Too old for snapchat, too young for Insta?
Aaaah, the empty nesting, pre-retirement, liberating years…
The meandering years culminating to this point have no doubt been fraught with activities, responsibilities and deplete wallets. It is now the time to catch your breath, clear the clutter, toss out the baggage and devote yourself to your cherished hobbies and yourself … and wait for it…. Embrace Middle Age or as I choose to call it the “Enlightened Age”!
No one wants to admit to feeling older or want to acknowledge those joint paints and get older. Let’s face it, middle age, blessed gift that it is, may seem daunting. Let me share frank, realistic and humorous advice during a “girls” luncheon to embrace the heightened, enlightened age :
- Single? Then Mingle! Life is too short NOT to toss your inhibitions. No second guessing yourself. Socialising is good, make the effort, get dressed, get out of your way and feel the difference. Life on the other hand, could be long and lonely. Why martyr yourself? Besides, who cares what people think?!
- Find your Passion. Always wanted to learn the salsa? No time like the present. If it’s worth doing, then commit to it, do it and enjoy it!
- The Elusive Passion. Yes, this one. Equally important as the other passion. Libido gone missing? Some help here to find it. Hint, hint, the pumpkin seed, who knew! If all else fails, ask Nicole Jardim. Plenty of time on hand (no pun intended), energy and reduced stress levels to ignite those embers.
- Say “No” Don’t want to do something? Say “No”. You have earned this time. It is all yours. Precious and long won, especially if you are still chewing on the reins of full-time employment.
Image Credit : Lifehack.org
- Challenge yourself. Start small. Aim high. There are many reasons to wake up renewed and invigorated minus the stresses of the previous years. Even if it is just coffee with a friend, it is a social event worth anticipating.
- Listen to your voice. There is power there. None of the wish-washy dithering of the 20s, clearer than the 30s and with the 40’s, an infusion of good old fashioned wisdom. A healthy dose of impudence has endeared me to my nieces, not so much to the prudish aunt despite her reluctant hovering smile. Able to hold an audience enthralled at a party or speak from the heart at a funeral, then do it. Summon your inner resources and celebrate your voice. It is as Earnest Calkins says, “There is no material with which human beings work which has so much potential energy as words.”
- Actions speak louder than words. There is also something to be said about being able to lovingly spoil someone with a simple coffee and treats, a lesson I learned in my late aunt’s kitchen, memories made more poignant in her absence. Stuck in heavy traffic on what promised to be a scorching day, I watched a homeless woman push a trolley loaded with waste and wire. Our eyes met and in that second, I offered her my cold water bottle. Her smile spoke volumes.
- Regrets. Inevitable, pesky things, do not let it consume you.
- Secrets. Scalding things that they are, I second my friend Valerie’s Cullers take on them. “Don’t let the secrets you carry affect you and your mental and emotional health!”
- Count your blessings. Many of our friends and family members have passed on. Yes, they are loved and missed but life needs to be lived irrespective. Hug the memories but remind yourself that your cup is overflowing and your journey is incomplete.
- Physical Benefits. The physical benefits linked to lack of menstruation are long awaited. Forget mood swings, accept the changes and welcome renewed confidence.
- Financial Freedom. That 401k may not be exactly what you want it to be but it is a superb time to capitalise on investments.
- Travel. Spread your wings. If not now then when? Certainly not when you are too ill or tired to explore.
Image Credit : imgur.com
- Grey hair. Grey hair or platinum hair is the new black, a mantra to adopt.. Whilst some are traumatised by the thought of losing hair or by the onset of grey hair, others like Richard Gere, George Clooney and Judi Dench have owned their crowning glories.
- Enjoy life in the slow lane. There are benefits to this, reduced rates, discounted shopping days, welcome holiday breaks look around and find what works and make it work for you.
- You have your own property. Be it lock up and go, or a garden property, your space is your own, Need to subsidise? Rent out a room for the additional finances or to the eye candy down the road.
- Hidden talent. Make your love for yoga or painting work for you, teach a class.
- Friendship. That rare, beautiful, prized bond means that your beautiful heart has made, kept and maintained relationships. Friends are the gifts that you gift yourself, surround yourself with them, embrace loving relationships.
- Experience matters! Been there, done that! No need to prove any points.
- Emotional Intelligence helps assess situations to rationalise situations and make informed judgements. Witticisms, repartees and an improved vocabulary often outsmarts the younger generation.
- Terms. Why not your way? there is no need to rush off from a party to the next latest party scene. It is OK to leave for home. Why? Because you want to and can!
- Perception. Shades of grey. No, not the Fifty Shades of Grey guaranteed to titillate although you would have the licence and experience to delve into that. We are talking of perception. Everything is no longer viewed rigidly in black or white, the shades of grey reveal telling stories.
- Self Love. Do not stint on the self love. It may have been lost or eroded in the past years but THIS is the time for You. So love your authentic yourself, get up. Dress up in your inimitable style, you’ve earned those stretch mark stripes and embrace every aspect of yourself.
- Do not compare to those celebrities embracing their middle years. They have personal trainers, chefs and other perks that come with stardom but we have kept it real, kept it together as best as we could and that in itself, deserves a hearty applause.
Shrug off the lassitude, invite your independent children around, let them bring their kids, settle down and exercise that honed listening power up for a slower re-run of your past busyness through their lives. Pay attention to the grandkids, you may have missed out some with your kids. After all, Grandparents can get away with almost anything…! You’ve certainly arrived at a Grand Stage in this stage called life, the roles have been many, your book not quite complete. Brace yourself for the ride, embrace the Enlightened Age.