If you procrastinate it either leads to constipation or a largely delayed post. At my age, it is fortunately the latter. Speaking of age, I recently turned 40. I can see that raised eyebrow. You are shocked I still look so young? Santoor, Santoor…

In the June of 2018 I actually turned 40 but found the time to mention that only now. It’s true then that women are not comfortable with the age-ing factor. Shops like Forever 21 serve as anti-depressants.

I was completely against turning 40 much like some Chinese who  consider number 4 unlucky. At age 10, I thought the oldest one could ever get was 30. Just like the veteran actor Jeetendra, one would need to pop a 30 Plus to live on. And then one day, there I was – all of 30 years. That’s when I firmly concluded, old age is always a decade away from where you stand. And no, I didn’t pop any 30 plus. I popped out 2 kids.

I distinctly remember sleeping off all well, feeling green as a gooseberry on the last night of my 39th year only to wake up the next morning for a bunch of shocks. 1st up, a letter from the Singapore Government welcomed me to Elder Shield. I shuddered at the thought of being called an elder and suddenly felt weak in my knees as I ran towards the mirror. Before I could ask the age old question that Snow White’s step mother always did (‘Mirror mirror on the wall….’), it was for the first time that I felt sympathy for her and my own self. At least, she had a step daughter to poison.

Next up, it was my family doctor who commanded me to get a mammogram because the number 4 preceded the 0 in my age. By the way, if you haven’t done it yet, it is machine molestation. Next, I figured those first few strands of silver hovering over my head and the wisdom tooth causing a stinging pain were here for good. I prefer Standard Chartered instead(go watch the ad). Phew, I wondered. What a terrible start to the fifth decade of life. Couldn’t I choose 2 consecutive 30s instead?

To my surprise, the rest of the year flew past with plenty of highs and many firsts. There were plethora of activities I had been putting off. Like doing stand up, writing, reading different genres, speaking, designing workshops, learning again and taking storytelling to a different level.

It was for the first time that the ignorant me learned Toastmasters was not a cafe like Toast Box but a chain of clubs where one can learn the art of public speaking and find strength to break ice on stage. It was after more than a decade that I dared to sign up for a course and attained a Diploma. It was for the first time ever that I dared doing open mic in both Singapore and India and was grateful the audience decided to spare me the rotten egg treatment. Robinage, an award winning children’s newspaper was kind enough to offer me a chance to write their monthly parenting column. And Momspresso, the online platform for ranting moms showered love on my written vents. And a maiden attempt to tell stories along with children suffering from Cerebral Palsy reinforced the fact that it is the energy and intention that is more important than skill and experience. That said, I was a complete failure when it came to finding the right job and making money. I was mess when it came to moving home and starting from scratch. I just wasn’t focused.

Okay, I don’t mean to be a brag. All I am saying is I tried my hands at everything that had been luring me for years. Blame it on the power of 40s. Something that makes you comfortable in your skin. You accept yourself for who you are. You don’t care what anybody else thinks of you. Most importantly, you live life king size. On your terms and conditions. You do things that spike the happy hormone. You grow up, finally after being caught for ages trying to fit in and the wannabe syndrome.

And it comes as quite a surprise when you start taking the Nirupa Roy route. I mean when your happiness gets compounded by that of others’ successes, not your own. And you finally understand the overrated words – unconditional and true love. After all, an 11-year-old prolific writer came up with this line in one of her compositions, ‘Joy is not just in receiving but also in giving’. And so, the top spot for 2019 happiest moments have been clinched by the 7-year-old published author and the better half turned cricketer.

So I must say the last year and half have been the best years of my life by far. As we come to a close of 2019, I am so looking forward to being in the twenties again. I mean 2020. If there are 2 top things that I have learned, they would be to listen to your heart but stay focused.

P.S. If you made it this far hoping for some scoop because title had WTF, smile on. It certainly isn’t ‘What the F***’. It isn’t even ‘Wednesday, Thursday, Friday’. It simply is – ‘Welcome to Forties’-  A decade that will change your life. So here’s wishing all of you a Happy 2020. Just do the things that truly matter. Jaa Simran jee le apni zindagi..