I picked up a book in my doctor’s surgery , ‘Forty-fied – How to be a Fortysomething’ by Malcolm Burgess.
I loved this quote
Eeyore is probably 40, seeing that his stuffing is falling out, he’s terminally depressed and surrounded by annoying energetic younger things who know that the only way to cheer him up is to give him a nice jam jar with a burst balloon for his birthday, about which he is expected to be sadly euphoric
I don’t feel like my stuffing is falling out but after having 3 kids, I look at pictures of myself when I turned 30 and compare it to the tired woman with grey roots, developing wrinkles and a post baby tummy and wonder if we are the same person. I love the stuff about presents which are also discussed elsewhere in the book. I keep getting asked what I would like for my birthday but I don’t really want or need anything. I’d quite like a boob job but at £5,000 that’s a bit above most budgets, permanent hair removal, decent hair cut, a trip somewhere? I’m doing quite well with presents from my husband, I have a spa day, haircut and photo shoot and tickets to see Rufus Wainwright and my neighbour has bought me tickets for the ballet – so I’m far from Eeyore’s realm.
To be honest I’m actually not that depressed about turning 40 – it’s a turning point for me. The end of my childbearing days hence a chance to get my figure , career and social life back on track. Maybe not straight away (I still have 2 children under 5) but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
I hope I’m not an Eeyore. In Benjamin Hoff’s wonderful book ‘The Te of Piglet’ ( a follow up to the’ Tao of Pooh’), he describes the Eeyore effect. Those in life who enjoy being unhappy, who are so obsessed with the bad things in life that the good things pass them by. The most poignant part of his Eeyore discussion is that of the Eeyore educators. These try to force too much inappropriate information on children too soon, so that children get stuck. An Eeyore educator’s answer to failing test results would be to send them to school earlier, taking away their creativity and play .
picked a large bunch and trotted along, smelling them, and feeling very happy, until he came to the place where Eeyore was.
‘Oh Eeyore’, began Piglet a little nervously, because Eeyore was busy.
Eeyore put out a paw and waved him away.
‘Tomorrow’ said Eeyore. ‘Or the next day’.
I think we all recognise this in our busy lives, how we often say ‘In a minute’ but for the child who lives in the moment, that moment becomes lost. Hopefully turning 40 doesn’t mean turning into Eeyore, but rather being a Piglet or a Pooh. As Piglet says in the closing line of ‘The Te of Piglet’
For me, it also seems like a beginning.