19 July 2012

The devil in the numbers - 33

It was my mother who reminded me of the post I write at the time of my birthday, confirming that I have at least one faithful reader! 

I have become less detached about my birthday in the last few years and I do wonder if it's detachment or denial. My hair has grayed and rather than giving me a distinguished look, it gives the impression that I use bleach not shampoo as my cleanser. My body is getting chubby and I can no longer claim to have a metabolic state where what I eat has no affect on me. These physical changes don't bother me much though as I decided long ago that in my lifetime, I want to look my best at 50. It helps to have a long term vision. 
Other changes though are less apparent. For one, my ovaries are probably getting through the last third or so of eggs, which forces an important question - how much do I want my genetic legacy to be conserved? I am missing some evolutionary mechanism as a need to procreate has not yet arisen. The expiration date of my eggs though means that at least temporally my window for decision-making is short. It's an interesting dilemma. Science and technology have increased our longevity so we can really stretch out phases of living. 40 is the new 30 they say. Ho hum!

I think one of the strangest thoughts on my birthday though was what I thought I would become by the time I reached this age. Funnily, my mind is a blank. While I clearly recall at 20 what I wanted to be at 25, I have no recollection of ever thinking about my thirties. In fact all I do think about in my 30s is what I want to be doing at 60. The good thing about not having expectations is that I am neither disappointed nor overwhelmed with my achievements. It is nice to be happy and content, and this is an ambition that I never thought was important enough to spell out. You spend much time when young thinking about what you want to study, to become, to practice... but you never tell yourself that being mindful and together is a goal. You assume happiness just follows if you meet all your ambitions. Well, on my birthday, this was my epiphany - that despite not meeting the criteria of success by popular social indicators, my content and happy state of mind is all the ambition that I probably need and it's lovely that it is fulfilled. 

The pictures are of chorla ghat, swapnagandha valley, goa - the birthday weekend getaway to enjoy the monsoons in the western ghats. 


  1. Great post. Hope you had a wonderful birthday!

  2. well if you have faced life with all its ups and downs with courage and are in a state of happiness that itself is a sign of success.

  3. Very well written. I think it's great to stop having ambitions and start enjoying what you are. At least you have grey hair, I look like I've been using a hair remover for a shampoo!