by Judy M McCutcheon MBA
Recently I was thinking about getting older and wondered if as women we go through mid-life crisis. We know that men go through a period where they almost lose touch with who they are fundamentally, and we see the results of that all around us. The new girlfriend that’s younger than the oldest child, turmoil and mayhem in the home, and in some cases divorce – but that’s a topic for another article.
It’s hard to say, because obviously, we embrace getting older in different ways, but for the most part I think women chose a different route. We finally come into our own, we take responsibility for who we are, it’s a time when we finally understand that we don’t owe anyone an explanation for who we are. We go through varying stages of transition and sometimes it’s just dizzying – from getting a job to getting married, having kids, going through a divorce or being widowed, taking care of everyone and everything, menopause – gosh just writing this, is tiring. We get to a certain age and wonder where did the time go, why haven’t we done the things we said we were going to do, where did our dreams go, and some of us even wonder if we are still capable of having and fulfilling those dreams.
Sisters, life begins whenever you want it to. The fantastic news is that we are the only ones who have control over that, and it’s simply a decision that you make. We are in a time now where women are more educated, more active and influential, and are more independently wealthy that any other time in history. Women are heading corporations in industries that were usually male dominated, we have come a long way and still going – no stopping now. Women now have tremendous purchasing power. Age truly is just and number and you can rock it into your 50s and 60s all the way up into your 90s – don’t let those beauty magazines that have largely been unfair to older women define you – you are more than just your hips and thighs. Ladies, we have a choice in what we do, in how we live and who we choose to spend our time with. I remember how liberating turning 40 was for me, it seemed as if something magical happened – I didn’t feel the need to belong to any cliques, the time spent with myself because super important for reflection and meditation. My purpose became clearer and I began to set myself on a course that would take me on that journey of self-discovery. I am not saying that it’s going to be all peachy, there will be bumps and setbacks along the way, people will try to derail you, because you no longer fit nicely into their plans. But hold steadfast, you can do this – remember the only person you need permission from is you.
As you step boldly into your future, let’s look at some ways that can help you make the most of it:
Retirement Planning – Ensure that you have your retirement nest egg safely in place. It does not matter if you must keep working, the only thing that matters is that you have a plan in place that will take care of you during your retirement. Save as much as you can now, while you enjoy living in the moment.
Health – Keep your health in check, make sure to eat right and exercise. Let’s not look at fad dieting, but rather a lifestyle change. My goal is to cut out pork from my diet and gradually reduce the amount of meat. 3 years ago, I gave up smoking; it’s made quite a difference – my lips are pink again.
Pursue your dreams with passion – You are never too old for anything, start where you are. Let your lifestyle be centred around the things you are passionate about. Your passion makes it easier for you to learn and absorb new information about things that are of interest to you.
Live in the moment – Forgive yourself for whatever may have happened in the past, don’t worry about the things you did not accomplish yesterday. Let it go and enjoy the moments that you have now.
Trust Yourself – Believe in yourself, believe that you are where you are meant to be, accept and embrace who you are and move on. Lean into the wisdom and experience that you would have gained over the years, let them guide you on your journey.
Choose Happiness – Sometimes it becomes necessary to love people from afar. You know those energy vampires, the ones that suck the life out of you, just by seeing them – stay far away from them. Keep negative energy out of your space. Laugh hard and often, love deeply – no matter how many times you’ve been hurt, but most of all keep moving.
My greatest wish for you is that you recognise your power and your strength, that you love and accept you for exactly who you are, and not what others say about you. Be Blessed.
Judy McCutcheon is a partner in the firm Go Blue Inc, a Human Development Company.