Recently, when everyone else just turned a day older, I turned a BIG milestone older. Sort of equivalent to Armstrong’s moon-walking feat: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”! And to top it off, someone had the audacity to ask me the dreaded question, “So how does it feel like?”
I guess when you are younger, you are curious and stupid. So this is to satisfy her, and the rest of you who are smarter but still curious.
Here’s what getting older is all about:
1. You spend your birthday braving Grade 3 and 4 whitewater rapids to prove to yourself that you are still young. (trading in the lavender oil massage for a Bengay one, post facto.)
2. You don’t reveal your birthdate on Facebook so as to avoid responding to the “So how old are you today?” question.
3. You start believing in the “40s is the new 30s” adage.
4. You are either undergoing a mid-life crisis or starting an alternate career (or both).
5. You eat healthier but are bigger than you ever were.
6. You blame your weight gain on hormones or convince yourself that bigger is better.
7. You get a hangover just by looking at the alcohol and an upset tummy by looking at the French fries (and avoid them under the pretext of detox).
8. You don’t miss any chance to make intelligent conversation or Facebook comments about economy and politics.
9. Your profile pictures always get a photoshop makeover. (And you consider apps like makeup.pho.to, and Facetune real innovation!)
10. You are receiving Botox and Viagra ad mailers in your inbox.
11. Your friends are discussing their sex lives and all you do is nod.
12. It feels like the morning after, but you’ve not done anything the night before.
13. Your secret luggage pouch most likely just has your daily multi-vitamins.
14. You actually sign up for the “Art of Living” course. (Better still, you don’t mind spending your hard-earned vacation on a yoga or a vipassana retreat.)
15. Yoga becomes a cardio workout for you.
16. You start taking your laugh lines seriously.
17. You say things like, “You know that guy who was in that movie we watched that day”.
18. You struggle to keep up with all the chat acronyms and emoticons (your most popular emoticon is a smilie, cos making sense of other emoticons is like giving an eye exam.)
19. You can not bluff in poker because everyone knows what your poker face means and you can’t change it, even if you try. (even withstanding Botox!)
20. Your friends call you a buddhi (oldie), and you don’t have a good retort back.
21. The time it takes to make up your face is more than the time it takes to make up your mind about the dress to wear.
22. The clothes you had put away until they come back in style, have actually “COME BACK” in style.
23. Your ideal vacation spot becomes that relaxing beach resort in Florida. (with lots of books to keep you company.)
24. You miss the ladies night out to tuck in your child into bed. (without feeling sorry for yourself.)
25. Your optometrist tries to convince you out of the lasik eye surgery. (And her rationale being c’mon, you’ll be needing bi-focals soon.)
26. The Body Shop salesman insists that Nutriganicsis the way to go.
27. You have started using phrases like “Yeh baal dhoop mei safed nahi hue hai”* cos you actually can.
28. Your shades are more for your eye bags than for your eyes.
29. At a family gathering, you find more people touching your feet** than hugging you.
30. You nudge your spouse about things like life insurance and will.
31. You don’t start your resume with “x years of experience”.
32. You fantasize about owning a farmland and actually farming on it.
33. You actively seek out NGOs to volunteer at (even without the CSR mandate.)
34. You start making fun of your age. (Cos everyone else is scared to!)
35. You forgive and FORGET (more easily).
36. You care less about how you look but care more about how you’ll be looked upon.
37. You start treasuring the people in your life more than the money in your bank.
39. You start accepting people the way they are (and more importantly accepting yourself the way you are.)
39. You worry more about how you’ll make an impact than about how’ll make more money.
40. And of course, whatever you do, you do end up getting wiser.
If you are not experiencing this, thank your stars and party hard. The rest, make peace with it.
Think about it this way: You are just ahead of the game. The others will follow you soon.
*A popular Hindi quote meaning “Experience is what has made my hair white”.
**a Hindu tradition of paying respect to elders.