“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go” Rumi


There are so many relationships that span our lifetime aren't there? Our parents, siblings, childhood friends, teenage loves, true love, our children, our adult friends, our extended families....and so many more. One of the hardest lessons I've been learning through this stage of my life is when to hold on and when to let go.


When I was younger I could hold on to my children and influence their decisions and their lives. Then they became teenagers and I had to learn to loosen the apron strings and let them gradually have independence and freedom. That led to them leaving home to go to university in the city and pretty much out of my sphere of control. Letting go and trusting them to build strongly on the foundation we gave them was the first of many letting goes.

University led to careers, and then onto meeting and marrying, and creating families of their own. I have worked very hard on remembering to pull back and not offer that unsolicited advice that I am so sure they need - and allow them to find their path in their own unique ways. To let them go and celebrate the adults they've become is so much more enriching than holding on tightly and becoming a millstone around their necks.


I have friendships that I thought were indestructible, that I have worked hard at holding on to for decades (that is a VERY long time!) only to realize that they are not really friendships at all anymore. We have moved on in different directions and don't have a great deal in common now. Rather than working harder and harder to hold on to these people, I am coming to the realization that I can gracefully let them move out of my life and use the opportunity to be open to new friendships.

On that note, I am also realizing that new friendships are hard to come by. I used to make new friends all the time - through playgroup, school mums, church, work etc etc. Now I don't have those same social circles and the church we go to is sadly lacking in women my age who are at a similar stage (adult children, working, no interest in craft or baking or other "girly" pursuits). I need to seriously make more of an effort to get to know more women in my age and stage - maybe through internet forums geared to mid-lifers and maybe through chance encounters. I might have to lift my game when it comes to inviting people home for a meal or accepting a social invitation!


I also need to work on how hard I hold on to my long suffering husband. As my circle of friends decreases, and my children have moved on, he has become a much bigger part of my life. Although he has always been the closest person to me, I notice that I am looking to him to fulfill more of my social needs and (seeing he is an entrenched introvert) this is a big ask. So I need to find the balance between time together and not expecting him to be my provider of happiness. 

I am definitely going to have to cover happiness in another post one day because it is so central to why I seem to hold on too tight - I think I'm scared that letting go will mean I lose some of the things that I depend on to be happy (and that is definitely not healthy). 


Here is the series I wrote on 12 Choices for Happiness - I'd love you read it if you're interested in finding ways to bring happiness into your life and to keep it there.

So.....for me, choosing happiness is learning to let go of things and people that are no longer good for me. Trusting that better things are in store, and finding sufficiency in myself rather than looking for it in others. I can still hold on to what is important but I also need to make sure I'm not grasping it in a needy way that isn't healthy for me - or those around me.

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Cresting the Hill - a blog for Midlife (Middle Aged / 50+) women who want to thrive

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