’

Picture credits: Pexels 

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A homemaker, a freelance writer who loves to travel and has a passion for reading.

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