Friday, November 04, 2016

40-Something-ism

I'm 40-something...been so for some time.

In some circles that sentence would naturally elicit a compassionate look, or a sympathetic expression of some sort. In the West, for example, they would say, "Aw come on, you're still young, there's lots that life has still to offer for you". 

Bullocks..

According to the CIA World Fact Book, the average life expectancy in Kuwait is 76.6 years, that means I've got - theoretically - 36 years or so left to live.

Thirty six years. That's how long 40-something's have to live, love, raise their children, advance their careers, enhance their income, para glide, etc..the absolute statistical middle age, although opinion is divided on the matter.

Naturally, the body's the first thing to start going...grey hair increases, body mass becomes harder to control and maintain, and unless you've been an athlete all throughout your twenties, no program will rid you of your belly or bulging backside beyond sheer self-inflicted starvation! People would joke to me about younger kids calling them "Sir" or "Uncle", I'd laugh with them, I'd even relate, especially since I've got kids of my own who call me "Baba" and it's still doesn't sink in sometimes, especially when they're referring to me in the third person to their friends, "My dad doesn't like it when..." or "I'll have to ask my daddy"..

It's a warm feeling, either way, I admit. The thought of being an older and wiser person than the presumptuous little youth in front of me makes me feel, well, pleased. But the moment the thought of me being 'older' than the subject instantly revives thoughts of my ultimate demise - sooner or later.

If that sounds morbid right about now, welcome to my world!

I immediately box those thoughts in, compartmentalize them and store them somewhere deep and dark inside my constantly preoccupied brain, knowing that they'll find their way up to the surface somehow anyway, they always do. 

Strange thoughts being to evolve in one's head at certain points in time. In your teens, you're thinking about the opposite sex, in your twenties, you're thinking about tackling the world head-on. Your thirties seem to mellow one out somewhat, especially when one's moving up in his or her career path or raising a family, I suppose one's mortality would bring that up at some point. I think it's when one hits the big "Four-Oh" that one begins to think about the future, really think about it, not just plan for it or prepare for what is supposedly expected to come as a result of meticulous and careful planning.

On the other hand, hitting that point in one's life would also act as a positive reinforcer for more social participation or striving to level up one's health. Joining a health club or Yoga class or even jogging routinely with some nifty new tech from Apple are all rising trends, I find, and quite visibly so during periods of nice weather, Ramathan, etc..

Some have also become more socially active, visiting Diwaniyas and similar gatherings more often, attending social functions and events and so on..since now that they're in their forties, they're more mature and have a larger stake in a reputation that they need to live up to  - or so goes the theory at least!

And here's a dilemma; Kuwait is a socially-boring place! Not much in the way of social events (at least, none without a political agenda!). Given, there are some cultural centers

Personally, I've yet to partake in such social events on a routine basis, and still prefer lying in my comfy La-Z-Boy, watching the latest downloaded episode of a TV show I follow & happily vaping away my free time. To each his own, I guess.

On the bright side, life is still worth living, still full of surprises, and still has its wonderful mysteries to uncover, and I'll be looking forward to experiencing them all, for as long as I can.

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