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Forcing Myself to “Go with the Flow”

By Leslie Moon February 17, 2024 Mindset

I know the readers of Sixty and Me are scattered all over the globe. In my little corner of the world last week, right outside Washington, DC, we’d been having winter weather. Snow and ice on top of snow and ice and bitterly cold temperatures.

I do not drive in the snow, so when it comes, it often interferes somewhat with my plans, especially on the first day until the roads get cleared.

My husband and I had planned a couple of days’ escape to our new beach home in North Carolina and the night before we were planning to go, we were to get snow.

My inclination was to just postpone it right then and there and not go.

My husband said, “Let’s get up in the morning, see what the roads are like, and make our decision then.”

I’m sure I must have looked at him like he had two heads. But, in theory, that plan seemed reasonable. So, I agreed.

Adjusting to not knowing what I was going to be doing the next day drove me even crazier than I imagined it might.

My Brain

For the majority of my now 62+ years, I have been a woman who needs to be in control and know all that is going to happen so that I can plan for it and be prepared for it!

I talk a lot about how I have been working for the last two years to escape this tendency by engaging the practice of being present. I realized that throughout my life, I had spent so much of my time planning, worrying, and figuring out next steps, that I was never truly present in any moment in my life!

I missed so much joy!

It was amazing how quickly that one statement from my husband, which I agreed with, “Let’s make our decision then,” set me back (in my brain).

How am I going to bed having no idea what I’m doing tomorrow?

But, I did it. And I even slept!

The Next Morning

My husband got up, cleared our driveway, and drove around a little bit to assess the road conditions. I still had no idea what we were going to be doing THAT DAY – I wasn’t packed if we were actually going to go.

At this point, my anxiety about the snow was gone. I didn’t care what we did. I just wanted a decision made and to know what I was doing.

We made the decision to go – and had a great time.

Life Lessons Learned from This Experience

The Value in Being Present

I engaged that practice the night before we left. I had my glass of wine, read my book, played with my dogs, and enjoyed my dinner. I was warm and watching the snow. I slept.

That’s all I needed to do that night. Worrying about the next day and what or might not happen wouldn’t change a thing. Except that it would ruin a perfectly nice evening.

Being present reduced my anxiety considerably. It allowed me to find the joy and gratitude in my evening. In spite of not knowing what I was going to be doing the next day.

I cannot stress the importance of adding this habit to your daily routine – for all women, but particularly those in this community. We tend to miss so much joy when we are worrying, anxious, or trying to achieve perfection.

Know That You Can Do Hard Things

Although in comparison to so many other life circumstances, this was NOT hard, it was hard for me in that moment. I gave up control.

But telling myself that I can do hard things and that I have done much harder things is helpful.

It reminds me that I’m stronger than I give myself credit for.

It Typically Works Out – Whether We Are Controlling It or Not

Sometimes we don’t have to know everything that “might” or “might not” happen in every situation.

Often, we need to relax and allow ourselves to trust the process and more importantly, to trust those around us.

In this seemingly “unimportant/minor” situation, I allowed myself to do something that is NOT me: I allowed myself to go with the flow.

Not only did I survive it, I had a great time with my husband.

Will it be easy for me to do it next time? Not easy, but hopefully easier and easier each time I do it.

We are never too old to grow from these everyday life experiences when we allow ourselves to be present in them.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

How easy or hard is it for you to go with the flow? I’d love to hear of any experiences you had where you did or didn’t practice this and how they played out. Do you engage in the practice of being present in your daily life?

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Jo Dee

I feel blessed that I learned some time ago to just roll with most things. Obviously things like getting to the airport or catching a train, or planning a move or an event require having a plan and covering details. But even in those situations not everything has to be planned to a “t”. Rolling with things makes for a happier experience and a more pleasant disposition. It also lowers expectations we can put on other people that aren’t necessarily ours to place on them. Being prepared at work is great.. being prepared in life sometimes means keeping your mind open and that allows us to go with the flow.


Very well put. Thank you for this!

Carol Bain

I’m guilty of being in control definitely.
I like to know what the plan is & enjoy my routine. I think it’s after a lifetime of being a parent. I am trying to alter my mindset but it’s hard!


It definitely is. Working on being present has made a huge difference for me.


I have to admit that I am somewhat of a control freak. But as I grow older, I am realizing that no matter how much we plan, what is going to happen is going to happen. It’s like pre-destiny. Especially when it comes to money, so many older people are afraid of running out of money. I am trying to change my way of thinking and live in “day tight compartments”. I am grateful for simple things like having a roof over my head and food in the fridge, and of course my health. I remember often what my grandmother once said toward the end of her life to the effect that “if she had known that things would all work out in the end, she would not have worried so much”. To me, those are wise words to live by. Hope you all will agree.


I couldn’t love this comment or your grandmother’s comment more, Joyce! Thank you for sharing. “Day tight compartments” sounds like a version of being present!


I’m the opposite of Renee. I used to just go along. But now I try to be prepared for important situations and cover things that “might” happen. I need to find a middle ground. But sometimes, I have to do everyone’s job or important things, like my husband’s surgery, don’t happen.


I get it, Roxanne! For me I just realized I was often worrying about things that never happened and I needed that to stop. I still do it, for sure, but not as much as I used to.

Renee Lovitz

I used to want to be in control of everything but as time and events go by, I realize we aren’t really in control of much. Go with the flow!!


Renee, you got that right!


Love this! We really aren’t!

The Author

Leslie is the founder of Life Balance After 50 where she uses her background in counseling and behavior analysis to help women navigate their goals and dreams after 50. She created a free mini workbook along with a guide and a full-length workbook for women who are looking to redefine and find joy and purpose in their second half of life. Contact Leslie at

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