Turning 40 / 40歳を迎えて


Tomorrow I’ll turn 40 years old. Ten years ago, when I was 30, in my (Japanese-only) diary I wrote, I looked back at what I had learned in my life before and mentioned that my dreams in my thirties were (1) good marriage, (2) success in business, (3) spare financial resources, and (4) possession of my own house. Nothing out of those dreams come true right now, except that I’ve got enough income to manage to support myself only.

Indeed, I’ve experienced a wider variety of things in my thirties than I did in my twenties. Years in my thirties were much better, much brighter, and much more exciting than those in my life before. I don’t feel as depressed as I did for a few weeks before I was turning 30. But yet I think I’ve lost some precious things —- time left in my life and a little physical strength. There are ten years less time left for working, earning, and living. My skin gets duller. There are more wrinkles on my face. I can drink less alcohol. And I get tired more easily.

I think that my forties would be the decade for compromise with and a battle against, ageing. I will face two types of ageing: one can’t be overcome and the other I can do. I won’t try to fight too much against physical ageing, which can’t be helped. I won’t stick to what I won’t be able to do, for there is a limit to my ability. Even if I give them up, I’ll have a lot of other things I can do. I won’t grieve over what I’ve lost. Instead, I’ll be thankful for what I still have.

On the other hand, I can fight against mental ageing, which means fear for changes, adherence to ideas and sense I acquired in the past, and lack of curiosity about new things. This kind of ageing can be overcome of my own accord, no matter how old I turn.

The money will be more important to me. Until now, I’ve intentionally spent all the money I earned to invest in my life experience rather than saving it. Now that I’m in my forties, I have to change my mind, because there will be not so much time left before I can no longer earn any money. I’ll try to save as much money as I can, to spend my last days comfortably.

The global mind is now crucial for my future life, as well. As a Japanese, it would be desirable to keep living in Japan until the end of my life. Yet the future is unstable. This country may no longer be safe and comfortable to live, as shown in the events of the tsunami and radioactive contamination that occurred on 11 March 2011. Some countries around Japan are hostile towards it so that they may attack our homeland someday. Even if I can’t live in Japan any longer for some reason, I want to be capable of living and getting a job anywhere else in the world. I’ll build such skills and human links that I can do it. Of course, I’ll save my assets in several countries of the world so that I can live even if I lose one.

Nobody knows the future, but life is fun for this. I will live in the next ten years with fun.















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