Seriously???? What's the deal with midlife? I thought that it would feel different than this. I thought it would involve more fun and adventure and less tears and hot flashes! I've talked with so many women in a similar stage of life as me and I'm blown away by the similarities. The tears, the loneliness, the anger, the grief and the frustration and indecision about what's next. For me it started as my children began leaving home.
I began to wonder what I'd accomplished in my life so far and I wasn't super thrilled with the answers. Don't get me wrong I wouldn't trade my time as a stay at home mom for anything. I guess I just never thought about what would happen after they left. I've dreamed about grandchildren and big family holiday get togethers but I never thought about this awkward in-between time. My kids are just starting to spread their wings and they need the freedom to be able to do it without interference from me. This awkward in-between time between young and old. My hair isn't completely gray but it's getting more and more gray every day. I don't totally have flabby arms but they definitely wiggle and shake more than they used to and I'm self conscious when I wave at someone that they'll notice all the jiggling. I haven't hit full blown menopause but I'm headed that way and have the hot flashes and crazy hormones to prove it. Anyone else here in this crazy in-between time? As I began to work through the grief of all the changes and then began to ponder what was next I started to get excited about all the possibilities. I started to remember who I am. Not just as a wife, mother, friend, co-worker, daughter or granddaughter but a real person with a real purpose. I started seeing a counselor (who I love and highly recommend to everyone) and I started working through some of the barriers that keep me from truly being me.
I started to see the future as bright and full of possibilities I started to make decisions to move forward in my purpose. Then... the crap hit the fan as my husband started processing through some of the same things I had been wrestling with. I had always wondered why couples get divorced when their kids move out. Back then I thought why quit when you have so much time invested. Now I understand. On the good days marriage is amazing. We communicate well, laugh together, encourage each other and love and support each other well. On the bad days... well... not so much. In a few weeks we will have been married for 24 years and frankly it pisses me off that it's not perfect by now! Where is the dang fairy tale I was promised! We put in the time. We did date night and worked on our marriage. We love each other, we even like each other most days, why is it so freaking hard! And why now? I told you I was angry 😳😜. It feels like we're remembering all the dreams we've left behind and sacrificed on the alter of raising a family, building a life and serving in ministry. We lost our true selves in all the activity and in all the effort of trying to get here. Now we're here and we're looking at each other asking "really, this is it?" Somehow we both have to heal from our pasts, find ourselves and then, find each other again. And... find our purpose together. I have a feeling it's going to involve some grand adventure. I have so many fears tied to this stage in life and I have to let them go and not live in that place of fear, uncertainty, and lack of purpose. Now is not the time to quit! Now is the time to fight for something more, better and maybe even different. This is the dawn of a new season. We have to pick our way through all the boulders and thorn bushes and scale this steep mountain in order to see it well. I'll keep you posted on what we find at the top...
To all my friends around the world going through #midlife stay strong! Live your purpose with passion and conviction! If you'd like to chat about design and purpose you can visit my website at www.pathwaycoaching.net to schedule a free consultation.