Does Life Begin at 40?

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Photo courtesy of
Merry meet! If you’re reading this, you may be a long-time friend, a newfound one, a regular reader of my something-year-old blog, a newcomer in this place, a stranger passing by or somebody who wants to be my friend and watch the world with me as it unfolds up until the next 60 years or so. Whoever you are, welcome! My cousin Nony, whom I spent most of my young life with, sent me a message early this morning. “Happy 25th birthday!” he said. We spent about 17 years of our lives together (as preschool playmates to senior high school, so yes, that much time!). I replied with a resounding “Yes, I’m 25 today!” while my alter ego hopped around the bed convinced that while the number really says 40, her heart felt like she just turned 25. Again. A Peter Pan in tank tops. And so I turn 40 today. I amuse myself by remembering once every year the fact that I was born on the third day of the third month, the third child of Antonio the third. The presence of all these threes in my life could mean something -- should mean something. I haven’t found it yet, but I know I will. So let’s just get on with this journey lest I stumble into it soon and reap whatever benefit it brings into my life.

Photo courtesy of

Does Life Begin at 40?

They say life begins at 40. “What does that mean?” Our 14-year old son asked me. “Good question,” I told him. “I don’t know the answer.” Why 40? Why not 50 or 30 or 12? When I was a child, I would feel that people who celebrated their 40th birthday were very old. One of my cousins and I agreed some years ago that back in the 80’s we felt that our parents were “aged”. Not that they actually looked {very} old, but they carried with them the kind of disposition that only people nearing the golden age had. They were serious about almost everything in their lives, and sometimes would become boring like it was a matter of course. They did things like play mahjong (the Chinese tile game), went to tedious club meetings and wore dark-colored trousers. At 40 years old, most of them also had medication for hypertension, diabetes or something else. None of this is me now, thankfully. When they say life begins at 40, they mean that people often experience a new-found energy and zest for life. Some people have vouched that they have become more loving, and more importantly, more forgiving of themselves. The long years that come before a person turns 40 could be tumultuous, yet be the best learning time for him or her. For some couples, it also sets a new stage in their lives, especially where intimacy is concerned. The kids, even if they are still in the nest, are older and more independent, so parents have more alone time for themselves. Career-wise, one has achieved what one set out to do at a younger age and is no longer concerned about being in the rat race and “winning”. According to Carl Jung, 40 is when the gradual shift in personality happens. It is when people have established their careers and families and are harvesting the rewards from the hard work done in their youth.

Photo courtesy of

Life Begins At 40 When You Want It To

My life {sort of} began unraveling when I was 30. The process that I went through before that was long, tiring and challenging. I would go through {inexplicable} periods of depression and loneliness even if I had such a beautiful family surrounding me. I could be irritatingly irritating at times and was constantly worried about everything, even about ideas and situations that didn’t exist. Anxiety was my alarm clock. I was also worried about the movement in my career and was not even sure if I liked doing a job where the salary was likeable enough, but was also preventing me from doing things I really wanted to do -- like traveling or writing stuff that didn’t fall under the marketing collaterals category. I felt like a plant wilting every day: dry, bloated, moody and dangerously unhappy. There was always this cloud following me around and it rained on me whenever it pleased. 

Stress, Moodiness, Sadness and that Mean Cloud Following Me Around Got Boring

A friend of mine who was going through a rough patch in her life called me up at 2 a.m. I listened to her between sobs as she told me how she felt her life was slipping away. She didn’t feel that she and her husband were connected emotionally and psychologically. She was about to lose her job and she felt the end of the road made a quick turn especially for her. 

“What do I do now?” She asked me. 

 I told her, “You know that you have choices in this life, don’t you? Make a choice, let go of what’s not making you happy anymore.” 

The words slipped out easily. After we hung up, I went to the bathroom and when I passed by a mirror, I stayed longer than my usual five-second wretched self-checking. That’s when it hit me. It’s not the first time that somebody has called me in the wee hours of the morning with their problems. I have been a “halfway house” for people who are depressed, sad, people going nuts in the midst of a quarter-life or mid-life crisis, who loathe life, the world and all the bad margaritas. I have told people one thing that I believed in my heart was true, and that’s about having a choice. I was the one not listening to myself.

I stared at myself in the mirror for a long time and finally admitted to myself that I was the reason why I was unhappy, bloated, anxious and all the nasty things I was feeling for a long time. I made the decision to take control of things and see how things would go from there. Besides, all that stress and depression really got boring. I’m sure there was a sun shining brightly on the other side, and I was right. 

It’s been 10 years now and I’m grateful for making the decision to begin a new journey from within. Here’s to my 40th! Cheers to all those who are also celebrating their birth month this March! 

CURE FOR MONDAYS IS A WOMEN'S BLOG, BEST HOMESCHOOL WEBSITE, FAMILY ISSUES BLOG, HOMESCHOOL PROBLEMS, SOCIALIZATION, INSPIRATION, MANILA MOMMY BLOGGER, SAHM, ASIAN HOMESCHOOLER, BLOGGYS 2015 WINNER, life begins at 40, midlife crisis, cure for depression, ways to beat stress, how to deal with sadness, yoga for happiness, health and happiness, healthy living, ways to live healthy, benefits of being a stay-at-home-mom, work from home

You Might Also Like


Tea Mates

Like us on Facebook