For the last few years I have been one of those women who bemoaned the advent of middle age and all the unkind changes it brings with it. But what I am discovering is that it has nothing to do with my age and everything to do with my attitude!
I started this blog seven months ago when I was mired in a job that I really disliked, I resented that my husband wasn't working as much as I wanted him to, both our children were settled in the city and not nearby. I was disappointed with a lot of what life had become and was in serious danger of becoming a sour faced middle aged woman who whines about growing older. A woman that nobody wants to be near for too long because they drag everyone around them down too - my terminology for this type of person is a "light sucker" and I was at risk of going down that path!
But what I have come to realize is that life is what you make it (yes, I know I was a bit slow on the uptake with that epiphany). Midlife is actually a pretty fabulous stage in the grand scheme of things - or maybe it's just my stage of midlife that's pretty darn good? There were things that were really bugging me and it came down to having the confidence in myself to take some risks and make some changes rather than putting up with the same old thing for the next 15 years until retirement (if I survived that long!)
I kept telling myself that I was stuck working in a job I hated because we needed the money. The real reason I stayed in that soul sucking work environment was that I was scared I'd never find another job because I was too old. Coming to terms with the fact that it's better to be a bit poorer and a lot happier was a big milestone for me. Letting go of the tight grip I had on being responsible and just taking a breath and stepping back from it all has opened up a new perspective for me.
The biggest surprise during all of this has been finding out that I am actually still quite employable! I had thought that youth and beauty would trump age and experience, but that hasn't been the case at all. In the four weeks post-quitting I was offered two relief positions, came second in my first job interview (out of 55 applicants) and was the only candidate interviewed for the job I've just taken on.....oh, and I was offered another job interview while I was on my first day at my new workplace. Having a mature work ethic and years of related experience is seen by some employers as extremely valuable. I just needed to have the same view of myself and my skills.
So, from now on I refuse to see myself as less than those gorgeous little 20-somethings and I will revel in my midlife and all it has has to offer. I will celebrate the journey that has brought me here and I refuse to wish this time away. Yes, there are more wrinkles and yes, I'm not as young as I used to be.....but that is small potatoes in comparison with the joys that midlife can offer.
As I was writing this, I found that there is so much more that I'm celebrating about this second phase of life, so this is post #1 and I'm going to write more about it tomorrow in post #2. Please come back and celebrate this age and stage with me.