Turning 40 is a big deal to some people, because life, they say, begins at 40. But, does it really?
I guess it rings true more for men than women because more often than not, at that age, men are more established in their careers, they have walked the walk and talked the talk, and the experiences amassed over the years do boost their level of confidence tremendously for most. And of course, they have the extra cash to splash around as well to enjoy life more. And some say men actually reach maturity at that age. (Hmmmm...no wonder there are a lot of men out there who act like juveniles - they have a valid excuse for that, I guess :) Hehehe!)
So, what do men do when they reach 40?
Some change their lifestyles totally, which more often than not means changing cars, changing their style of dressing, changing their appearances, and some even change their wives - hoping that it would be for the better. They either do one or two of the above, or they opted for the whole package. Some find profound happiness after the change. Some fall flat on their face and only realize, albeit a little too late, that their lives are going downhill and heading to the end AT 41.
My take is - if you could not be happy and bersyukur with what you had and gradually gained at the age of 10+, 20+, or 30+, then you will never ever going to find happiness at the age of 40. The key factor whether it is profound happiness, or failure, or disgrace that you find after you turn 40 - is the people around you - those who have been with you through thick and thin WAY, WAY before you reach the BIG 4. Life needs not BEGIN at 40. It should CONTINUE with all those extra frills - shared with loved ones.
I don't have any objections at all to those who decide to change their lifestyles, or appearances at 40 - men or women alike. Yang penting is the nawaitu.
So, I have no objections at all when Ayah asked my permission if he could do something a day after he turned 40. Something which he had been meaning to do for the past 3 1/2 years. And the day he turned 40 seemed the right time for him to do it. He even asked the kids for their permission, and he received mixed reactions and feedback from them.
Ayah asking his daughters' opinions and permission.
Me - I was practically sitting on the fence. It was REALLY up to him. I didn't want my opinion to make it more difficult for him to decide. If he feels strongly about it, by all means, I'm not going to say "No".
His daughters gave a "DEFINITE NO".
His son said "YES".
Being a democratic household, my "on the fence" stand could not be counted - it's like undi rosak. And so, it was 2 against 1 : AGAINST his "plan/intentions".
But, being an authoritarian in a democratic household - Ayah exercised his Veto power, and decided to go against the majority!
We decided that all of us should witness this historic event, and after Maghrib on Sunday 16th March 2008, a day after he turned 40, everybody was bundled up into the car and off we went to give Ayah some moral support. His daughters were by then, already resigned to the fact that Ayah's decision was final, and they were quite nervous waiting for the outcome.
So, this was what happened.
While Hilman was doing this -
Ayah was doing this -
And this -
And this was how it turned out -
I know it's not that clear - this is just a teaser, until Ayah gives the green light to post a proper pix of him now without his beard and moustach. All I got to say is, he looks 10 years younger now.
And now he's worried that his patients would not take him seriously! This was what happened 4 years ago when he didn't have his moustach and beard when he became a consultant. Some of his patients thought he was a junior doctor and refused to be seen by him and insisted to see the consultant. And it took Ayah a good 15 minutes to explain and convince them that he was THE consultant! And THAT was why Ayah decided to grow his beard and moustach then. Well, Ayah - if I may remind you, it was YOUR decision to clean-shave everything, honey. Hehehe!
The kids are still not used to him not having any facial hair, and every night when Ayah comes home, they would start giggling, and call out -
"MOMMMYYYY!!! HOMER IS HOME!!!!" (as in Homer Simpsons?!) Hahahaha!
I say, now that he looks 10 years younger than his age, and we being the same age, and all, I guess I, too will also have to do something to look at least 15 years younger?!!
Hmmmmm....Anybody out there has Dato' Seri Mohamad Khir Toyo's number, please...