Saturday, November 15, 2014

To colour or not to colour: some midlife dilemmas, doubts and decisions

Nothing can be more feel-good and flattering than compliments on how we look, especially from friends we meet after a long time. "Oh, you haven't changed a bit." “You look the same...age hasn't touched you" etc. And believe me, it really brings a smile on your face to hear such mutually admiring talk. Our obsession with looking younger and what it has got to do with feeling younger is difficult to discuss in the scope of this writeup. However, of late, I seem to have been thinking about this intriguing phase in life and how it becomes a subject of most of our discussions and the opportunities it brings while are in transition. And I don't wish to intellectualize by questioning or talking about the billion rupee industry that promises our share of elixir from the fountain of everyouth and all that blah blah...doesn't make sense when we unwittingly subscribe to the common notion of youngness across India.

Well, the truth is, naturally, we are all ageing. How gracefully is left to us. By the way, we never discuss or divulge age, it's socially inappropriate to ask or reveal how old one is! Let me put it this way: siblings, cousins and friends -some of us are fast approaching the forties, some have entered the fiery forties, some are midway and some are about to hit their fifties. Yes, my generation is into midlife! But why is this phase often called a crisis, I wondered? To me it depends on how we take it - the visible and invisible signs of ageing. I've always seen them as opportunities to try new things, to learn something new and to change and adapt and grow. Of course, there may have been some frustrating moments when I couldn't dismiss age simply as a number, occasionally reminded by my general physician.

Colour colour, what colour...
Hair and skin have generally been the most visible targets in all talks about aging. If LÓreals and Olays of the world can help us look and feel good and confident why not try them. The decision to colour our hair can be a tough one though. But once decided, it's no big deal. Not sure, if others agree with me on this topic. Some may prefer the greying-pepper-and-salt look for whatever reason.  And receding hairlines and hairloss? That’s a different topic altogether.

Just give in...
Many things tempt us and we begin to resist them considering our figure, fitness and form. Resisting, especially in case of food, makes us crave for more! It's good to give in and binge on stuff that we love to eat, at least once in a while. And what about dressing? So what if your size has changed to from 'L' to 'XL',  just try that outfit, not worrying too much about how it looks on you. For all you know, you make be making a new sartorial statement in your new look.

Just do it!
I feel this is the best time to fulfil all those small dreams we nurtured for long. That hobby we longed to pursue or start all over again – biking, writing, theatre, cooking, painting, drawing, singing, gardening, travelling, etc not only give us creative satisfaction, they also make our lives more meaningful at a point when we reflect on our professional achievements and find a huge gap in our personal achievements.  Learning new skills and grooming our talent is always a nice thing to do to beat any kind of stress.

Looking back and forth
Sometimes, wallowing in nostalgia really cheers us up. Occasionally, looking at those old pictures, reliving the growing up years, recollecting the fun and foibles of our friends makes me remain connected with the past. When we look back, often we tend to compare “before”and “after” and judge them – I guess that should not be the way to do it. Just leave the past for what it was and let the present be what it is. I've backed on positive memories to deal with anxious, uncertain moments.

Learning from kids
Never forego an opportunity to learn from your kid, who could be in tweens or teens. Though parenting has been a remotely vicarious experience for me, I've discovered the joy of learning new things from my niece - her choice of books, music, sports, food and movies. It's refreshing to know about their perception of things around them rather than imposing our worldviews most of the time. The joy and happiness they show when we appreciate their taste for things is simply priceless.

Where is the time?
It’s a funny feeling all the time, we mostly seem to complain about the time fleeting away. Weekends are lost in a jiffy leaving us fretting and fuming about the things we could not do. Over a period of time, it makes us guilty about the books we are unable to read, about fitness and gym, about the friends we could not meet or simple chores that get missed. It’s never too late to complete them.

Did I hear someone say forgetfulness? Apparently, that’s another sign that you’ve joined the 40s club

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