A lot of events have happened in your life. You went through thick and thin, and you have gone through many Winters and Summers throughout the seasons. Looking back at your past, you believe that you have learned a lot of life's lessons. Regrets? You may have a few; you did what you had to do and saw it through without exemption (as Frank Sinatra and Paul Anka would say). Looking forward into the future, you see some brightness while you prevent the slightest speck of bleakness from coming in your thoughts. No, you do not want dimness to cover your sight of happy years ahead. Truly, you say that LIFE BEGINS AT 40!
In our era of fast-paced movements and information sharing, with social media and high tech gadgets galore, reaching 40 years of age has become another challenging dose of both wisdom and burden. Your happiness will be your choice (as it was before), yet if you are not careful, worrisome thoughts can get in the way of it. I have listed 8 situations that can cause anyone to feel miserable upon reaching the age of 40.
8. You Are Still Single
You are not married or you do not have an S.O. (significant other). However you want to address it, you are (still) single and you are 40. All your contemporaries are either presently married or have been married. The thing is, your condition is more likely the product of your own choice, and you defend it to be so. What is annoying is that people around you think it is something you should worry about. Yes, you do not worry about it at all, it is they that want to see you worrying about it. Once this gets in your nerves, then you allow yourself to be in misery.
These people think that there is something wrong with your situation. Their best guess is that you have a misaligned disposition in life and/or that you have not accepted the real nature of your sexuality, that you are in a state of identity crisis which you do not deal with properly. Well, it is not so much of their fault to believe so; society's culture has dictated that marital relationships are inevitable and no human should be exempt (except if you decide to join a religious order with a vow of celibacy).
Ok, so maybe you are married; you have found your significant other. The two of you have been together for 7 years... 10 years.. Oh no, it is more than that; but wait, a question lingers among friends and relative during parties, reunions, and gatherings. "When are we going to see the fruit of your love?." In other words, "When are you going to have children?"
Whatever the reason (which ranges from own decision, a physiological condition, or just plain fate), the thought that you and your S.O. are together for so many years but childless can cause an amount misery, and if not controlled, can lead to a strain in your marital state. That is why when I talk to married couples whom I know have been together for many years, I restrain myself from asking the same question. A little bit of understanding and consideration, People!
6. Your House Is Not Your Own
You either live with your parents/in-laws or you rent an apartment. For many years of working and earning, you still do not have your own house. Many people might say a meager worker's salary is just enough for the daily expenses, but I bet there are also people who forgot to plan and save for the future. The latter has more guilt than the usual, and it will make them feel miserable.
Another related aspect is the ever most coveted and aspired, CAR. Most young professionals will have the tendency to buy and get their most coveted automobile. They will save money, and for those who are impatient, they will have to loan for it. The thing is, not all people save or loan for a car, they do not see its importance at all and they are likely right in their decision. What happens is this, some people will grade your success by having or not having a car. You may own your house, you may have a lot of savings in your bank account; but to these people, you are as unsuccessful as their gardener in their backyard if you do not have a car.
Not having a car? Who cares, I can rent one anyway. Would you rather be CARLESS or the 5th one?
5. You Are Broke
You bought a car, maybe a number of them. The place you live in is your dream house and it is filled with furniture and appliances anyone can desire. You are up to date with the latest gadgets and you have them all. The ironically sad thing about your situation is - you are buried in bad debt.
Banks and credit collectors are hounding you. The people whom you loaned from are constantly reminding you to pay them back. Yet, your salary or income is just enough to pay for all the bills your lifestyle has accumulated. Where are your friends when you need them? Oh, there they are on the phone and some are even knocking on your door, calling your name and asking where is their money.
4. The Mirror Complex
You go to the gym to hone and sculpt your body. You visit your local beautician and let your face and hair have an overhaul. At the end of the day, you will look at the mirror and say, "I am getting old and I am not beautiful anymore." Studies may suggest that this occurrence can happen mostly to women, but the fear of losing one's beauty as we grow older can also affect the male species. The apprehension that you will no longer be attractive, particularly to your significant other, is indeed a paranoia that can cause misery to a 40 year old.
"Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder." I guess the burden of this "feel beautiful" spirit falls mainly on your S.O.'s shoulders. " He or she should make you feel beautiful or handsome. In case that he or she does not, it does not mean the case is the contrary. Your beauty is not beholden mainly in the eyes, but mostly in the heart and mind.
3. You Are Stuck in Your Job
For many long years you have worked in the company. You remained loyal even when others were not. You were unmoved, and no promotion whatsoever. Now, you feel your growth have stagnated. The sweat and tears you have sown and your toil and labor have not been rewarded at all. Many of your friends and contemporaries have now achieved some amount of prominence and success, and you envy them. You now think that you should have pursued your happiness and sought your wildest dreams when you were still in your 20's.
Envy is a green-eyed monster that is truly the twin of misery and loneliness. Do not let it get in your nerves. Yes, you are 40 and you are still alive and kicking. There are still a lot you can dream of and think of, just do not forget to act on them to reach their fulfillment. Once you do, please be careful on the next one.
2. Never Ending Job or Career Hopping
Steve Jobs said in a commencement address at Standford University, "You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle."
So it is what you did, you sought what you want to do with your life. Because you had not found it yet, you kept on looking because you could not settle for anything less. Now that you are 40 years old, you are still looking and you still have not found your dream career yet. You have a become a constant job hopper, shifting from one career to another.
No, I am not saying you should stop looking, but if you are not careful and not wise on your decisions, your seeking can cause strain on your spirit. It can drain your will and strength, and if it does, you may have to stop and settle for something you did not want in the first place. Be wise and shrewd, yet be meek and serene as well.
1. Your Health and Fitness
Doctors and health professionals advice people to have their usual body check once in every year. When you reach the age of 40, this body check upgrades from the "usual." If before you would just have blood and urine tests, this time you will need to have some extra tests to prevent some graver diseases such as cancer. As we grow with age, we become more susceptible to hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, and many others. These can indeed make misery a part of middle age living.
Reaching middle age also means getting heavier and accumulating some body mass. Your fitness is also under threat. Some physical activities may not be possible anymore, so your exercises are more likely to be toned down as well. You may have to check out what kind of workout that will be suitable for you as you go on with age. Also, some foods may have to be avoided, and your diet will have to be trimmed down as well.
No cause here to be miserable as long as you are conscious about it, but not paranoid. Take action rather than worry.
As a conclusion, it is really your choice if you want to feel miserable, just like it is your decision if you want to be happy or not. It all depends on how you see things clearly whether you are 40 years old or younger.
Happy 40th Birthday c/o Hans / Pixabay