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Do You Know How to Bloom Where You’re Planted? These 7 Steps Will Get You on the Right Track!

By Fran Braga Meininger April 17, 2023 Lifestyle

As life goes on over time, we change; everyone does. Sometimes we drift off course, caught up in a tide of circumstances that turn our world into something different than we anticipated. It happens, often, and the women I know are experiencing it with greater frequency in their 60s and 70s.

Life as We Know It

The effects of aging, career change, retirement, financial insecurity, empty nesting, illness, and a shift in attitude and expectations can alter one’s perspective, leaving us off kilter, until one morning, we wake up to a world that looks unfamiliar, surrounded by those who don’t seem to be who they were, and neither are we.

We realize we’ve been going along unaware of how our life was shifting while we were busy serving and supporting all those around us. There just wasn’t enough time or energy to focus on our own needs and fulfillment.

As external conditions change – and we become free from working full time, caring for a family, or playing whatever role we were cast – we find ourselves rather lost. We may also find ourselves somewhat alone.

Our long-term relationships are less engaging, foundered by the rough seas of other obligations. We may not even share the emotions we once did and find ourselves left in the empty shell of what used to be a happy life together.

We may be tempted to leave, set out to find ourselves and establish a whole new life. But dismantling a shared life is not as simple as it was decades ago when we were young, just starting out, with less responsibility and no hard-earned assets to protect.

At this stage in our mature lives, starting over may be far less attractive, or simply not an option for very real reasons. It’s not always feasible to pack up and move on.

So, what’s a woman to do? One answer is to bloom where you’re planted, like a dandelion sprouting up between two slabs of concrete, growing happily in the warm sun, despite its circumstance.

We’re far more complex than misplaced flowers, of course, but it’s possible for us to find happiness and contentment where we are. Here are a few steps to help you get started.

Find Your Inner Peace

Inner peace may be a cliche, but it’s an important one. Whether this means meditation, yoga, prayer, or a solitary walk in the woods, however you find peace, letting go of frustrations and angst will clear a space for other emotions to inhabit your mind and heart. Dedicate time and practice to being calm and serene.

Let It Out

Talk to your friends, get into therapy, write in a journal, engage in whatever form of communication works best for you. You need to express your feelings. Keeping them bottled up will impede growth and transformation.

Be Physical

Regular physical exercise defuses cortisol, the stress hormone, and working out lifts the spirit. I chose hiking and found it brought me the release and sense of freedom I craved.

Get Clarity

Spend time sorting out where you are and what’s at the source of your discontent. If it’s something you can discuss and perhaps rectify with honesty, then set the stage for that to happen.

If those efforts fail, look to yourself and determine what you can do, for you to be satisfied and fulfilled. Do what you can to improve your situation so you can be happy where you are.

Look for New Outlets

I took up writing. I wrote as a way to sort through my circumstance. Amazingly, it grew into a passion and then into a professional endeavor.

Find what is right for you, be it art, music, volunteering, gardening, travel – whatever gives you pleasure and is possible within your circumstance. Start off small if you need to and see where it goes from there. Be open and say yes to opportunities whenever possible.

Shift Your Focus

Treat yourself as you would someone you love. Be kind and gentle. Pamper yourself and treat yourself to whatever brings you joy. This might feel awkward at first, but it is essential. Allow yourself time and space to realize your potential, follow your passion where it leads and be open.

Watch for opportunities that will further your journey. Set goals and encourage yourself as you would a friend. Step out beyond your comfort zone and ask for help from those who support you. And always celebrate your success.

Be Aware and Introspective

Examine your situation regularly, be honest with yourself and dig deep into what it is you truly desire, then set a course toward it.

Most of all, be true to yourself. You deserve happiness, and you don’t always have to make wholesale changes to find what makes you happy. Devoting time and energy to creating a fulfilled life can deliver huge rewards. Take your first step today.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you find yourself at a crossroads, wondering what to do with your life beyond 60? Have you considered blooming where you’re planted? What steps do you think you can take to give yourself a happy mature life? Please share your thoughts with our community!

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Sophie Kenny

My only child moved to another province with my grandson. My retirement is now filled with being alone and constant travelling back and forth to see them. This is not at all what I Had envisioned my retirement to be like. Besides the monetary cost of all these flights, there is the time this takes out of my week/month. When I return home I am often too exhausted to go places or do things for myself.
I definitely identified with this article.
I tried to start yoga classes but that didn’t stick. Tried meditation but that didn’t stick either
I’m still on a journey to find what can bring me peace and serenity whilst at the same time being in this situation where I miss them terribly and must travel back and forth


That is challenging Sophie. I’m so sorry that is occurring in your retirement time of life. Perhaps meeting with a close, trusted friend to “problem solve” your situation could be helpful. Someone who knows your heart well & could support you.


This is not fair!!
“Must travel back & forth”? Must you?
I am sure you miss your family, but it sounds like this is not a life for you.
Can you investigate using FaceTime (or one of the video apps) at an agreed time every second day, or whenever, to check in with & literally see your child & grandchild? My daughter lives in the UK (I am in Australia) & regular 22 hour flights are out of the question! Especially with COVID interrupting.
So frequent FaceTime, WhatsApp, & phone calls are how we keep in touch. Find out what works best for the both of you.
If you don’t know how to use these—your local library, or council will have resources to help you. Although you’ve contacted 60&me, so I think you’re OK!
Then you can live your life/find your interests at home—something to talk to your child about!
Good luck! Jen 🇦🇺


Informative info- difficult moving to new city when in the 80’s and making new friends and volunteering

The Author

Fran Braga Meininger writes personal narratives about the years beyond youth, a time in a woman’s life that can be vibrant, fulfilling, and wonderful, despite – or perhaps because of – all that comes with age. She lives in northern California where she hikes, bikes and lives life in big bites. You can visit her website at https://www.theyearsbeyondyouth.com

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