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There's more to life than love after forty

 There’s more to life than love after forty (Photo: iStock)

I don’t know which mhenga talked about life beginning at forty but whoever that wise man was, he talked a lot of truth. You do not know what awaits you at 40 until you get there. It’s similar to climbing a mountain andnot knowing what is on the other side until you reach the peak. From this vantage point, you can look back on your life choices and stare ahead at the abyss it is leading you to. Forties come with restlessness and a desire for more before youth finally dwindles.

Forties feels like a second teenagehood, here you will find yourself questioning beliefs and principles you have lived with your entire life. You are rebellious in your search for a new you and societal rules can take a back seat.

Perhaps the 40s are the last drips of youth, the heel-tap of life that we struggle to access before we finally accept that age has caught up with us. Standing at this peak of our lives, we have a choice to make, right a few wrongs we made growing up, or we can decide to accept our fate and embrace our fall to oblivion and acceptance of the status quo. At 40, we look back and apologise for the hard stands we took in our youthful days. Love takes a new meaning – it is no longer a feeling but a decision that is realistically pegged on providence and sustainability.

You realise that the love you believed in in your 20s was a scam and that we can’t fight nature. You see, we have spent years trying to prove we are equal to men, that what a man can do, a woman can do better. But the truth is nature configured us to play different roles. We may stand shoulder to shoulder with the men in the corporate world but back home, the man has to roll his sleeves and provide for his family. We have tried to masculinise ourselves and wear the trousers at home, but it never takes long before we crumble.

If a woman has to be the provider, it should only be in the interim as the man figuresout a more permanent solution. Reversing these roles never fully works because not many men wants to be confine to the kitchen as the wife brings home the bread. Consequently, the woman becomes disgruntled when she realises that she has to be the provider and still run the home, ensuring the food is cooked on time and the kids are tucked in bed.

But these are insights that we only realise when we get to the peak of our lives and age takes off the rose coloured glasses. In our 20s and 30s, we are desperate to fight for love in hopes of a better tomorrow. However, at the peak of 40, we suddenly realise that the tomorrow we were hoping for may never come.

We realise that we have to be proactive in changing the direction of our lives without pegging our decisions on what the rest of the world will think. Thanks to hormonal decline and painful joints, we suddenly realise that there is more to this life than love. Many have managed to turn their lives around at 40, but a greater number give up, accept the status quo, and transfer their unrealised dreams to their children.

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