Reaching your 50’s and experiencing menopause marks a natural juncture in your life. You begin to question what you’ve done and whether or not you’re poised to attain your life’s goals.
And that can be sobering. How many of your dreams have been reached at this point? As you move through your own reflections consider one very important factor: would you really want the best of your life to be behind you at this stage?
As we conduct this partially subconscious life analysis what we tend to see is a lot of unfinished business. Have we attained the pinnacle of our professional goals? Our family goals? Or is most everything still a work in progress? Is that such a bad thing?
Often we translate these open-ended and unresolved segments of our lives apologetically, as though they illustrate the fact that we haven’t really accomplished much. But are we selling ourselves short when we do that? Ok many of us haven’t published a Dostoyevsky-esque novel or climbed Mt. Everest but let’s not forget all that we have accomplished.
Have we done things that fill us with pride? Have we touched someone else’s life in a positive way? More than one someone else? Have we survived any tough challenges along the way? Have we just survived life in general? Why do we so often focus on the things we haven’t completed rather than reflect with satisfaction on the positive in our lives?
Don’t make the mistake of making your assessment, deciding you haven’t attained your goals, that you’ve run out of time and then find yourself in the position of having no alternative than to become one of life’s lame ducks. It’s easy to do. And that’s when you sit on the sidelines and start to get old.
When I made my assessment (and I’m sure it won’t be the last) I was a little disappointed. Let’s face it I’m not a household name – and I would have liked that. I’m not the head of IBM pulling in millions every year (although I will consider all offers) – and I would have liked that. I’m not the hot 50 something bikini clad beauty strutting her stuff in the Bowflex ads – and I really would have liked that. Let’s face it – the list of what I’m not, or have not done, could go on – but what would be the point?
So what has really been happening in my life? In retrospect I can honestly say that I’ve been very fortunate. I have a career that has kept me engaged for almost 30 years, a husband I enjoy more today than I did when I married him 31 years ago and a home and bulldogs that I love. I have a wonderful and supportive family and awesome friends. I’ve had my share of surgeries and aggravations, challenges and sadness but I’ve managed through them so far. So now what?
The other day I was meeting with my business partners. One was complaining about things we hadn’t finished and things we still needed to start and my other partner reminded us “It’s a journey, not a destination!”
With that in mind my reevaluation focused more on what it is I might still want to do than what I haven’t done. About a year ago I started publishing Menologues, a blog on menopause for women who want information and a chuckle at the same time. It’s been an awesome experience and I’ve loved every minute of it. A few months ago I was fortunate enough to have my blog picked up and republished by Vibrant Nation. Another great thrill for me. And just a few weeks ago I submitted my first humorous murder mystery to a publisher. Writing it was so much fun I almost hated to have it come to the end. All of these opportunities have given me renewed vigor and have proven that the best is yet to come! So look out Dostoyevsky!