One of the lessons midlife is teaching me is that I have a lot to offer. I'm not a callow youth who has no life experience or wisdom. I'm a mature woman who has lived and loved, worked and played, lost friends and found new ones, and the list goes on. I have a lot to offer!
There have been many times when I have accepted less than what I was due. I have let myself play second fiddle because it's easier than fighting to get the recognition I've rightly earned. Staying in a job because I didn't think I was employable any more was the biggest mistake I've made recently. It took a huge leap of faith to step away from the security of a steady income - even though I knew I wasn't appreciated for what I brought to the position. Having enough confidence in myself to walk away and see what else was out there was the beginning of a lot of changes in my life - the first being a brand new job which is so much better than the one I left behind.
I also learned the lesson when things went pear shaped in our marriage. When my husband told me he didn't want to be married any more, the bottom dropped out of my world. After a lot of talking and a lot of crying I stopped and took stock of what it all meant to me and how I was living a life that was less because I was trying to make his life smoother (obviously that wasn't working well for either of us!). I woke up to the fact that I was worth more than that, and if it meant living alone in my own place then I could do it, and make a good life for myself. Fortunately it didn't come to that - things sorted themselves out and are going well, but I'm not scared about the idea of being on my own anymore - I know I have enough in me to do it and do it well.
Midlife is a time to embrace the lessons we've learned and to acknowledge that we have a lot to offer. We are strong, vibrant, wise and pretty darn wonderful. No more hiding our lights to keep others happy - it's time to lift the lid on life let ourselves shine!