I think I am coping with being a single lady in her 40s remarkably well. In fact, in the eight weeks since that monumental occasion I have not changed one single thing about my life. Well, apart from developing body dysmorphia (see image above – that’s not actually me but that’s how I think I look now) and the following:
- I have dyed my hair red and had my eyebrows tinted (the last one possibly to cover the white ones which sometimes sprout like untamed pieces of wire all over my forehead);
- Begun laser hair removal on a part of my anatomy which I will leave to your very vivid imaginations;
- Started a 12-week body transformation program which involves eating small portions of forest and even smaller portions of birdseed;
- Enrolled in a writing course through NIDA (that starts next week – yeah!) which I’m sure will result in me being headhunted as the most promising undiscovered scriptwriter in Australasian history;
- Realised I haven’t had a date for nine months, let alone anything else which may result in progeny of any description over the same timeframe. Indeed I have become a 40-year-old virgin;
- Stopped drinking wine – forever – after an unfortunate incident involving me, a swing chair, and a parquetry floor colliding in quite spectacular fashion on Christmas Day. Classy, very classy;
- Watched so many movies to alleviate the boredom of being sober, single and 40 that I have started to speak in well-scripted sentences jam-packed with meaning, purpose and metaphorical brilliance;
- Joined an online dating program, which in four weeks has resulted in absolutely nothing apart from a few “ice-breakers” sent from overweight men in their 50s who think that a slim lady in her 40s is quite a catch. Alas I do not have the same opinion about them; and
- Decided to live 2013 with courage.
That last bit comes from one of the dozens of movies I have watched of late which, while no Oscar winner, included the line that: It only takes 20 seconds of courage to change your life.
Hearing such a platitude would normally make me scoff, but this time maybe it’s the boredom, or the loneliness or perhaps my penchant for badly-scripted rom-coms it was akin to being given the 10 commandments from Moses, or so I’ve heard.
Twenty seconds of courage. Whether it is having the balls to speak to someone who you think is out of your league; or asking your boss for a pay-rise or a week off to go to a NIDA course that has absolutely nothing to do with your job; or deciding to try to get your book published one last time. Twenty seconds can indeed change your life.
So, while 2013, appears to be a year of transformation of the body for me (I told you I was coping with being 40 extremely well) it is also the year where I will have more courage. I will say yes more often when I’m asked to an event, instead of hibernating in the fabulousness that is my riverfront apartment, because you never know who might be there. I will also have more courage and belief in myself and my writing, because if I don’t no one else ever will.
And I will have the courage to smile back when (and if) a handsome man smiles at me, walk up to him and politely ask: I don’t suppose you fancy a root?