It’s been 3 months since I’m halfway through Club Forty.
In less than 5 years today, I will be 50. Back then, I thought when you reached your forties you have reached that stage of your life where you can say that you are settled and everything in your life are sorted out.
Now that I am a 45-year old woman, as much as I want to say that I have everything in my life sorted out, I can’t. I still have a long list of things that I want to do, I still have dreams and goals that I want to achieve and I still have moments where I question myself why I made certain life decisions.
I’m in the mid-life crossroad of my life, I am at the second half of my life. I can never be sure that I will live to be 90 years old. Realistically speaking, based on my family history living until 90 is a long shot, not even my grandparents reached their 90s. As reminded by a Tibetan saying, “Tomorrow or the next life – which comes first, we never know,” yet no one can guarantee if I will live a longer life, but I will just start viewing this stage of my life as the part where “I am just halfway done.”
For some reasons, being 45 seems like more significant to me than when I turned 40. For me, it is that point where we’ve had many good and bad experiences that contributed to our maturity, wisdom, strength and confidence. We have a lot of reasons to pat our selves in the back for going this far and for learning the skills that we need as we continue our journey. I know there’s as much life ahead of me. And I also know that there’s more to just the number of years that I have ahead of me, the number of years that I have left is equivalent to the number of experiences that I will face or it could be more. So, as I continue to live the second half of my life, I am sure that my second part is going to be better than the first part. Why did I say so? Here are some of my personal reasons why:
My experiences in the past 45 years taught me a lot of lessons that I am bringing with me which includes having a heart open wide for the people that are most important to me and paying more attention to the “treasures” that I hold dear to my heart. My 3 children, my parents, my siblings, my friends, they are all my life’s treasures. I will spend more time with my children, to nurture and guide them, make them feel loved and assure them that they have me, no matter what. I will make time to making good memories with the people I love and try to check on them more often, most especially my parents. While they are still around, I will always make sure that I let them known how much I love them and how grateful I am for all the things they’ve done for me and for my siblings.
I will hold on to my tribe and love them fiercely. In the hierarchy of relationships, friendship is at the bottom. Our partner, children and parents always come first. As we aged, friendship tends to change, but as we get older, our friends also become very important for us. You learn who your real friends are and who are just around because they need something from you. I consider myself fortunate in this department because I have few in my tribe that I consider to be my lifelong best friends, even if we are miles apart and I met a couple of friends here in Canada whom I consider to be family. Now that I am 45, I already know the difference between friends and acquaintances. I may have more acquaintances than friends, but what’s important is that I know who they are.
In the second part of my life, I am more serious with my goals. If a goal without a plan is just a wish, a plan that is not written down is just a dream. I am at that point where I make a plan when I have a goal in mind. I write them down and turn them into action.
Now that I am 45, I will allow myself to be bad. 45 years is enough time for me to know what I am really good at, and for a long time I’ve always stayed there because that makes me feel good. I live doing things that give me a feeling that I am a master, so I stayed away from doing things that I am unsure of because I hate feeling stupid. This time, I will be braver, I will have more courage to try to learn new things and do things outside my comfort zone. This will not only allow me to discover what else I can do but it’ll also help me avoid adding more items to my lingering regrets list. It sucks to feel stupid or to feel rejected but its worst to come to a point where you regret not doing things because of your fear to fail.
For the past 13 plus years that I worked in the Benefits and Pension area of the companies I worked with, I worked closely with retiree’s, and I’ve heard a lot of life stories from these folks. But there was one conversation that I had with an 80 something woman that I can vividly remember, she told me that we humans are use to living our lives by many limitations that had no value because we are too concerned about what other people will think of us. Though I must admit that I am not totally there yet but after that conversation I become much better at caring less than I used to. Of course, I am not coming to a point that I am totally disregarding other people’s feelings but what I’m saying is doing things for my self and for the people I love without spending too much time on worrying how other people will take them.
In my past birthday posts, I’ve already said that one of the things that I learned to do for my self is to pause when I need to. People close to me know that I am really hardworking, I work and play hard until I run out of gas. It worked for me for so many years, but now that I am older it doesn’t work for me both physically and mentally as it used to be.
I hate to admit it but now that I am 45, I realized that I tend to be a people pleaser most of the time, so this time, I will stop being a “yes” person and learn to say NO to things that do not add value to my life. I now know myself better, I know what I want and I know what will really make me happy so I won’t agree to doing things that I really don’t want to do and I’ll stop accepting invitation just because of FOMO (fear of missing out). Less time for things that don’t serve me means more time for me to focus on things that will make me better or happier.
The last in my list but I feel is more important is reminding myself that “age is just a number,’ no matter how old we get, the opportunity for us to grow and develop is still limitless. Despite all the things that we’ve achieved in life or the skills and knowledge that we’ve acquired along the way, there’s still a lot of room to learn, to grow and to be great. It may be a career development, a lifestyle change a business venture or taking up a new course, I must go for it… I should not be afraid to go for it.
Reaching 45 is a blessing, not everyone is fortunate to reach their midlife. As for me, I do not have a perfect life and not every thing that I have and I’ve experienced in the past 45 years are not the things I imagined and dreamed for myself. Though, I didn’t have it all and I failed in some departments I am still grateful for the life that I have, I’ve come so far from when I was 30 years old, a woman facing one of the most difficult situations that she ever got herself into not getting the support she expected to get from someone she thought she can rely on.
At 45, I will continue to be me, and the woman I’ve become. I will tell her not to waste her remaining time, not to procrastinate and relish every great opportunity that comes her way while still maintaining her conduct to do things with integrity, authenticity, passion and kindness. I will remind her to keep working hard, to be more forgiving and to be more loving. But this time to value herself more and take care of her more.
This is me at 45! I am choosing to view my 45th year as that stage where I start into an even better me and a better new lifetime.
Thank you for staying with me and making it to the bottom of this post. I would love to hear your thoughts about midlife. Let’s talk in the comment section…