Forty — not over hill, just near summit

Helena Rodriguez : Freedom Newspapers

My sister Becky sent me an e-mail that posed the question, “Why do we women gain weight as we age?”

The answer is that we women are so full of the wisdom we have acquired over the years that we run out of room in our brain to hold it all, so it goes to other parts of our body.
I’ll buy that.

The countdown to 40 has begun. I turned 38 on Nov. 4, but instead of being depressed like I was when I turned the big 30 because I hadn’t achieved my goals, I’m looking forward to turning 40 in a couple of years.

That’s probably because now I feel like I’m on track and I expect to have some of my biggest goals achieved before age 41 — earning a master’s degree and then a Ph.D., something I was starting to think in my mid-30s would not happen.

I always tell my daughter Laura that the best is yet to come for me because the middle ages (doesn’t that sound ancient?) have already been better to me than my 20s when life didn’t quite meet my expectations. Here in my late 30s, I’m having more fun, I’m not as insecure and I don’t waste my time worrying about a lot of things I once did.

But you don’t just have to take my word for it that the best is yet to come in the middle and later ages. I have research to back it up. I just read another study that says contrary to many myths about women slowing down and having health problems after menopause, this is actually the time when women reach their peak in creativity.

I’ll buy that.

I mean, regardless of the fact that this same study also says we will lose our memory and trains of thought more at this age, hey, at least we’ll have creativity.

So I’ll finally be writing the novels that I’ve been saying all of my life I will write but have yet to do. I’ll lose my train of thought and forget what I’m writing about, but hey, with all this added creativity I will have, at least I’ll know it will be one hell of a book. Again, I may not remember what I wrote, but it could be a best-seller.

How’s that for consolation?

So like I said, I’m looking forward to turning 40. Some people may refer to 40 as over the hill, but I look at it more like getting close to the summit. Besides, there seems to be something magical about the number 40. My mom and dad just celebrated their 40th anniversary in September. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights when Noah was in the ark. Jesus was tested in the desert for 40 days and so we observe Lent for 40 days. Saul, David and Solomon each reigned for 40 years and major events in the life of Moses took place in 40-year increments.

On one Web site, I read that 40 denotes a period of preparation for some special action of the Lord. It is a time of grace. So whatever it may be, I’m sure God is preparing me for the big 40 with some kind of special assignment. Maybe that’s why my 20s and early 30s were so trying, so I’d be up for the task.

Perhaps it is best that these special assignments come in these latter years, during a time when we may not remember exactly what we’re doing, but we’re doing a good job at it, and we’re having fun doing it.