I am not old…she said. I am rare. I am the standing ovation at the end of the play.
Like many women, I thought of self-care as selfish or indulgent, served up with an undercurrent of guilt. It seemed extravagant – like a weekend at a spa, rather than emotional first aid of the highest order. Like the classic example flight attendants give about putting on your oxygen mask first before helping others, it’s important to tend to yourself first.
Moving forward often demands that we live lost, knowingly surrendering our attachment to who we think we are, voluntarily stumbling around in the dark with little to guide us. Growing is all about leaps into the seeming unknown.
Brenda is part of a tribe of women who were the first to enter the professional world in large numbers, and are the first to encounter the hazards surrounding retirement. Defining themselves largely through their careers, they have challenged traditional models at every stage of their lives, and are now being challenged by their own negative stereotypes about retirement.
After talking with more than 100 women from all across the country, about 50% expressed concern that they were becoming marginalized because of their advancing years. The other 50% had no such concerns. In fact, I had to define more clearly and concisely what I meant by "invisible" in order for them to answer the question. It just wasn't on their radar.
I wanted to get a better handle on what ignites a fire in the belly of a high-achieving, soul-driven midlife woman, and I wasn’t disappointed. Everyone I talked with was wonderfully open, unreservedly frank, and touchingly vulnerable. While these women may have taken any number of divergent paths as a result of choice or circumstance, there are a number of places where these various paths intersect, and when standing on that sacred ground, their voices sound particularly unified.
That was the year as a midlife woman that I felt the undeniable call of my soul’s desire. That I felt the undeniable need to live with Intention, which meant casting aside so many things I’d been tolerating that were keeping me from becoming the woman I wanted to be. If you find yourself feeling this same sense of urgency, get ready to start your own [R]evolution™ by jettisoning these 17 things from your life. How many of them are you currently tolerating?
For women, the second half of life brings with it many career choices and questions. For some women, continuing in a current career doesn’t fulfill personal, spiritual or financial needs as it once did. For others, re-entering the workforce has become a necessity due to the changes in the economy. In either case, a ReCareer may be the answer. What is a ReCareer?
The point of this post isn’t about passing judgment on whether a woman who has kids should work outside the home or not. Or remain in an unfulfilling marriage. It’s about a woman living one life and opening up to the reality of what that life is not - and what it could be.
You don't have to go back to square one and rewrite the story of your life. It's your stories that have created your life and evolved you to this point. It's about starting where you are and moving forward from here. Step by step. Intention by intention.