I was out watering some plants this morning and every time I would walk forward a few feet, the hose would kink in 3 different places behind me. Because I seem to think in metaphors a lot of the time, this struck me as being similar to life in your 40’s.
We often come blazing out of our teenage years and 20’s ready to take on the world, feeling full of possibility and wondering why our parents seem so old, so tired, so unhappy in their jobs, and so set on retirement.
We’ll never be like that we think. Hahahahaha!
Then we get busy at being busy. We work tons of hours because we have the energy to do so and one day it will all pay off-right??
Then maybe we start a family and that’s a whole new kind of busy. Sleep deprivation sets in, we start eating what the kids are eating, their activities begin to supersede our own (a rather new change in the parenting dynamic by the way), and let’s be real-a whole lot of us get lazy.
Then one day we may realize we’re feeling pretty blah about a lot of things. Maybe our jobs and promotions just aren’t providing the kind of fulfillment we thought they would.
And maybe, with a whole lot of shame and hiding of these thoughts from others, we realize that parenting and/or our lives in general are not what we had envisioned as a bright-eyed change-maker.
Horror of horrors-have we become our parents or those adults we used to see as so old, so boring, and so not what we were going to become?!
I know this doesn’t happen to everyone. And thank goodness for that. But to those it has happened to, maybe instead of counting down the days until you can retire and do more of what you love, imagine how different it would feel if you thought you were just getting started on your new life now.
We often think if we are doing ok financially and our health is relatively good, we’re set. But if our minds are a garbage dump of self-criticism, judgment, hopelessness, and despair, the money will not matter. Taking a vacation will not matter because you’ll end up right back where you started in short order.
We’ll just constantly be going back and forth, taking one kink out of the hose while another one forms 3 feet away.
Your mindset can change everything.
Knowing you can do something small right now-TODAY-can start to cause a shift. For the love of all that is holy, if reality TV stars are able to do what they do, surely there is something out there you can do that you love too.
Plant a little seed of self-belief. Nurture it, give it light and watch it grow. And don’t forget to water it. Preferably with a kink-free hose.