By Susie Field

Life begins at 40. How many times have we heard that phrase? Well all I can say is I’m still waiting and it’s been a long time now.

I honestly thought once the children were in their teens and off my hands so to speak, life would be much easier, after all I would still be in my forties and in the prime of life. I imagined the freedom from dirty nappies, sleepless nights, organising babysitters, the dreaded school run, juggling work and childcare – the list was endless. Trouble is I never expected the havoc created by hormonal teenagers. The nights were still sleepless for a very different reason, as I spent the early hours with my nose pressed against the window, ears straining for the sound of my offspring returning from God knows where. Naturally when they finally staggered home they’d fall into a deep contented sleep whereas I would spend the rest of the night tossing and turning.

Surely that couldn’t be the prime of life. Maybe teenagers are in their prime but don’t actually realise until it’s too late. Maybe the best years of our life are when we are too young to remember them. After all, what can be better than having our every need catered for without question.

Maybe it all happens in retirement. Having worked all our lives we’ll have plenty of time to fill our days with numerous pleasures we’ve imagined for so long. We can only hope we have the strength to fulfil them. The mind is probably willing but what about the body?

Do our later years qualify? For some perhaps they do. Maybe they feel in their prime at retirement and why not.

Let’s take a look at sport. Certain sportsmen and women are considered to be in their prime during their teens and twenties, yet others don’t reach their prime until much later when experience plays such an enormous part in their quest to be the best.

Many of us may never reach what we perceive to be the prime of life. Perhaps our expectations are unrealistic and therefore unattainable.

I do believe the prime of life exists but it’s impossible to say exactly what it is and when it’s likely to happen. It all depends on the individual and their interpretation.

It’s a fascinating subject, but will we ever know the answer?


Add yours

  1. There is no ‘prime’. Thomas Hobbs said life is ‘Solitary, Poor, Nasty, Brutish and Short’. And he was an optimist by my standards.

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