Feeling forty and fabulous

SONYA FLADUN contemplates the highs and lows of feeling forty…

ACTRESS and celebrity Jennifer Aniston recently raised a few eyebrows when she said her thirties were her awkward phase and she had never been happier than being her present 44-year-old self.

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston

As someone well and truly into her forties, my views are mixed.

On the good side, lots of old anxieties and insecurities have fallen by the wayside. I don’t spend nearly as long in the bathroom getting ready in the morning, I don’t spend as much on my clothes and comfort has overtaken how things look on the scale of importance in everyday life.

I don’t worry so much about what other people think because I just don’t have the time or energy.

As the years go by and the demands of family life wax and wane, you worry less about things that you know are losing battles and more about practical things. Superannuation and the next cholesterol blood test overtake concerns about whether your butt looks big in this or that outfit.

Eventually, you become sufficiently liberated to think that, damn it, if you want to wear orange you damn well will.

On the negative, some things just don’t work as well as they used to. Bits and pieces start to ache, sag, turn odd looking and maybe need medical investigation.

Going out at night becomes a big deal, requiring planning, a babysitter and maybe an afternoon nana nap to prepare for the big event. Staying up really late takes about a week to recover.

Work doesn’t seem to matter quite as much as it did, especially when your horizons have expanded with your children’s activities. In my case, this involves an intense round of acrobatics, gymnastics and figure skating. It’s a whole new, fascinating world spending endless hours driving mum’s taxi between venues, sorting out costumes, selecting music, and giving support and encouragement.

So it’s a mixed decade. Looking after one’s health, physical and mental, certainly is a priority. Not only for the here and now, but for what hopefully will be more decades to come. But I reckon the forties are a pretty good time of life.

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