I have a range of friends, all aged 45-60, and in the last 6 months I have had many conversations that center around, “ugh, I’m tired,” and “I just need a break/vacation/day”, and “wow, life needs to slow down”. You know what friends? We are operating at a pace that we performed at in our mid-thirties, and we are NOT in our mid-thirties. We need to move into the space that this age was created for and own it like never before. We have experiences, life lessons and learnings, reflections on our past, but we are not heeding those, owning them, sharing them, or living them as our truth.
Why do we continue to strive as we did before and not take into account all the lessons and experiences that have shaped us and made us who we are in our core? We should have softened, become less judgmental, we should be the advice givers and the motivators and the cheerleaders to those coming behind us. Why do we not give ourselves a break? I think the answer lays deep in the root of a woman’s need to be affirmed and celebrated and understood. But when will that happen? We cannot change others, we cannot make people see things that they simply refuse to let in, and we cannot continue to kill ourselves in the process.
And if we continue as we are, what good are we providing for those coming behind us? We are doing exactly what we do not want to do, we are perpetuating a cycle that is unsustainable. A cycle that does not support effort and learning and honesty and reflection. A cycle that does not allow honest conversation and sharing and truth telling about the heart of matters.
I read something about a year ago that set me a little free, not completely free because I have to remember it daily, but minorly free of my striving. Randi Zuckerberg was asked how she balances life and career. Her answer is fantastic.
There are five main things in life on a daily basis:
Work, sleep, family, fitness, friends.
On any day, we can only be highly successful at three things. So pick them and own them. Be realistic with yourself. Allow yourself to be highly successful, but not by striving as we did in our mid-thirties, but by making a choice, daily, on what our focus will be.
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Midlife is hard, but we make it hard by not evolving into the person our age and bodies were created to be. Dig deep. Find your soul and your center, whatever that may be, but allow your truth to be at the center of your life. If it is not reciprocated, not received, not appreciated, then move on. We do not need to force anymore, we do not need to continue to place square pegs in round holes, nothing is worth that effort. Pick your three, daily, decide to be the most truthful self in each of those three. Cherish your moments, offer advice when you can but don’t force it. Let’s become the generation of women that love, support, and care for ourselves and those who will take our place.
Brené Brown wrote the following and it echoes the beat of my heart:
”I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:
I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go.
Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever.
Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”
We cannot change the past, and the future and how we live it is up to us. Days are long, months are short and years pass faster than I can believe. And so, suck it up buttercup! You have much to share and much to give, and in that sharing and giving you will express your truth and find a pace that suits you as a middle-aged woman.
By His Grace