There are many lifestyle blogs by either (very good looking) millennials and a ton of mommy blogs, fashion blogs and cooking blogs, but for a 50-ish lifestyle, not much. We need to discuss the everyday concerns of women who are one of the first generations of us who mostly worked outside the house and now find that a stage is coming to an end and what’s next.
I am right there at that point. I have always worked, always been brain busy and have fitted in my life around it. Some things have been done better than others but I managed somehow to turn out two decent, caring, smart young adults who I hope I have given the tools for happy and fulfilling lives and still be in my marriage of 26 years, even if there were times when it’s been a rocky road.
There were a few commentaries I noticed this September: One was a great movie that any parent in our time can relate to: Boyhood is a coming-of-age movie by Richard Linklater which was shot intermittently over an eleven-year period , showing the growth of the young boy to adulthood. In it, Patricia Arquette’s character looks back at marriages, relationships and her kids going off to college and says: ‘is this all there is?’ She struck a cord with me. We work, we raise our kids, we look after our parents, we try to be good wives and friends and somehow we need to be careful not to lose ourselves in the process.
The other was a comic in my local newspaper by Sandra Bell-Lundy call Freedom 56. An excellent, funny and real look at where our lives are once our kids are going off to make their own lives. The link is below, please have a look – you will love it!
Whether we are 49 or 56, we need to be more than the sum of the things we took care of and we need to find a way to be our own people. We need to take our successes and failures and look ahead to make sure the next years are fulfilling. If there are things that have made our lives frustrating, can we cut those out? Find the way to take stock now and see what you want to keep and what you want to do. How do you want to spend the next 5 years? Are there people you would be happy to never see again? If so, can you lose them without making your life more complicated? Obviously, there are constraints. We are not all financially able do anything we feel at whim and we still have many responsibilities, so we can’t just walk away without bearing the consequences.
But there are some of the things we can just do with what we are all given – time, attitude, the will to change. Sure, take up jogging or clean out your closet, but what about real change? For example, few years ago I decided that it was time to expand my network, to enrich my life. With some effort and some luck, I can honestly say that there are now friends that I have made in the last few years who add so much to my life. Nothing will replace my old friends, but new ones add a different perspective and new laughter and insights. Actually, I will keep making that effort because it has given me so much and hopefully I can add something to the lives of others, too. Just take the first step – there are good people out there.
Now I need to take re-asses once again and find things to do that I enjoy – I don’t know what, but I’ll keep you posted.