Mar 25, 2023

40s - the decade of reinvention

 D: "1, 2, 3, 4.......Mummy, you have many strands of white hair"

She starts to pluck them one by one.

Me: "It's hurting, don't pluck, ma"

D: "I don't want my mummy to grow old"

Me: "aww, it's not possible, dear!"

Physical changes like greying of hair are the obvious ones D notices. But as I observe myself in the past 1.5 years, I realize that the 40s is the decade of awareness and acceptance.

The slightest mental turbulence immediately manifests in the physical body.

In the 20s and 30s (to a large extent), the body is much more accommodating to the torture it has to put up with - overeating, unhealthy food choices, sedentary life, poor sleep, negative thoughts, and habitual reactions.

In the 40s, the body tends to become a little less forgiving. Awareness about our daily choices becomes even more important in this decade, if not prioritized in our 30s.

The effect of our thoughts and feelings reflects in the physical body so rapidly. Processing, modifying, and realigning them to our nature is only possible with awareness.

To live in a state of awareness, slowing down and being present in the "present" are the only two ways.

A completely slow life, though desirable, isn't practical in today's times. It is even a luxury if one can do so.

But we can certainly bring in pockets of slow living in our daily lives, that make us feel grounded and grateful.

For many of us, including myself, weekdays are quite challenging to find such pockets of slow time.

But I make sure I deliberately plan such "slow" activities that I enjoy during weekends.

My weekend mornings begin with brewing a cup of chai that I slowly sip and enjoy while reading a book, with W sitting on my lap. This ritual is for 30-40 minutes, without any hurry.

I prepare a slightly elaborate lunch at the pace I'm comfortable with (no multitasking, no prior menu planning). Whatever I feel like cooking (provided the ingredients are there), I just go with the flow.

Saturday afternoons are reserved for a post-lunch nap.

If I feel like stepping out of my home, I usually plan to visit either a temple or a bookstore. I find it quite relaxing in either of these places.

In our 40s, it is surprising how our priorities and interests change. It is a ripe time to reinvent ourselves.

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