I belong to a great Facebook group for women over 50. It’s a safe place to share what’s happening in your life, find support and get immediate feedback. New grandbabies, relationship troubles and health scares are all on the table.
This group is a microcosm of what we go through at this time of life. Midlife on can be wonderful and weird at the same time. As a grown woman who’s lived, loved, had a husband or two, a career and children, you’ve got experience and smarts. But now what. How prepared are you for the rock n roll changes happening to you now you’re a member of over 50 club?
We’ve lived through some (if not all) of these changes and challenges to becoming over 50.
– your children left the nest
– your children don’t want to leave the nest (!)
– you’re a full time grandparent
– your partner, husband or boyfriend may not be the same one you started out with
– you may be living alone for the first time in your life
– you may have been living alone for a long time on purpose or since a divorce or death
– you may have lifelong friendships that have scattered over the years
– you may not have much in common with some dear friends any more
– you may be living with health issues
– you may be the caretaker for someone close to you
You’ve made it – you’re over 50
All of these challenges have tested and tried you, but nothing prepares you for the next phase does it?
What’s the future look like? For most of your life you’ve been taking care of others and all of a sudden you’re on your own. What happens then. Who takes care of you?
That’s what I’ve been asking myself. How can I make the rest of my life full and happy?
If you’ve been on your own for years like I was, you learned to adapt didn’t you? You learned how to enjoy your own company. You didn’t wait for someone to ask you, you just got up and did it yourself!
We are resilient and pretty damn wonderful on our own but we still have love and life to give. We still have the need to share our stories and challenges and to feel like we’re not going through the rest of this life alone. We may be living alone or just feel alone but as long as we have connection we’re OK. We’ve learned how to cope with just about everything but as women we need to feel needed, connected and visible!
I don’t know what guys do, poor things. They share with us if they know how and the rest of the time they just suck it up.
But we don’t roll that way. We like to talk, bitch a little and get it out! We like to share our softer side when we know we won’t get slammed and stand a little tough when we need to.
I will tell you the answer. The way to thrive through the big changes life throws at us after fifty is this simple.
Share your soul, reach out, ask, push yourself a little out of your comfort zone (and I don’t mean getting on Tinder!) and be willing to change what doesn’t work. Don’t sit at home, you don’t have time.
Being a hermit comes naturally to me as an introvert. I can hide with the best of them. But when I make myself call or text a friends, join a Facebook group or reach out to family I am still me; only better.
We all need connection to thrive over 50.
Where can you find a little more connection and support today? Are you willing to make new friends if the old ones aren’t lifting you up? Will you let go of family that doesn’t offer positive support? Can you stretch yourself to join a new group or try a new hobby.
What lights you up? Can you find others who share your love of surfing or knitting or whatever floats your boat. I love being outdoors in nature, it’s almost a necessity for me. I try to spend as much time outside feeling connected to the earth. Do I always have company? No, but I do the best I can with my schedule.
At our age we haven’t totally missed the technology train and we know how to use social media. My belief is we’re still wired to prefer real time connection and conversation. Face to face. You know I’m right. Even introverts like me need to see eyes and your expression to get that instinctual hit of knowing and connecting.
At some point we have to put down our phones and our laptops and step outside our comfort zone if we truly want thrive.
I want to explore ways we can all connect in real time to share positive vibes, support and most of all, fun! Need a different perspective on how to embrace your midlife?