Having turned 45 years old this fall and having lost all my children from the nest, I am in a reflective phase of my life. I felt very lonely and lost at first, but am now embracing the opportunity for reflection and a restart of sorts.
Growing up, I was a young girl looking for love any which way I could get it. I was manufacturing love all around me; I loved my gorgeous salesman husband, I loved my curious little children, I slaved to be the best wife and mother I could be. Periodically I felt resentment, loneliness, depression, and a feeling that my life lacked meaning. I had arrived at this place in my life in a daze. I felt like I had never consciously made any decisions for my life.
I pushed these feelings away and concentrated on loving and caring for those around me. It is not until now, with reflection, that I can understand my life and have compassion. Moving forward I have a great opportunity for growth through the final phase of my life. I have formulated five key areas to keep my life fulfilling to the end. Loving thyself doesn’t have to be as heinous as we have been brainwashed to believe!
Creativity is in our blood. Children are born creating all day every day, and it is one of the first things we lose access to if not nurtured. Creativity for the elderly is alive and booming; we can create through drawing, painting, photography, acting, singing, redecorating, pottery, sculpture, and many more. Have a go! You will feel joy and youth, happiness and love, as you are taken back towards your real self that has become a total stranger to you.
Also lost very quickly as we become awkward in our bodies and socially conform. Loving the quirkiness of ourselves is very powerful. Allowing yourself expression permits all of those around you a little leeway. Do some therapy, everyone benefits from a professional boost to your reflections. It helps us appreciate how rich life is and builds compassion. Express your long-repressed anger and fury, express your boundless love for your close ones, Rejoice in the new-found freedom!
It’s not all over! Get those foxy 40-year-old bodies moving. Start with walking or yoga. Drink in nature’s beauty as you walk along a scenic route with a friend. Go to the beach or the local river; water is soothing and nurturing. Try cycling or rock climbing, study a martial art form! Amaze your children and inspire them to be more loving of themselves. You are role modelling for them…still.
Learning and Growth
Go back to school. Learn a new language with a group of friends. Join a book club. Play games requiring intellectual exercise. Men, time to cook! Do some culinary courses with your mates and a beer.
Disclosure and Making Amends
There may be an uncomfortable corner in your consciousness requiring attention. If in all of this reflecting and learning you come across area of your life which have caused you or others pain, consider addressing it. This may be to your children, or your husband, your relatives or close friends. You may reflect that you would lose your temper easily with your children and yell at them frequently, by acknowledging this and apologizing to your children you can move forward to a more emotionally mature relationship with them. It is liberating and you may find barriers come down between you and your children.
So there are a few pointers; I have much more energy and my relationships are renewed and revamped with my children and my husband. I have met a lot of new people which has helped expand my horizons and I am feeling more love for myself and others than I can remember. Real, excited, energized love, not obedient and conscientious wife and mother love. Woohoo here I come, life! Come with me!