"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." - goes the first line of "Pride and Prejudice"- by Jane Austen.
No, this is not a piece about Jane Austen, or how to get a rich single man ! I just picked up the book, I'm embarrassed to say. Embarrassed as this is a classic that any cultured person would have read by now, right? Although come to think of it there are many other Asian/malay classics that I have not read either. Yes, Sejarah Rakyat, for one (Thanks, google)
I don't know where this sudden urge to read classics came from. Oh yes I do, it's from being over 40, approaching 44 and realising that time is passing you at a rather alarming speed, and that you don't have much time to do what you want to do! Quick! What do you want to do?? I'm sure reading classics is on the list somewhere. That and lose weight. Actually loads of stuff! - read more (intelligent stuff, I mean), travel more, learn to cook a malay dish without ruining the santan- heck, learn to cook- full stop; write a book ! A notion I've entertained ever since I wrote a few lame manuscripts years ago, about a young dashing regent of Perak, falling in love with a young 17 year old commoner while she was at the same university as his dad (hmm, wonder who it was! heh! ) and had a few friends who read it tell me (over their laughter) that they liked it. And now that I'm over 40- I've inserted "go to Haj" in the list. (and secretly, "learn Add Maths"- always felt dumb because of it. damn youuuuu maths!)
At age 43..i woke up and realised- am I doing anything on that list? Not really, no..to be quite honest, I have just revived this list. For years I've been rather happy NOT having a list. Not having anything TO DO. Rather , just living. I have reached the stage when all the things I wanted to "DO" , have been done! I'm married, to a doctor (life goal, that - she says half in jest!) and have five kids, who are not monsters and are actually rather fun, my in laws love me, I have a nice house, and my husband thinks I'm gorgeous (I will ignore his severe myopia). And to satisfy my dad, I am also a lawyer. (I was actually quite happy being a married, mom of five, with a husband who thinks I'm gorgeous but that would be wasting my degree, he said he he) .Even work is fun, with a partner with whom I get along swimmingly well, who have allowed me to work from home in my jammies - what more do I want??
What more indeed? I've gotten rather complacent! And feeling- blaaah!
Apparently I am not alone! I spoke to another friend the other day and she was going through this blarhhhh feeling as well! The feeling of life passing you by and you not having done all that you want to do, and then the realisation that you have been so busy just living , that you have forgotten what the "all" that you wanted to do, originally were! You start losing a sense of "self", or control over your destiny etc etc..and then you die. URKS! Where's that panic button!!
Hmmm- Is this what a midlife crisis is then?? I thought only men have it?? Or is this the self indulgent whining of an ungrateful woman? Probably eh- who knows??
What I do know though is i need to get that list again! And DO things! Hence the Japanese lessons and Arabic lessons which I recently have taken up! And the gym that I have signed up! (Free trial, in case you wonder how much more money am I going to be wasting after signing up for that slimming centre thing - ah but this is to get fit and not lose weight only.- why am I justifying this :) ??) . And the trip abroad that I plan! And the registration for Haj that I finally am going to do! (package probably, because following my turn would mean I'd be going at 94 or such age, and that would be slightly difficult I imagine)
And the writing? I will try to get that going! I'm going to join those who labour under the misapprehension that they can write ! I'm going to have a shot at writing something readable and I will send it somewhere regardless of them shooting IT down or not- nothing ventured nothing gained, they say! I am going to try, and if I don't succeed , at least I have tried! (oh my god I just realised I sound like the Malaysian football team- "the important thing is trying and not winning!" )
- Okay cancel that- I will not only try I will complete it darn it!! God willing of course , for I may well fall dead next week. (there's the way to think positive!)
I WILL read the English/Asian/Arabic/Malaysian classics! I WILL be fluent in Japanese and Arabic by next year! I WILL have that svelte figure which would be a first ever, as I have never actually been anything other than chubby (I do that really well) and I WILL get fit and I WILL get a book out by hook and by crook! All this, of course, while being a fantastic wife and a really non-harrassed fun mom!
And that friend of mine?? She's coming along to that gym! And I've asked her to come along for the Arabic class- and we shall shoo away the blaaaah ness together. We shall find meaning in life again and no longer live the hohum way!
Jane Austen would have been proud!
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