Like many women of my generation, I spent a large chunk of my adult life raising children and taking ‘jobs’ rather than pursuing a career.
For some of us, a robust financial situation allowed us to be at home full time without pressure to go out into the workforce. While a pleasant situation to sit in, it could also become our trap.
Others, myself included, worked part-time roles around children and husband often working many hours as we went from our full-time role to our part-time position.
Never really attending work that inspired us or rolled into a full-time career path. These were jobs that kept wolves from the door while allowing us to be away from motherhood, albeit briefly.
Need is a powerful driver, and every life choice has a cost if only one. While some are espousing dropping everything and following your heart, many understand that an inability to pay essential bills rarely creates a space where inspiration and creativity thrive.
If we were to find ourselves on our own, we might be blessed enough to have financial security; however, that does not remove the sense that life has passed us by.
Wealth certainly gives us choices; however, it can only fill a void temporarily.
I remember a conversation with someone who had come out of marriage very wealthy however was ‘running out of friends’ who could afford her lifestyle, so loneliness was tapping at her soul.
She, like some before her, had dedicated her life to her husband and children only to find herself on the shelf, replaced by a younger model who seemed more exciting and able to voice the demands that she never dared.
We have a flawed myth that once we hit mid-life, we should have it all sorted.
We should have money in the bank, be working in the career of our dreams, have the perfect marriage and have the means to travel the world.
Our house should be significant – the kind that appears on TV shows, and it should also be mortgage-free.
Even if we have all of these, we can still have emptiness in our hearts and a growing sense of failure.
A sense that we have little to show for the increasing number of years we have walked this earth.
What is one to do when one feels like they have done ‘nothing with their life’?
Focusing on the past is rarely helpful. No-one has yet found a formula to change what has gone before this moment. I don’t think anyone has a ‘flux capacitor’ in the garage.
Focusing on how well everyone else is doing is a kiss of death. In a society where people can make their lives look increasingly glamourous and successful, it is hard to distinguish what is real and what is not.
When one has this sense of having done nothing regrets can come to the fore, and I have never seen anyone motivated from that space.
I genuinely believe we all do our best at any given time – when we know better, we have the opportunity to do better. The key is to know better – to take our mistakes as a chance to self -assess and learn the lesson required.
Everyone makes mistakes – repeating the same one over and over, is possibly less forgiving.
When we can be honest about ourselves and our contribution to where we are now, change can be made if required.
We also need to let go of blame.
Life has choice, and every decision we make is a choice. Blaming others for our choices will not set us free.
The future is where the focus needs to be, and that is served best by being in the moment you are in right now.
To create a plan for our future requires us to remove the influence of those around us who are served by us continuing our historical route.
Find some time alone, maybe a lot of time, and dig deep.
Dig into the things that would make your life worthwhile, the work you want to do, the love you want to have, the adventures you want to seek.
What was the dream when you were younger? Does it still fit or have you changed enough that it has lost its relevancy?
Remove your stories around your abilities. We can never create a different future for ourselves if we block everything because of our belief around being incapable.
Enlist the services of a great coach 😊
Then find your courage and go and do it.
The best lives are the ones lived bravely.
And brave is a choice and is doable.
The great gift that midlife gives us is experience and wisdom under our belt as well as time still available to step into ourselves.
And that is a gift worth cherishing.