In limbo? Lacking a sense of significance?
I was chatting with some friends today. We are all in a similar age demographic – over 50, kids are grown and have been launched. Some had careers at home and others in an office or corporate environment.
What we have in common is that we are experiencing a period of “transition” in our lives. We’ve all been trained for something – nursing, finance, business etc. – and have spent many years of our lives working and supporting others. We acknowledged how so many women (including ourselves) dedicated our lives (during our 20s, 30s and 40s) to our families and our work at the expense of ourselves. We truly put ourselves – our needs, our wants, our ambitions – on the back burner for decades.
Now, on the other side of our 40s, it’s time to take over the stove turn up the burners and break open the wine! Metaphorically speaking, our menus might be different but the ultimate intention is the same.
Everyone needs a purpose or else they will simply wither away …
We want to be not only healthy, but thriving at this age and stage. We have places to be, people to meet and grandchildren to enjoy!
We are seizing the gifts of learning every day, experiencing changing vibrations that accompany our own personal growth journeys … some of those vibes feel like fire alarms (umm, you can’t dodge menopause!) and others are exciting and exhilarating. We all agreed that we have created a hunger for more so we keep learning and sharing and learning and sharing some more.
We talk physical health, relationships, businesses, finances, beliefs (and some disbeliefs!!), shopping, wine, self care tips and we support each other with whatever is going on right now.
We are fortunate to live in a part of the world where women can be as independent as they want … at least in theory. Certainly, younger generations are embracing that reality much more today, yet many women still feel a little bit stuck. Maybe even dependent on others for our happiness, financial security or direction. Or even permission. Many still believe we “need” to be available 24/7 for anyone who might need us. And then the slippery slide to the back burner begins again. Any of this sound familiar?
I jotted some notes while we were talking and after the call wondered, would I rather be living like:
THIS OR LIKE THIS?
|Making real connections with like-minded people from all walks of life and all corners of the world …||OR sustaining superficial relationships and office politics?|
|Spend precious time with the people I love AND have the energy to work and play at the things I love …||OR be sick and tired of being sick and tired?|
|Leading a life of authenticity in alignment with my core values …||OR spinning my wheels trying to keep up with (or be like) someone else?|
|Living life on my terms in a way that supports my purpose and passions AND utilizes my unique gifts and talents …||OR living in a co-dependent, drama-filled life, where my world continually revolves around the needs of everyone except me?|
|Continually improving my overall (physical, financial, emotional) wellbeing …||OR “living” too short and dying too long?|
|Learning and trying new things, sparking new interests and moving beyond my comfort zone …||OR walking through life on auto-pilot and complaining that nothing changes?|
|Enjoying and experiencing life in the present, being aware that every day is a gift …||OR obsessively worrying about what happened in the past and what might happen in the future?|
What is clear for all of us is that we are all on a mission to be the best possible version of ourselves and support others to do the same. This is a time in our lives that can be very rich and rewarding on so many levels.
It’s up to us to step up, speak up and reap all the benefits of our age, experience and internal power and share it with anyone who wants to do the same.
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What does significance mean to you?
If you feel like some aspects of your life are lacking significance, ask yourself the following questions:
What are my relationships like? Supportive? Fulfilling? Invigorating?
How do I feel most days? … in general and about myself?
Am I living in harmony with my own core values or trying to wear somebody else’s?
Am I having fun most of the time?
How healthy are the aspects of life that are most important to me? (eg, Family, Health, Self, Career, Finances, Relationships)
When is the last time I did something crazy, just for fun … no matter what anyone else thought?
When is the last time I paused to review my day and appreciate all that I have in my life?
If your response to any question makes you feel excited and good (cue James Brown singing “I feel good”) then consider “How can I do or enjoy more of this?”. On the other hand, if your response leaves you feeling frustrated or discouraged, ask “How can I change the outcomes that do not serve or delight me?”
For most people, significance is more about family, values, relationships, community, authenticity, joy and less about status, material things and money. Sometimes we don’t completely figure that out until we have raised our families or lost ourselves in our work and now find ourselves with time on our hands.
The good news is, we all have the power to boost our own personal significance factor. In fact, it’s ONLY up to us … but we don’t have to do it alone.
Click here if you’d like to learn more about how to shift your personal significance factor and would like to be part of a community of support.