*The examples in this text were part of the reality of children and young people who lived in Brazil in the 70s and 80s.
What a joy to have you here! My name is Adriana Liberato and I am the creator of this Digital Content Platform, which aims to be a space for exchange and learning for people over 40.
My main motivation for creating this space was to realize that despite being part of a large and growing group of people, our society in general was not prepared to deal with all the potential that we have accumulated over many years of experience.
The last few decades have witnessed a major evolution in science, medicine, and technology, such as we have never seen before. And through it all, information has become the greatest asset an individual can have. We are bombarded from all sides and in real time by all kinds of information and the feeling we have is that we are always late or on the sidelines.
The FOMO syndrome (fear of missing out) which means the fear of being left out of the technological world or of not developing at the same pace as technology has never been so real. Studies show that almost two thirds of users of Social Networks suffer from this psychological pathology.
We are the children of the Sexual Revolution. Despite all the liberation that hung over our parents' universe, our respect for them was unquestionable. We were raised on the streets. Freedom was the watchword. With responsibly, of course! After all, it was impossible to monitor our steps without the last generation iPhones.
We used our creativity to have fun and needed to manage our time efficiently. Yes, we had autonomy to manage our time because our parents worked all day. There was time to go to school, time to do school activities, time to play with our friends, time to shower, time to have dinner with our parents, time for the soap opera (very popular in Brazilian culture) and time for bed (no distractions). Not necessarily in that order.
We had to wait six months to watch a movie that was released in theaters in the land of Uncle Sam. The video clips of our favorite artists had a date and time to be aired (no replay rights). To listen to our favorite song on the radio show, we had a right time (and if we wanted to record it on cassette tape, without "advertising" in the middle, then we needed, in addition to patience, a lot of planning to be very ready on the scheduled day and time and with the tape in the right place). Get gifts only on very special dates and when our parents had the financial conditions to do so. And to talk on the phone, even with our boyfriend/girlfriend, it wasn't every day, even if there was a telephone in your house. As the calls weren't cheap, our parents controlled our time to talk. And if the calls were made from a public phone, the duration of each coin was 3 minutes and often that was all we had. For these and many others, we have become masters in the art of patience.
We did root Networking. Eye-to-eye. Taking all the risks and sometimes shaking with nervousness. Our time was the present. We made the most out of each day. We used our Creativity to have fun, Time Management to ensure that everything important was done throughout the day and our Autonomy to decide our priorities (the obligation was always in 1st place, but we wanted to ensure the fun too !). We were always open to new things. We didn't have many options and when there was the opportunity to discover and try something different, we did it without hesitation.
We took risks! We walked through the streets, took public transport alone or with our group of friends, started conversations with people we didn't know, we broke the ice by being the first to venture into the dance floors at parties…
We are very lucky that we had the opportunity to develop the so desired “soft skills” in a very natural way. The world has changed a lot in the last few decades and we continue to adapt. It is true that generations prior to ours, at this time of life, were already pulling the brakes. Even because the options that the world offered were few, if compared to what we have today and life expectancy was much lower.
Well then, we got a 30-year bonus! We accumulate experiences, we are full of vitality and we want to remain productive. Our way and at our pace (we've already learned that direction is more important than speed!). For some time now, we started to have another look at life. What made sense not so long ago may not do anymore. Our priorities have changed.
If you're a woman, like me, hormones may be turning your life around and you're trying to recognize yourself in this new blossoming person. But that shouldn't be a problem. It's just another phase of life to welcome and adapt. If we had the maturity of today to face adolescence, it would not be a difficult phase, would it?
Let's take advantage of this bonus, and not let FOMO take over us. We have many options (and this can confuse us if we want to embrace the world) and we can give ourselves the right to test them. New paths, new careers, new places, new people, new hobbies, new habits... We must keep in mind that we are more prepared than ever! Even though our society doesn't see us like that and often doesn't see us at all. We cannot blame them, after all we are the first generation in these conditions. Pioneering is for the strong minded!
We need to internalize that age is just a number and life is movement. As long as there is desire, there can be fulfillment. Don't limit yourself. What defines us is our attitude, our behavior towards life. That's how people will see us. We've been through so much and right now, for the best part, are we going to drop the shuttle? No way. Let's go on this journey together. Welcome to Proud Over 40!
Let's help our society to reframe Maturity, and why not say Aging, this wonderful process of life!