I was emailing one of my subscribers a few weeks ago, and she made a comment that really stuck with me. It was down the lines of, “dealing with some of the major life issues that we do at this stage can be tough while we’re also trying to get a hold of some of the subtle changes that we are dealing with at the same time!”
It rang so true for me – enough so that I decided to follow it up with this article and a future blog post, as well!
I’d love to hear from you in the comments regarding some of the “subtle” changes that you are experiencing at this stage of the game. I know they will be different for everyone, depending on their own life circumstances.
Knowing that we all come to the table with varied perspectives, I wanted to give examples of situations in my own life that I see as major, before I start to talk about some of the more subtle changes. What I view as major are things like helping to care for senior parents, having two grandchildren diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and building a beach home. The changes or stressors can be positive as well as negative – they all add stress to the mix, regardless.
What about the more subtle changes that I am trying to wrap myself around and manage on a daily or weekly basis at this point? Here are just a few examples:
This affects nearly everything I do and how my day is laid out. I take my daily walk when my back feels okay. I am active with my grandchildren until I need to sit down for a bit and rest my back. It is not something that keeps me from doing what I want to, but it is a factor in my day.
When did this happen??? I went from needing them here and there to needing them to read a menu, and now, as one of my friends said, “When did I start needing them to SEE MY FOOD??” I cannot be without them.
I frequently find myself thinking about my age, the fact that I’m in my final chapter, and the hope that it’s a longer rather than a shorter chapter! I consider death, at times, and although I’m not ready to go yet, I feel good about where I am, where my people are, and what I’ve accomplished. I have a hard time wrapping myself around these thoughts though, because, at times, I still feel like I’m in my 30s.
The practice of being fully present in what I’m doing, has changed my life more than any other. I found that I would often be in the middle of joyful moments and activities worrying about what I had to do later or tomorrow or having anxiety about something completely unrelated. This stole the joy from me of that moment! And I was doing it constantly.
I made the decision to be fully present in every moment that I could as I moved forward. To go outside first thing in the morning and take a deep breath of the morning air without a worried thought. To engage fully in a conversation with my grandchildren without worrying about what we would be eating for dinner later and when I would have time to get it started. To laugh with my husband without feeling sad because he was having to go back to work the next day.
This practice is real work for me. But I have no words to describe the value in it. The increased joy that I have in my life on a daily basis.
I’ve noticed that in several groups I’m in for women over 50, there is a tendency to focus on negative situations. To be stuck in them. To wake up and define your life based on that situation.
There is no question that many are dealing with really tough situations each day. But, there are also those who seem to be choosing to spend a large part of their day focused on what cannot be done versus what can be done. Those with a fixed mindset decide that these subtle changes or limitations will stop them from doing what they want to. Those who embrace a growth mindset find activities and positive things that they can do in spite of those subtle changes.
Whether it’s your children, your grandchildren, or younger friends and co-workers, being around younger people helps us to take in and consider a younger person’s perspective as well as expose us to the overall increased energy that a younger person brings to the table. And, we aren’t engaged in constant conversation about our aches and pains and the subtle and not so subtle changes that we are dealing with in life at this stage of the game. I always feel younger when I am with people who are younger than I am.
No matter which phase of life we are in, there are changes that we experience along the way. We’ve got this!
What subtle changes are you needing to wrap yourself around at this stage? What are some ways that you might be able to do that that would work in your daily life and routine?
Tags Getting Older