My dear Soliloquy readers, I write this article with mixed feelings: feelings of excitement, anxiety, gratitude, joy and more excitement. Why? You may ask. Brace yourselves for it, I will be clocking forty few months from now. For those of you, my wonderful Soliloquy readers, who have turned forty , I am sure, you understand how I feel at the moment. You know what, since 2017, when it dawned on me that I would soon be embracing forty, I have been asking myself, series of reflective questions.
So, what does it mean to clock forty? For me, based on all the reflective thoughts and questions going on in my head, it feels so great, I feel so matured now. Old and yet young, experienced enough to counsel the younger generation on issues such as marriage, child care, relationships, family life and independence. Right now, I take my life more seriously with a deep sense of purpose. I feel so comfortable in my own skin and I have no intentions to lavish my God- given precious time on individuals who do not appreciate me or my efforts. I see myself as a more confident woman now, one who doesn’t need the approval of anyone to forge ahead, one who only sees God, as her source, author and finisher of her faith; I have every reason to be grateful to God: for my children ,my husband, my marriage, my job, my health, my mother, my siblings and my small inner circle.My dear, being forty makes you realise that nobody actually cares about you, well, not because they don’t want to,but because they are also preoccupied with life issues. So, one would be doing oneself a lot of disserve, if one keeps depending on people.Being forty makes you start planning towards retirement; It’s hightime I started working towards being own boss.
As I count down to clocking forty,I ask myself how much value have I sown in the lives of others? How often have I encouraged someone out there to be a better human being? How often have I brought smiles and joy into the hearts of people? Well, I am a work in progress.In the same vein, my gratitude goes to my very good friend; Mrs Patricia Uche, my son’s god-mother, whom over the years has been my confidante, a great listener and a true friend. Another bestie of mine, who is never afraid to correct me, when I go wrong, my motivator, Mr. Gbenga Jacobs, you are a paragon of wisdom and purpose. God bless you for all the pep talks and push. I am also eternally grateful to my mother for her prayers, bible verses and encouraging words. These people are God sent.
Dear readers, someone once said that preferences change as one gets older.It is the basic truth, when I was much younger to be exact, my twenties and thirties, I enjoyed glossing over fashion and beauty magazines as well as digesting romance novels .Amazingly, in my late thirties, everything changed. I got hooked to reading inspiration books written by Christian authors ; I fell in love with Joyce Meyer(she is my favourite female writer of all time), Joel Osteen(the ever- smiling author)his books are always filled with wonderful stories to learn from,other powerful authors are Pastor T. D .Jakes, Elizabeth George, Bill Wiese,Cathy Lechner,StormieOmartian ,Dr Laura Schlessinger just to mention a few.Need I say that the books of these authors impressed on me to conquer my fears and reach for the sky, to dream of impossibilities because I serve a God of impossibilities and to never give up no matter the challenges in my path.
Soliloquy readers, being forty means that God loves me so much to have made me encounter it. Like they say, life begins at forty. I certainly agree. My life has just begun and I am still contemplating whether to throw a party or have a quiet time at a fancy restaurant with my family. I pray Covid- 19 would have disappeared into the bottomless abyss by then. Well, I will keep you posted whatever I decide. Live gracefully always. Cheers.
JANE IKEGULU An educator, who resides and writes from Lagos.