Today I’m joining some of my blogger friends for what we’re calling “Fifty and Fab.” Reflections from 50-something women who have been around the block a time or two! Our perspectives change as we grow older. I look back at my 20 or 30-something self and can clearly see that I’m a different person. I have to admit that for me, change is hard. I honestly WANT things to stay the same…but life doesn’t work that way. So as we grow older, the only way to keep it together is to be kind to ourselves. We need to breathe and realize that different isn’t always bad. (A terribly hard concept for me but I’m working on it.)
I want to share a few things that I’ve realized in the past few years…epiphanies really. Mindsets that make life easier and tips for coping…small ways to just be happier.
*And because I can’t bear to publish a post with no pictures, I’m sprinkling a few shots of my dried limelight hydrangeas here and there.
Tip #1 | It’s OK to slow down.
One of the things that has been hard for me to adjust to as I’ve gotten a little older is that everything I do seems to take a little longer. I can’t run through the grocery store in twenty minutes anymore. I have to allow at least an hour (or more!) I can’t do the laundry in an afternoon…sometimes it takes a few days. I used to get so frustrated with myself but that only made matters worse…so I started to just accept it and allow more time for everything. When I did that, things got much better and I didn’t feel like I was always trying to catch up. So…give yourself a break. It’s definitely OK to slow down.
Tip #2 | It’s OK to say no.
I feel like, for some avenues of my life, I have paid my dues. For my whole life, I have done countless things out of obligation…or because I was trying to meet the expectations of others. A few years ago, I just stopped. I don’t feel obligated to do much of anything anymore. I do what I want and spend time with the people I love. There’s a lot of talk about comfort zones…and I’m all for challenges and growing. Here’s the deal though…it took me a very long time to find my comfort zone and now that I’ve found it, I have no desire to look any further. I have accepted myself for who I am. That person is imperfect, a little shy, and likes to stay home. I no longer try to be someone I am not…and I’m much happier. So say no when you want to…and don’t feel guilty.
Tip #3 | It’s OK to let go of friendships.
I don’t want this tip to be taken the wrong way…I love my friends and could not imagine my life without them. Sometimes though, friendships run their course. Life has a way of changing us and if a friendship isn’t working anymore, if what you had in common is gone, I think it’s best to let go and move on. Let go before the resentment and guilt starts to weigh heavy on your heart. When I left my job after 17 years of working with the same people every day, I was sure we would all keep in touch. I wanted, more than anything, to still be part of their lives. Well, as you can probably guess, that didn’t happen. I have kept in touch with just three people. I felt guilty and sad for a long time…but I finally just let go and I felt so much better. I wish I had not put myself through that but it was a good learning experience. So…let go if it feels right.
Tip #4 | It’s OK to ask for help.
This is, to this day, one of the hardest things for me to do. I just don’t like to ask for help. I don’t want to be a bother, and I certainly don’t want to appear that I don’t have my act together. Sometimes we just have to get over ourselves and take time for a reality check. When we are faced with something overwhelming, or really hard, it’s PERFECTLY OK TO ASK FOR HELP. I know this now and am getting better at it.
I know I don’t have to do it all, all by myself.
It’s taken a lifetime for me to realize that but now that I do, I am more relaxed and life seems a little easier. So…when the road looks long and winding, don’t walk it alone.
Tip #5 | This too shall pass.
This is the final tip and I’ve saved the best for last. No matter what happens, or how utterly horrible things seem, it will get better.
This too shall pass.
Every family has drama and if someone tries to tell you differently, they are flat-out lying. No family is perfect…no relationship is perfect. We get hurt and we get mad, but those feelings don’t last forever. Thank God for that.
Things will look better in the morning.
Time takes care of feelings and emotions that cause unhappiness. Even just one night, sometimes, makes a difference. If you’re angry or upset, wait one night until you act or say something. “Sleep on it” is sometimes the best advice ever.
Time heals all wounds.
Some people don’t believe this but I am not one of them. With time comes perspective, and with perspective comes forgiveness. Neither happens overnight, but with time, both are attainable.
So…not your usual craft or dessert huh? I hope I didn’t get too deep but I really wanted to share these things and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I hope you have time to visit some of my friends at the links below…and as always, thanks for stopping by. Oh…and if you are on Instagram, follow the hashtag #fiftyandfab for more 50-something musings.