27 Jun Why 40 is fabulous
Recently, US Marie Claire published a list of what they called ‘The New Guard’ – their 4th annual list of 50 movers, shakers and rule breakers.
Lea Goldman and Rachel Sklar wrote: “We are in the throes of a revolution. The power paradigm is shifting before our very eyes. Got a sharp voice and a point of view? Your snap chat account could command as many views as a cable-news network. Got a revolutionary idea and some deep-pocketed friends? You could be the genius behind the next SoulCycle or LinkedIn. Got a brilliant concept for a Web series? Whip out that iPhone and start filming girl”.
It continued in a rousing, ‘shake-your-pompoms style’. So, all riled up I read the list and loved the profiles of women who were diverse in every way, except one. The oldest person on the list was 36. The new guard is not only new, but young. In some cases, very young.
What about us almost and-already-40-somethings who simply don’t have the Millennial mindset? We who had to get used to this funny new thing called the internet? We who once owned a mobile phone the size of a brick? We who remember the days when you couldn’t duck out of plans with friends last-minute? Because well, the only way to contact them would have been to ring the nearest payphone to where you’d agreed to meet. And there wasn’t any FOMO (fear of missing out) because you never really knew what anyone outside your immediate circle was doing.
Well, I believe that we may not be the new guard but we’re holding our own very nicely. The 30s are a shedding process where you reveal more and more of who you really are. By the time you hit 40, you may think you’ve changed, but you’re more YOU than ever.
There are also countless other benefits. I spent many a year writing long-hand, practicing with very fancy fountain pens. Experts agree that writing longhand does access different parts of the brain to tapping on a keyboard or expertly doing one finger typing on an iPhone. So, that process may have re-wired my brain in some beneficial ways. In fact, when I first became a journalist, I found it hard to write from brain straight to keyboard. It was as though my thoughts needed to first be organised on the paper. They needed to be sorted and sifted properly and given the space to breathe.
And it’s this slowing down that I am grateful for. Millennials are fast-moving and tend to get things done. I think those of us who come from a slower age have an easier time slowing down. Processing. Seeing. Thinking. Dreaming. Wishing. Hoping.
The world needs us too, and even if we don’t make a top 50 list of high-profile people doing high-profile things, the world needs people who sort and sift, and think and dream. And, yep, it needs the movers and shakers too.
Fact is, you can be both – or either. But the beauty is that by the time you become 40 you’ll have a better chance of knowing who you REALLY are, so that you can enjoy the journey, whichever lane you’re driving in. And that, my friends, is why 40 is fabulous.