Women over 50 are changing themselves along with the world. No longer are they content to stay home, go to book club, play bridge and watch the world go by as their mothers did at this age. Now, they are reinventing themselves for something better and taking on life with a new spirit and tenacity that is making them more visible, giving them new confidence and bringing excitement into what was once a dull life-stage for women their age.
But how do they do it? How do women over 50 reclaim their “identity” after the empty nest? What does it take for a midlife woman to take a big leap of faith to leave a career she has had for years in order to do something she really loves to do?
As I experienced my own do-over, a woman’s reinvention brought on by her own “midlife crisis” can be summed up in three phases:
- I’m done. A woman in her 50’s realizes that she has been focusing on others for so long, saying yes to everything out of obligation, while carrying unfulfilled dreams deep in her soul. She must say “I’m done!” then give herself permission to focus on herself for a change. Forgiveness and overcoming guilt are also important parts of this step.
- Now what? Once she is truly “done” with looking at the past, it is time for her to reconnect with her passions, to discover her new life purpose, and to set some goals for herself. It is time for her to empower herself with a plan for an extraordinary future as she looks forward to the next few decades. For this woman over 50, the possibilities are endless, and she embraces change with enthusiasm.
- Kick butt! With her newfound “Joie de vivre” the woman over 50 is taking on the world with a fierce determination that she will not be considered old, that she will look and feel her very best, and that the best years are yet to come. She has a renewed energy as she “kick’s butt” wearing stilettos instead of house slippers, choosing networking luncheons over afternoon bridge club. She is creating a life for herself doing the things she loves to do, allowing herself to be creative about her future. This fearless midlife woman takes care of her own needs, instead of being on the bottom of her to-do list, knowing that she will be a much better person in every area if she is living life on her terms, doing what matters to her most.
Yes, even a woman can experience a midlife crisis stage, often brought on by a deep realization that her life is half over and now it is time to focus on what is truly important. Her needs are not satisfied by purchasing material things, but instead are rooted in a deep desire to do something meaningful with her life, to leave a legacy that reaches beyond her children, and to reach the end of her life not saying “I just wish I had…”
I have spent the past year telling others about my own transformation from the “results” side, sharing how much passion and clarity I have now about the path that I’m on. But what I haven’t shared is what the journey was like from the beginning. I wish I’d had someone to take my hand and walk me through a plan, “The Steps to Reinventing Yourself in Midlife.” But there were no such programs or people to tell me what to do. I felt empty, overwhelmed, fearful and clueless about what steps to take along the way.
In this blog “I’m done! Now what?” I will share insight into the journey I took through these the three phases of midlife transition, with encouragement and tips to make your transformation easier. My hope is to be your “guiding hand” to lead you along a path that is easier than the one I walked along.
If you’ve already survived your midlife crisis, experienced success with your own reinvention, or are just searching for a plan to get yor started, share your comments here with others. We’re all here to support one another along the way.