LETTING GO, SELF-CARE, AND MAKING IT HAPPEN

Letting go means taking a step back, prioritising, and taking the pressure off. Find your balance and make time to enjoy all the areas of your life. #letgo #balance

Today I have my first guest in my MIDLIFE SYMPHONY series where I've asked other bloggers to share what they're doing to make the second half of life the best half of life. My BBB (Best Blogging Buddy) Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 and Beyond agreed to share her journey over the last few years as she wrestled with early retirement and getting her life into balance. If you have a story you'd like to share I'd love to hear from you. But for now,  I'll hand it over to Sue..... 


When Leanne approached me to write about Midlife and the lessons the second half of life have been teaching me, it was the perfect time for me to share my recent life experience and how it has taught me to change my way of thinking. Yes, it is never too late to change!

RETIREMENT – YAY…. WELL ACTUALLY NO.

As women, we are pulled in all directions; our relationship, work, family, friends, self-development – the list goes on. Midlife and its challenges, as we adjust to hormonal changes in our bodies, can add to our stress levels and we need to remember to take a step back, take a deep breath and relax!

Retirement can sometimes mean trying to fill the void that was once filled with working, but sometimes we forget that a healthy lifestyle should be all about BALANCE.

I took early retirement at 57....“Fantastic!” I thought – “I’ll have time to do things that I want to do at my own pace after working full time for most of my working life”. My husband was happy as he had retired and was looking forward to us spending more time together including travelling and having fun.

After two months reality hit – what was I going to do? My work had defined me and really left little time to pursue hobbies or other interests or even plan what retirement would look like for me. I fluffed around for a while feeling lost and then took the plunge to hit publish on my first post and so Sizzling Towards 60 and Beyond was born.

Well five years later I’m still a WIP and keeping my balance in life is not always easy. My passion has always been living a healthy lifestyle. I want to enjoy and keep up with my grandchildren and feel physically strong and alive.


WHEN YOUR DREAM BECOMES A NIGHTMARE

Last year I decided to finally start a Fitness course to become a personal trainer and fulfil a dream that I’ve had for quite some time. I was excited and ready to go but was not expecting the difficulty of the course and trying to juggle online study, physical assessments, family, blogging and everything else.

I started dropping balls and becoming disillusioned. My dream was becoming a nightmare and I was ready to stop. Stop blogging, stop my course and retreat.

After a long conversation with myself, I admitted that retreating wasn’t my style but had to admit that I couldn’t do it all. I needed to get back to basics. That meant reflecting on what was important to me and what I could let go of to allow me to fulfil my goal. It meant taking the self-imposed pressure off.


It takes a level of self-love, of dedication and determination to live your greatest life.  #lifequotes

LETTING GO

Letting go is not easy, especially if you have a driven personality with the desire to achieve. You can feel like you are failing but in reality you are failing by trying to do it all and not achieving anything in the process.

But Let go I did and what a relief! I took a step back from everything and made the decision to prioritise and at the same time take the pressure off. Once I took that step, the burden was lifted and I found clarity. It also helped to bring back my mojo for blogging.


trust yourself enough to let go, shift, and uproot. give yourself permission to shed who you used to be. you are allowed to start over. #lifequotes

SELF-CARE

There is time to enjoy all areas of our life, I mean we all have 168 hours in a week! The trick is getting the balance right. That must also include making time to nurture yourself and make time for self-care.

FINDING BALANCE

Balance is not just about utilising our time effectively, it is also about finding balance in our mind, body and soul. If we don’t have BALANCE, we aren’t able to be the best we can be. Investing in ourselves and taking time out for ‘ME’ time will not only benefit you but also your family and friends.

Since stepping back I’ve regained my energy for my course and my blogging. I have my theme for 2020 Ageing Well, Living Well and created the Make It Happen 2020 Challenge in my Facebook Group.

I start my mornings in a more relaxed way, taking time for gratitude and appreciating the beauty of the ocean from my balcony. I start the day with some yoga or other physical activity to keep my mind and body healthy.

I still put effort into all that I do but it is at a more acceptable pace and I’m still achieving my goals. I’m enjoying life and I realise the world won’t end if I take a break.


Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices. #lifequotes

HAVING FUN

My husband’s resolution for 2020 is for us to have more fun. It is so easy to get caught up in life and forget that having fun is an important ingredient for staying happy and healthy.

Here’s to having fun, making it happen and enjoying life! We only get one shot and it’s never too late to make the changes if you aren’t happy with where your life is going.


RELATED POSTS


Sue Loncaric is an Australian Over 50 lifestyle blogger, certified health and life coach for women and the founder of Sizzling Towards Sixty and Beyond. Currently studying her Certificate III in Fitness, Sue is passionate about living a full and active life in Midlife and Beyond. Her mission is to encourage and inspire women Over 50 to live a fit, fabulous, healthier and happier lifestyle by guiding them to realise their full potential.

Website: www.sizzlingtowardssixty.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/sizzlingtowards60
www.facebook.com/Thriving-Health-Wellness-2088249334617707/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/sizzlingtowards60




Letting go means taking a step back, prioritising, and taking the pressure off. Find your balance and make time to enjoy all the areas of your life. #letgo #balance

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38 comments

  1. Hi BBB, thanks so much for having me as part of your Midlife Symphony series. I'm enjoying the series and reading your thoughts. Looking forward to other guests in the future. I'm making some positive changes this year and hopefully this is reflected in my post. xx

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    1. Hi Sue - it's an absolute pleasure to have you as my first cab off the rank. I'm looking forward to reading what my other guests bring to the Symphony in the months ahead. I love that as a community, we inspire each other to be our very best selves in the second half of life - and we can celebrate it together xx

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  2. Hi Leanne - I didn't realise you were starting a new series but good on you - it's sure to be a good one! Great to kick it off with a post from Sue. Well done to you Sue for stepping back and finding clarity again. It's a hard thing to do. I'm dropping balls at the moment too so I need to step back and reassess what I'm doing. I agree with husband about having more fun. That is something I need more of. Life can become far too serious! xo #TeamLovinLife

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    1. Hi Min, I was not doing well juggling balls at the end of 2019 so in 2020 I'm letting go of what doesn't fit with my health and lifestyle plans. Of course, I still need challenges along the way but I won't be saying 'yes' as often and I'll be more selective. We can all do with more fun can't we? Take some time for yourself and what is important to you, Min. xx

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    2. Hi Min - I've mentioned a few times since I started the series that I was looking for guests - I'll send you a message to see if you're interested in joining in the fun - we'll make sure it's when you can fit it in so you don't have to juggle too many balls at one time!

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  3. Hi Sue,
    It sounds like you got yourself to where you needed to be! I Congrats! It takes some time to shake off all those years of "full speed ahead" doesn't it! But when we do...ahhhhhh! Nice post Sue! Cynthia

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    1. Hi Cynthia, it is quite challenging making changes to find more balance when you are a 'full speed ahead' person as I am. However, at 62 I'm finally getting clarity and using the philosophy of 'will the world end, if I don't do this?' which certainly helps.

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  4. Sorry--my profile didn't show. It's Cynthia from secondmojo

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    1. Hi Cynthia - thanks so much for stopping by - I love it when blogging friends interconnect - and that Sue's such an inspiration to us all. I was so pleased she agreed to be my first guest. Let me know if you're interested in doing one down the track :)

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  5. Hi Sue, Thanks for sharing your story about striving to find balance. I know you've had a real struggle over the last year, but you're advice here is something we can all learn from. love Toni

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    1. Thank you, Toni. I feel that sharing our stories and how we cope with life can help others who maybe going through the same journey. 2020 has started much happier for me and I'm excited for the year ahead. x

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    2. Hi Toni - I love that Sue didn't give up and figured out a way to get through without letting the hard work beat her - it's something we can all definitely learn from!

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  6. As always good advice. I'm definitely stuggling at the moment and finding that blocking and batching time is the only way that I'm staying on top of things.

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    1. Hey Jo, life can be challenging at times and yes blocking and batching time is a great way to start ticking things off the list. I felt so overwhelmed at the end of last year but I've found my direction and feeling good about how my 2020 will unfold. Take care of yourself xx

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    2. Jo - you have so much on your plate on any given day that I'm surprised you're not going down for the count or drowning in it all. You amaze me with how much you juggle - and Sue is proving to be a champ in that area too - I might need to lift my game!

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  7. It's so good to read your update Sue and to hear how well you're going. Your blog is always full of so much truth and good advice it's a perfect fit for your coursework. You sound really on top of things and letting go, finding balance and self care are so vital to us all. Thanks very much for sharing your experiences and thoughts. I agree fun is very important for us all! Thanks Leanne for your new series, it will be great to read over the coming weeks.

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    1. Hi Deb - I was so pleased that Sue jumped in and offered to be my first guest - I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with when it's your turn. I think there's going to be lots of variety and that's what I'm most excited about - it's different for all of us in Midlife - and yet we can learn a little from everyone's experiences.

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    2. Hi Deb, yes I've started 2020 in a much better frame of mind than I ended 2019. When I wrote the post for Leanne it was a few weeks ago now and it is amazing how much better and on top of things I'm feeling. I'm looking forward to reading other contributions in Leanne's Midlife Symphony! Have a great weekend xx

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  8. Hi, Leanne - I love this series already! Sue has set the bar vary high! I look forward to reading more.

    Hi, Sue - I absolutely love that Mike's resolution is for the two of you. I like the not-so-hidden reminder in his goal.
    You are totally right about balance. Easy to discuss -- but much more difficult to maintain.

    Sending big hugs to both of you across the continents!

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    1. Hi Donna - I'm so pleased that several Midlifers (yourself included) have put their hands up to be part of this series. I'm always so interested in how others are making this stage of life work for them in a positive way - and these guest posts will be such a boost and encouragement. It's a great way to kick off the year.

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    2. Hi Donna, thanks for the hug and who knows one day we might have another IRL meeting - we can only hope. I totally agree with Mike's idea although at times it isn't easy as we get caught up with life. Here's to a fun 2020 for all of us. I saw your anniversary photos and both you and Richard looked happy and relaxed. I'll have some of that thank you :)

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  9. Sue, Good advice I definitely need to hear right now! I am trying to focus on just the next 2-3 steps and not worry about the other 8-10. I am trying to fit in self-care. I am trying to not beat myself up when I miss things on the to-do list. And I am trying to work through letting go - of so much. I realized its more than releasing the bad stuff (resentment, self-limiting beliefs)... I also need to release some good stuff. In this upcoming move, I need to downsize even more - and this time that means releasing things I do love - artwork and furniture, sentimental things, habits I enjoy. And it's heart-wrenching thinking about it. I guess Release was truly a good word pick for me this year!

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    1. Hi Pat - letting go of stuff that has meaning is really hard isn't it? Marie Kondo might give great advice, but there are still a lot of items that would fit her "keep" category but won't fit our space or our future needs. Down the track you'll be so glad you did the hard yards now, but in this moment I totally get how stressful and heart rending all the moving, culling, settling, and adjusting can be. Remember to be kind to yourself and to give yourself grace through the process - you're amazing and you need to keep reminding yourself of that! xx

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    2. Hi Pat, you sound so much like me in the way we think and what we want to achieve. However, I've learned just over the last few months that the 'world doesn't end' if I change direction or don't achieve something. I had too many ball to juggle last year and it becomes so overwhelming you don't achieve anything. Don't be so hard on yourself, take a step back and give yourself a hug. xx

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  10. Sue,

    Letting go is never easy and yet you seem to being doing with grace. It's also not that simple to determine what to let go of and gain your balance. I had to let go of attempting to be perfect and have perfection in my life. HOw silly of me to be so pompous, lol. Once I realized I'm human and make mistakes (often) the growth in my life just rushed on in! It was liberating!

    Thank you for a wonderful read and I look forward to reading more from both you and Leanne.

    Warmly,
    Allison

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    1. Hi Allison - the whole letting go thing is such a juggling act isn't it? Working out what is a priority and what's just been an obligation - and our reasons for what we hold on to and what we release. Maybe that's where all this wisdom we're supposed to have comes into play? Perfection is definitely one of the things we can release with a sigh of relief!

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    2. Hi Allison, I agree that perfectionism is a flaw of mine. I make the bar higher for myself than I would for others which can sometimes lead to the feeling of being constantly overwhelmed and second guessing myself. Since taking a step back I've begun to find some clarity and direction. x

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  11. I also wanted to try EVERYTHING when I first retired. I now run, swim, take Body Pump classes, volunteer for Meals on Wheels, and babysit grandchildren. And hubby and I travel whenever possible. It takes a while to figure out what works for you, but eventually you find your balance. It does take courage to let go sometimes.

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    1. Laurie you're so much more energetic than I am in retirement. I think I've gone the opposite way - I've given everything up and then taken back on the things that "spark joy". I'm finding that's how I'm getting balance - and also leaving myself some space to just "be" - it's different for all of us isn't it?

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    2. Hi Laurie, lovely to meet you and you definitely sound like you have found your groove in retirement. Great to meet another runner! I think that keeping fit is a huge part of who I am and of course like you I enjoy spending one day a week with my grandsons who keep me active. We have lots in common and I must try Body Pump classes - they sound fun. Sometimes I wonder if I will find what works exactly for me but I'm coming to terms with the idea of not trying to keep so many 'balls juggling in the air' at the same time. Have a lovely week. x

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  12. Thank you Leanne, for featuring Sue as your guest. I have been following Sue’s blog this past year and she has already enriched my life in many ways. I have mentioned to Sue how I think about her every day when I am doing my push ups. 🙂

    Sue, You are a constant inspiration sharing your struggles and tools to manage the challenges. Your phrase “self-imposed pressure” resonates with me. I also need to be reminded of the concept of “balance.” I appreciate hearing from you how the “world won’t end if I take a break.” Your husband is amazing, Sue. “Fun” is a great goal! A great post!

    Leanne, I look forward to learning more in this series. Sue has set the bar very high🙂

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    1. Hi Erica - I had to start with Sue because I knew she'd "get" what I wanted from the guest posts and she always writes from the heart. I wish I started my mornings with push-ups so I could think of Sue - but that'll never happen! I'm working really hard at not putting pressure on myself too - we do it differently, but for the same underlying reasons - life's too short to be miserable!

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    2. Hello Erica you make my heart sing each time I read that you do morning push ups and think of me. My goal with the blog is to inspire others in all areas of their lives and I appreciate your feedback and support. My husband is amazing he has PTSD and it isn't always easy for him but yes 'having fun' in 2020 is a great goal for us to work towards. Take care and have a beautiful day. xx

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  13. It's good you were able to continue with your course and blogging Sue as both are great passions of yours. I know for sure you're a great role model when it comes to health and fitness!

    Thanks Leanne & Sue for sharing!

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    1. Hi Deb, sometimes I wonder if I'm just wasting the blogging space but if I can help others to even think about the life and making the most of it then that certainly helps me keep going. Have a great week and enjoy! xx

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    2. Hi Deb - I love that Sue is such a great example for us too. I will never achieve her level of commitment and fitness, but it's good to have the gold standard to aim for!

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  14. So identified with the 'wanting to do it all" and "striving again" EVEN in so-called retirement. I know I have had to give myself several pep talks when I hear myself talk of "doing more". Instead I am finally learning I can be who and what I want to be with no pressure at all. I have liberated myself (almost 100%) from the shoulds in life. Gosh it's good. Hey, Leanne...when you want a guest poster, this might do it!! Thanks Sue for staying on blogging. I don't think any of us realises the impact we have on connecting with each other so keep on keeping on because YOU matter. Thank you for linking up for Life This Week #174. Next week's optional prompt is 6/51 Interesting 10.2.2020. Hope to see you again there too. Denyse.

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    1. Hi Denyse - you go girl! Write that post on learning to let go and learning to "be" and I'll add you into my Midlife Symphony series in a heartbeat! Sue's certainly launched it with a bang xx

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