As a 40 something, I don’t know about you but I find that I have started to care much less about things than I used to. I’m not just talking about whether I do the weekly shop at Morrissons or Tesco which in actual fact is a grown up chore that leaves me wanting to poke my eye out with a compass on a regular basis at the mere thought, but important stuff that a younger me would have spent precious time concerning myself with.
I had a very thought provoking conversation with a 20 something lady the other week who reminded me very much of myself all those years ago and I have her to thank for this article! It was a warm day and she had on a pretty summer dress perfectly suited to the one sunny day that we managed to achieve this year, but when I complimented her on how nice she looked instead of taking the compliment she began to show me what could only be described by my 40 something self as a feint almost clear line running just under her upper arm.
“Look at that, isn’t it awful” she said, I was a little worried at that point that I had missed exactly what she was trying to show me but as it turns out, I hadn’t “Its a stretch mark” she whispered with horror. This confirmed that we were indeed talking about the line that pretty much required a magnifying glass to see that I referred to earlier. The feint intruder opened up a line of communication that to be honest, initially left me rather baffled. In front of me was a young, healthy woman with a job and good prospects yet I could tell that she saw much more into the mark under her arm than in my opinion, it required.
Now, I could have gone in strong and showed her the mammoth craters that I have etched onto my tummy after carrying and birthing 2 amazing humans but you will be pleased to hear that I didn’t opt for that approach, instead I gave her the benefit of my new found wisdom and in the nicest way possible began to fill her in on what I now describe as the 40’s phenomenon!
There seems to be a sudden unexplained shift in what we used to care so deeply about later on in our lives, like a detachment occurs from certain matters and feelings that we would harbour in our younger years yet become completely irrelevant later on. It got me thinking, what was responsible for this change, science perhaps or just a natural way that we evolve as humans?
One explanation could be that once we hit the mid season of life, we have a waning tolerance for drama, gossip, and unnecessary conflicts. I definitely find that where once would be drama now just warrants a good cuppa, I just don’t have the energy to invest anything other which I suppose naturally comes with age so that could possibly explain the science part.
As we age, we also gain experience and become much more willing to look at the bigger picture, this enlightening perspective can lead to a greater sense of acceptance about more trivial matters that may have previously caused concern,
I also find as I get older that I have a much clearer understanding of my own identity, literally warts and all. After over 30 years of dieting I find myself heavier than ever and realising that the size label in my clothing is probably one of the things that I can now honestly say I care least about whereas my younger self wasted so much time worrying about this exact subject. I find this one of the most liberating experiences that I have ever felt, I guess some would call it freedom, I no longer care what others think or what they might say and now would never feel the need for approval from anyone but myself which could explain how we naturally evolve into a much more authentic version of ourselves.
Either way and whatever the explanation, I feel that its something that we should be shouting from the roof tops to anyone and everyone who will listen.
When I think back now to how much time I personally wasted, it seems pretty unthinkable that the younger generation of today still continue to follow the same pattern when they should be concentrating on the aspects of their lives that truly brings them happiness and forget about everything else because inevitably, it seems that whether they like it or not, it eventually comes to us all regardless so why not get the benefit sooner rather than later.
I certainly wish I had, without doubt I feel that I robbed myself of the opportunity not to sweat the small stuff for far too long, how about you?