According to a post I read on Facebook during the week, I am in my ‘Midlife’. In a matter-of-fact way the page stated, ‘Now is the time to grieve the loss of any unrealized dreams from the past and prepare your body for the next stage of life’. Sigh….at 42, true, I’m no longer a spring chicken, though I admit I was disturbed at the implication that it was time in my life to change down a gear.
Given the opportunity to be 20 again, I would study journalism and make a profession out of creating art though literacy. How fabulous to have the creativity and depth that are assumed character traits of the masters of the written word, synonymous with my identity! Certainly being formally recognised as a Writer would have changed the way I was perceived, the people I would meet, and the relationships that I entered into, wouldn't it?
Pre-40, I wish I had loved myself more: my looks, my weight, my attitudes, my flaws, my quirks…..all of it! I wish I had been able to articulate what I felt in a heartfelt way, and made myself more vulnerable. I would listen to my gut instinct and not be so influenced by anyone else…….Maybe with the exception of my parents, who were, dare I admit it, usually right! I would have put more energy into productive endeavours, rather than the angst I put into my love life or what I should wear.
Upon reaching my 40th birthday, differing from the opening statement on ‘Midlife’, I decided that it wasn’t too late to give myself the opportunities I didn’t have in my youth…..the things I spent my 20’s assuming I would do, then my 30’s feeling resentful that I hadn’t done. I stepped forwards into the unexplored terrain I had buzzing inside my mind and joined Mairangi Writers Group.
So, new to micro-managing the words I opt for, the skills I have acquired through collaborating with an exceptionally talented group of writers has had vast implication on the way I communicate. These days, I analyse the outcome of the words I choose prior to using them and I think twice about the construction of even the most casual texts or emails. An unfortunate side effect for friends and family is that I find myself in the irritating habit of replacing the words they use with ones I deem more descriptive and appropriate, and sometimes I find myself finishing their sentences when they pause in search of the perfect word.
So midlife - pfffffff….I believe I am in my prime, in pursuit of life rather than letting go of unrealised dreams! Now instead of thinking ‘Life begins at 40’ are the lyrics to a very cheesy 80’s song, I see how profound the person who coined that saying really was! – Sage-like!