November 17, 2010
Life begins at 40
I once got my father a key chain that said: life begins at 40. I will take the adage to heart.
I swam with my son, or should I say that I competed with him. Each one in our separate lane. The coach tried to cheer him on: "speed up and kick! You are a man, you can't have your mom win." My son retorted with a precise true fact: "but she is four times my age". The coach began: "well, precisely. You will become a champ and your mom...." He didn't finish but I understood immediately. I can swim my laps but would I ever have the potential to become a champ? Not at my age.
I can't take up a new language either. Improving on what I have got all ready would be smarter. Golf, pilates, yoga and swimming are good sports because I could practice them for another forty years.
Now is my time to pursue intellectual passions. I have renounced writing a novel because the genre isn't suitable to me. Blogging, in all its casualness suits me well. Now is my time to teach: teach my children the fundamentals and a methodology for academics. I strive for them to approach knowledge with interest, inquisitiveness, thirst and serenity. Not to be intimidated by dense information or strange formulas.
The flip of the coin is that I learn from my kids. I constantly challenge my own techniques, upgrade my information base and assimilate knowledge that passed me by when I was their age, or that I may have forgotten.
To take the example of Winney the Pooh and his pot of honey, I am not at that preparatory stage when I am swimming to become a champ, rather I have reached my destination: I have retained swimming as a fitness tool. I have all the summers at swim team on which to base my technique and passion on. Life begins at 40 because now is the time when the hand is in the honey pot and I am enjoying my skill sets and applying them.
My younger brother and sister in law surprised me with a full package of.... Scuba diving lessons! I would never, ever, in my wildest dreams, have explored the seas at my own initiative. They have just thrown me into the ocean and I must overcome my fears and discover a new world....at age 40.
So I blew out forty candles today, as I took count this time at bikram in the last pose of the class, during my last class at age 39.