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Top 10 Gifts of Middle Age
By the time you are in midlife, you understand some shit.
You understand that you are not the center of the universe.
You understand that love is the most powerful and most important thing in the world.
You understand that life is long AND that time is limited.
You understand that you will never know everything.
You understand that the people in your life are more important than anything else.
You understand that it’s vital to feel part of something bigger than yourself.
You understand nothing is forever.
All this understanding is what makes middle age amazing. And scary. And hard. And confusing.
But ultimately, the understanding we have in midlife is what brings us more fully to the truest versions of ourselves.
#9 BALANCE- By midlife you know you’ve had some experience with imbalance.
*put others before yourself to the detriment of your health and wellbeing
*valued things over experiences
*spent more than you made
*worked more than you should have
*thought someone else’s comfort was more important than your own
*indulged more than you should have
*demanded more of others than you did of yourself
*expected things to show up just because
*spent more time wanting or seeing lack instead of being grateful and seeing abundance
But by middle age, you know, more than you ever have, what you need to do to keep your life, yourself, your family, your career, and your sanity balanced.
And can I get an A(wo)MEN to that!!?!
#8 FRIENDSHIPS!! Can I get a HALLELUJAH!!?!
By midlife, you KNOW the power and love and support of what deep and meaningful friendships mean. And you absolutely know the difference between real friends and conditional friends.
Having real, true, ride-or-die, move a body (#brenebrown) friends is essential. You don’t need a whole lot of these, in fact, even 1 or 2 will do.
These are the friends you want to call first with amazing news-the ones who will be as happy or happier about your success. They are the ones that will stand on a stage and yell to everyone about how insanely brilliant and amazing you are. They will feel raised up by your success because they love you so hard and so well.
They are the same ones you want to call first with tragedy, heartbreak, or struggle. The friends who won’t say stupid shit like “call me if you need something”. They are the ones who will show up at your door with the stuff you didn’t know you needed or wanted. The ones that will hold your hand while you cry and say “this fucking sucks”, and they will mean it because they feel it too because they love you so hard and so well.
By middle age you KNOW who these friends are. And let’s say a prayer of thanks for the ones who have been there for us already and who will be there for evermore.
One of the best things about getting to midlife is the giving of less fucks. We know what we like and what we don’t. We know that following trends doesn’t serve us, neither does acting like someone else.
By middle age, we’re willing to be OURSELVES, maybe for the first time ever. And, much to our surprise, we find we may even like ourselves…maybe for the first time ever.
We admit it when we don’t know what a word means. We can own up to mistakes. We choose styles simply because we like them. We know what we’re good at, AND we’re willing to learn new stuff too. We can laugh at ourselves, and we can also tout our awesomeness.
Maybe you’ve accepted that the best place to dance is in the grocery store…so you get down in the cereal aisle just because it makes you happy! (Is that just me?)
By midlife you know yourself. And you let yourself be YOU! And that’s such a very good thing.
Ok, so by midlife we might be a little softer, rounder, saggier or flabbier, but we are also way more confident. We are more confident because we have seen some shit. We’ve lived through some shit. And we’ve let go of a whole lotta shit.
We have the confidence to ask for what we want, to demand what we need, and even to take up some space. Middle age might be confusing and sometimes painful but it’s just so much better than being insecure and afraid of our own power and ability.
Even women who would never describe themselves as confident will: fight for their children, ask for a raise, send a bad meal back, or even (gasp!) ask to speak to a manager when the situation demands it. This is the kind of confidence middle age demands of us.
And the confidence that is available in middle age is limitless! Just look at where you are in midlife…would you EVER have imagined you would have done or achieved half of what you have when you were 21? Keep going…you’ve got so much more to do!
By the time we are middle age, we can laugh at ourselves.
And this is one of the most powerful and kindest gifts middle age bestows upon us.
Remember when you were a teenager and how easily embarrassed you could get? How dreaded anyone finding out your secrets? Or as a young adult how humiliated you could get when you’d make a dumb mistake at work or spill something on yourself?
By midlife, you have experienced many many embarrassing situations and lived to tell the tale. What a relief. You aren’t perfect and when you screw up, you can relax and laugh at yourself.
Also, by middle age, we love a good laugh, don’t we? What is better than a laugh that hurts your stomach muscles, that threatens pee in the pants, that makes tears run down your cheeks? Almost nothing.
By the time you are in middle age, you have perspective about a whole lotta things. You get that you may not always be right. You understand that others may see things differently than you do. You are willing to listen and try to understand someone else’s perspective.
You’ve been through enough that you can ask yourself important questions like: “is this true?” “what’s the worst that can happen?” and “maybe there’s another way to look at this…”
You also have perspective about you and how you fit into the larger community, world, universe. You know that you matter AND that everyone else does too.
This perspective leads to more kindness and love to yourself and others. It leads to gratitude for what you have instead of aching for what you don’t. It leads to open-mindedness, curiosity, and acceptance.
#3 AUDACITY! Yaaaasssss QUEEN!
I love the word audacity! It means to have boldness, daring, moxie, courage, pluck! ( I really REALLY love the word pluck!) By the time you hit middle age, you have got to have shown some serious audacity. No?? Do you doubt that?
You are here. You are still standing. You are breathing and living and doing shit. Think back on the many situations in your life that could have taken you out. It is audacious that you are here!
Some of the most badass women I know are middle-aged and have the audacity to: get degrees, leave marriages, pack up everything and move to their dream life, fall in love, level way up in careers, start businesses, raise opinionated loudmouthed activist children, travel solo, or simply choose themselves first.
Middle-aged women=audacity. Go get ’em tigress!
By the time you’re in midlife, you get that the good stuff, the stuff that is really worth it takes time. And so, by middle age, you’ve developed some patience.
You understand that life is long, while also getting that it could be cut short at any time. There is something about this combination that strengthens in us, the gift of patience.
We can happily wait for a good meal. We can sit and be peaceful waiting for our offspring to figure stuff out. We understand that transformation isn’t quick, and fast isn’t always a good thing.
Maybe it’s having had to deal with impatient toddlers, or impatient bosses, or impatient spouses, or impatient parents that have shown us that being patient is a virtue. It’s a gift to ourselves and those around us. By middle age, we know that patience pays off every time.
Wisdom is my #1 gift because it encompasses all the other gifts.
Wisdom in midlife looks like the ability to be patient, to have perspective, to understand love, to be audacious, to be yourself, to laugh with and at yourself, to demand balance, to appreciate friendships, and to be confident.
Wisdom in middle age means using all the experiences you’ve had to inform the choices you make, to learn from your mistakes and your successes, and to embrace everything that comes your way.
This wisdom also includes knowing that you have so much more to learn, do, become, witness, experience, bear, withstand, celebrate, tolerate, and enjoy the hell out of.
The wisdom of midlife is sweet and hints that it only gets sweeter from here.
Need a Midlife Rescue?
I’ve dedicated myself to helping women just like you get clarity and direction so they can live the life they’ve always dreamed of and one of the most powerful ways to accomplish this is with my Midlife Rescue Session, a free one-on-one chat to help you remember your power and reclaim your voice. To grab your spot right now, click here.