Does this sound like you?
What do I want out of life? You might be asking yourself - What if I don’t have a goal? How do I figure out what I want to do? I’m scared. I don’t have the money to follow my dream. I don’t have the time because I have kids, I’m a single mom, I take care of my elderly parents, I have a full-time job that requires me to work more than 40 hours a week. I’m too old!
Hi there – my name is Sandra and welcome to the next installment of my blog Solve My Life! If you are here for the very first time, I hope you will stay to the end. And please hit the like button or share some comments below so I can get to know you a little bit too!
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FAIR WARNING – this post has a lot of exercises and introspection. You may want to get something to write some thoughts down. 😊
Today we tackle embracing your age and the beginning steps to making a real change in your life.
I’ve been really lucky; in that I’ve always followed my heart when it comes to work. My grandmother told me many years ago, many MANY years ago, that if I find something that I love to do, I’ll never work a day in my life. Well, that been true for the most part although I often do have days, weeks or months where it’s really really hard work. But once my goals have been met or the projects have been completed, I can honestly look back and say to myself, “Self 😊, it may have been hard but the journey was fun.”
But that all changed, life came to a screeching halt! When I turned 50, or was just about to turn 50, I had a major career interruption. I had been working for an organization for 10 years, which I absolutely loved, and suddenly I was no longer needed or wanted. It really broke my heart because I thoroughly enjoyed the work and most of the people that I worked with every day. That said, it was a great time for me to leave because I was getting pretty burned out from the day-to-day frustrations of the lack of leadership and my job was quickly becoming a job. I wasn’t enjoying it as much anymore.
TIP #1 Celebrate yourself by celebrating your friends and family.
Even if it feels uncomfortable, or you don’t embrace your age, you must try! Just do it and see what happens!
I always highly recommend celebrating your milestones. This will cement memories of good times which will counteract our often-constant negative thoughts and memories. A few months after losing my career job, I had a huge 50th birthday party. and I was overwhelmed with the number of people who accepted my invitation to the party. (Tears are coming to my eyes as I remember this moment.)
As I looked around the room, I was strongly reminded of the amazing friends that I have and even though I didn’t see a lot of them very often I do that we had a real strong connection.
My birthday cake did not say “Happy Birthday” on purpose. It said “Livin’ Life!”
Firmly planting these kinds of memories is important, especially when we are older, they help to make us wiser.
STOP! In your journal, write down at least 3 great memories in your life. Either now or later, take time to write down details about these memories. The smells, who may have been there with you, what was the weather, where were you? Dig deeper into the memory. What was the occasion, was it happenstance, planned, and why did it make you feel so joyful? And, how often do you think of this memory? Does something trigger this memory today and what is that trigger?
If you have something that triggers any of these memories you may want to consider putting yourself in that situation when you need a pick-me-up.
I knew losing my job was an opportunity for a new chapter in my life. Thanks to my family genetics I have a good chance of living until I am 100 years old. Yes I do believe that, but that’s another conversation. Truly, at 50 years old, I could live another lifetime.
I know that if I could get as far as I did in the first 50 years of my life why can’t I get just as far or further, in the next 50 years. This time I have more experience to draw on so I can reach my goals faster!
STOP! Putting aside the way you may currently feel, what would you fantasize about right now, in this very moment, to celebrate yourself, family and friends?
TIP #2 If you don’t have great supportive friends and family find new ones!
When you surround yourself with successful and supportive people YOU will find more success and happiness.
Now, several years later, my journey has taken many twists and turns and it’s had some highs and a lot of lows. The most difficult thing to maintain was a positive attitude, belief in myself, and moving forward, somehow, each day.
If it wasn’t for my close circle of friends and supportive family I wouldn’t be here and the person I have continued to grow into today.
STOP! Write in your journal who is supportive in your life? Anyone and everyone. It doesn’t matter how much of an acquaintance they may be, if they make you feel good they make a difference. AND, now this may be difficult, who is NOT supportive of you? This could be close family that you know are not going away, but it will be important to find others to counter-act outside negativity.
I know it takes time to find new supportive friends. Just know it IS possible. Look in places where you enjoy your hobbies (knitting circles, bowling, church groups) and look for those that you wouldn’t normally consider. You never know who is right in front of you. Remember, the idea here is to have positive influence and not toxic or drama. We are trying to make change.
I’ll be honest, sometimes moving forward just meant getting out of bed and getting dressed! Read this again! Sometimes moving forward just meant getting out of bed and getting dressed!
Again, I have surrounded myself with very positive, caring, and supportive friends who did not doubt me, even when I doubted myself.
I am also fortunate enough to have a pretty good family who also are incredibly supportive. I should say here that I’m single and do not have a trust fund or massive savings to get me through these often lean times.
TIP #3 Chop Wood and Carry Water
I’ll go into the meaning of this in another post. Whatever it is you are doing right now, if you hate it, feel less than, underemployed, underappreciated and underpaid – just do it. It’s only temporary and you need the work!
Being unemployed and underemployed for the last several years was humbling and felt humiliating for me. It will get better if you take baby steps. I am a very ambitious person but I also tend to get in my own way. I am still learning how to get OUT of my own way. For now just put one foot in front of the other and together we will grow our new path and make it bloom!
STOP! How do you get in your own way? How do others get in your way? If you don’t know, just list 3 things you suspect get in your way!
TIP #4 Find a Favorite Thing That Inspires You
I don’t need birthday and other holiday gifts, but this is the one item I have asked for because I really couldn’t afford it. It’s a magazine that inspires me called Where Women Create.
So here’s something that really changed the direction I thought I was going. In this magazine Where Women Create, there was a quote in an artist’s story that asked:
“What would you do for the next six months if money was not an object time was not an issue and you had the skills to do anything?”
STOP! What popped into your head just now? Just write it down…it doesn’t matter how silly or impossible you may think it is. Don’t let that thought get away!
The very first thing that popped into my head after reading that question, was not what I expected but in fact something I had long forgotten about. It was “I would design my own clothing line for curvy women.”
Whaaaaaat!?!? Where did that come from? I had forgotten all about that. I remember thinking about doing something similar about 20 years ago, in my 30s. That was a time when the Internet was pretty new, resources were not as available as they are today, and I sure as heck didn’t think I had the skills it would take to do that. Looking back I can honestly say I was wrong about the skills. Whan it REALLY was is that I didn’t have the belief in myself and the confidence that I could do it.
Did you have a thought come to mind after you read that question? Does it surprise you? Write about it while it is fresh in your mind and heart.
I guess wisdom really can come with age. It doesn’t always. But if you let it, and you strive to make changes, healthy changes, in your life, and you ask the people you respect and admire for their opinions, thoughts and reality checks, your wisdom really does grow with age.
When you get wrapped up in thinking you know the answer for everything and everyone else, not admitting when you’re wrong, and don’t consider others when they need help, this is when you need to learn to humble yourself. I learned this in my 20s from a therapist who I greatly admired and respected. She told me often, to humble myself. I wasn’t sure what this meant, and she wouldn’t give me the answer she just kept telling me to humble myself.
I can’t tell you what that means for you. I can tell you that for me it often means for me to just shut my mouth and listen to others.
When someone tells you a story, about an event in their life, or shares about a special or difficult moment in their life – do you feel compelled to tell them about your experience? Do you feel like you have a similar experience and the need to tell them how YOU handled it or how YOU think they should handle it? DON’T!! Let that person have their moment. No one needs, and more often than not, wants to hear your story too. They just need you to listen. No one likes a know-it-all, or a braggart. Humble yourself. Just listen.
STOP! Ask yourself who in your life past or present is someone you would aspire to be like. Why? Describe them and what you admire about them. Write it down. Sit in silence with it. Feel what it might be like to find those qualities within yourself.
There are so many things I’d like to share with you in upcoming blogs and vlogs. I’ve had the great fortune of having four master teachers in my life. I’ll share with you who these people were down the road here, but for It should be someone that you have had some kind of personal relationship with whether it be a family member, a boss, a professor, a spiritual teacher, or a friend.
Over the next several days re-read what you have already written, write some more and take time to take it in. Answers don’t come right away. And when they do it might be when you least expect it. But you will know when you find one.
This is just the beginning of your journey. It may not seem like it now, but if you stick with it you will see change. It’s slow, it’s not easy and it CAN happen.
Thanks for spending time with me today. Thank you for allowing me to share with you and I hope you have a little more insight as to who I am and what brings me here.
Take a moment and let me know who you are and why you came here to my blog today in the comments below. Follow me here: email@example.com and get notified when a new blog posts.
Please feel free to be open and please don’t judge anyone who leaves a comment. Be that strong person who supports and inspires our circle of friends that meet here. Be that person in your comment below for other people reading the comments. Inspire us with your comments!
Thanks to YOU, for reading, listening, and believing in yourself to read this all the way through and doing something for yourself.
Finally, and this will not be the last time that I say this, but I promise you, that in each and every blog I post, you can find answers you are looking for. Only you can find them.
Until next time, with hugs and a smile!
ALWAYS LOVE YOUR CURVES!
READ THE FINE PRINT
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