When I was a child, I heard so much that in the year 2000, the world would end and I was sure I wouldn't make it past the age of 28. Despite being a young age, for a child, it was an eternity.
At the end of the 90's, for those who worked in the IT field like me, the end of the world took another turn (but it continued to make many people's hair stand on end!) and changed its name to “Y2K.” Well, in 2000 my life changed, and it had nothing to do with the Millennium Bug or the end of the world. I became a mother the day after I turned 28, and from then on, no thinking about end of life. After all, have you ever seen a mother with time left to think about nonsense? “Let's roll” because the money to buy milk, diapers and pay for school won't fall from the sky!
When I turned 30, our family was complete, and “the pedaling only increased”. Have you ever done the math on how much each child costs to complete high school? (In Brazil we have to pay a lot for a good education). I almost had to sell one of the two on Craigs List. LOL
Unlike Julia d'Aiglemont, a character in Balzac's novel, I was always happily married (I have quite a partner! But a perfect life only exists in Pollyanna's world), but I didn't stop experiencing some of the concerns she experienced. Between 30 and 40, changes are significant, and concerns are fundamental to not sinking into our dear comfort zones. Juggling children, marriage, career, and still wanting to be happy is for few! It's a good thing that when I realized I was already at Wolf's Age. This is a Brazilian expression to define when a woman turns 40, she becomes more free and confident.
I need to confess something to you: I was so excited to turn 40. So I immediately tried to organize a big party to celebrate the date. I have always found the woman of 40 to be strong, self-confident, free, mysterious, and very interesting--a woman who knows what she wants, despite all the rumors that try to put her down. Women at 40 have never been so satisfied with their professional lives, and many have decided to have their children precisely at this stage of life because they were prepared for it. Our generation was responsible for this change in behavior and mentality. Isn't that fantastic? This change is a gift for future generations.
One of the biggest lessons I learned this decade was the importance of being flexible. It is very common to hear, “I am like this; I will not change” and 8 years ago I found myself in the middle of an argument answering in the heat of emotion “then you can die.” I don't forget the wide eyes of my interlocutor. Have you ever thought that we are here to learn and evolve, and if we start from the assumption that we already know everything, surely our mission is over? Can you identify with this?
Three different countries, three different careers, and many challenges -- that was the summary of my decade of the Wolf Age. If I wasn't flexible, I might not have really died, but depression could have been a constant in my life. I´m glad I love new things, changes, and challenges! That doesn't mean it's easy! It's a lot of work, it requires a lot of effort and dedication, but that's how we evolve.
The good thing is that we already know ourselves better at this point in our lives. We understand our triggers, and we have our tricks when the burden weighs a little more: deep breathing, meditation, sea bathing, therapy, wine with friends... In fact, friends are essential for us to have a fuller and happier life. This is based on a Harvard University study that began in 1937. The conclusion is that the factor that most influences the level of health is not wealth, genetics, routine or diet. It is friends. “The only thing that really matters is your social aptitude – your relationships with other people,” says psychiatrist George Valliant, who has led the study for 30 years. Friends are the main indicator of well-being in one's life.
The last two years have been very intense in terms of questioning. How long will the kids be home? Are we going to stay here in the United States? How and where to start over in terms of a career in another country? How much effort would it take to look for a job (especially in a place where the market doesn't know me)? How can I prepare myself in terms of health to continue having an active and independent life? Menopause symptoms are very annoying. Change in mood and blood pressure, tachycardia, frequent headache... there's no way to be happy! And in the midst of all this, the COVID pandemic!
I have to thank Our Lady of Maturity for so much serenity. A popular Brazilian saying is "What can't be cured is cured"! Is it not true? I decided to focus my efforts on what I can control and change. I keep trying to help my children in the way I can and trying to prepare them for the world. I decided to take even more care of my physical and mental health, I created this content platform, and I intend to turn it into a profitable business, in addition to disseminating quality knowledge, I continue cultivating my garden of friends with a lot of love, because as Rita Lee said to Zelia Duncan (Brazilians singers), “You are my retirement.” I'm getting closer to my husband, who is my great life partner, and I'm trying to make my life simpler. I see no other way to happiness.
Every year, I review the past year and set my new year’s resolutions, but this time it was a little different; after all, the coming year would bring with it a new decade for me: the famous 50 years! “It” divides opinion and is as polarizing as our society today. If you don't LOVE it, you HATE it! Honestly, as I don't have the slightest bag for radicalism, I decided to open my arms and welcome it! After all, let's build everything that is to come together.
Yesterday I was super happy with the birthday messages, calls, and tributes for the day, but I thought it was funny, some friends saying that I was turning 50, but with energy and vitality of 30, appearance of 40 (despite the gray hair I decided to assume) and so on. My answer was the same for everyone. Fifty is the new fifty! Forget the image of that old-fashioned granny-faced lady (I have very hot friends in their 50s who are already grandparents.) We women have changed a lot in the last two decades. Menopause, which seemed like an end, is just the beginning of a new phase. Some even dare to say that “it is an adolescence of maturity.”
My wish is to live 100 years, as long as I have health and independence. In other words, 50 is a very important milestone, after all, it's the first year of the second half of my life (or at least that's my hope). It will dictate the pace of what is to come. And you know what? I'm super excited! My energy is super high, as it has always been. I'm full of plans, very happy and grateful with what I've achieved so far. I love the person I'm becoming, and I know the learning path is long. Fifty you´re beautiful; you can use me!!!!
By the way, I just found out from my gynecologist that I'm in the dreaded Menopause. I have to confess that I am disappointed (although very relieved!). It arrived without making a sound. I didn't feel anything different. I thought she would make a grand entrance to La Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, but that is a conversation for the next post.