It’s that time of year when we send our kids back to school and anticipate clawing back a little more ‘me’ time. But, as our 17 year old daughter grows more independent, my husband and I are learning to let go. She is starting to make big decisions for herself and we are feeling a bit anxious not only for her but for us and our changing roles as parents.
These next two years are growth years for all of us as a family. While I have always tried to balance work with home life, soon I will have more time to do the things I’ve always wanted to do. But, like all middle-aged woman navigating hot flashes and menopause, I have to ask myself ‘now what?’ Yes, I’ve done my best to maintain a career and reinvent myself but I still have questions about my purpose in life. Don’t most of us at this age? It’s natural. Many of us have put our dreams and ambitions on hold to dedicate our attention to nurturing families or perhaps we’ve put aside family life in favour of careers. Either way, I still feel a bit short changed because we can’t have it all…at least not at the same time. Maybe that’s being greedy and I certainly don’t want pity, but it is bloody true that a woman’s work is never done!
My female clients in transition suffer anxiety attacks, depression and often feel hopeless about the future, especially when their role becomes less defined. I say at this time in life, you have to take control of your own destiny. Sit down and mind map what you want your life to look like; look back on your achievements with joy and your defeats with grace then dust of the rust and get back into the big picture of life. Drink martinis, dance on the table and live a little. Consider it the next rite of passage. Feel empowered by the fact that you’ve actually made it to middle age bouncing with botox or wrinkled and ripe. Believe in yourselves, girlfriends, and don’t let some inevitable disappointments do your heads in. Life begins again at 50 and I can attest that it can definitely be fabulous, but you have to work at it, you have to plan it and it has to be about YOU.
As a collective we need to support each other, listen to each other and encourage our sisters to go for it, to not be afraid of a new metamorphosis. After all, age is actually the mother of reinvention! If only we ruled the world. Go for it!