The other night as I drifted off to sleep with visions of “The Rock”, El Pollo Loco Chicken and talking dogs in my head, I was snapped back to reality by the thought, “I hope my next 40 years don’t go as quickly as the first.” It was a sobering thought, and just like that, the ‘other’ reality of being forty hit me.
In these days of “fabulous at forty,” and the Demi Moore’s and Ashton what’s his names, no one likes to talk about it – the reality of aging. Not the superficiality of wrinkles and weight gain, we talk ad nauseum about that. But what we avoid talking about is the reality that as we get older, time seems to move faster, and we lose loved ones, we lose our youth and we come closer to our own mortality.
My own mortality is not a thought I dwell on, but there it is, staring at me at one in the morning, and even if only for a few moments, I stare back, and I’m afraid. It’s hard to even pinpoint exactly what I fear. I’m not afraid of dying. Really I’m not. I’d rather it not hurt, but aside from that, I know that it comes with the territory. I guess I fear losing my loved ones. I fear reaching another milestone year in my life not having fulfilled these lofty goals I’ve set for myself. I even fear the lofty goals I’ve set for myself. I’m afraid I might never marry. I’m afraid I might. And I’m afraid I’ll live my entire life without figuring out how to get that monkey off my back.
Despite my seemingly long list of fears, they don’t consume my thoughts or my life. But in those moments at one in the morning when I’m drifting off to sleep, they throw me for a loop, and I find myself praying that the next forty years take twice as long to finish as the first.
Do you have your moments of fear? Please share them with other women at forty. I think we might find that we share some of the same fears.