A NEW YEAR, A NEW DECADE, AND NEW HORIZONS

2020 brings with it so much promise - a new year, a new decade, and many new challenges and adventures. I can't wait to get started! #midlife #newhorizons

A NEW DECADE BEGINS

As we were launching into 2020 I noticed there were comments about a new year and a new decade, and it got me thinking about what that means for me. I haven't really considered decade changes much before this one, but I feel like 2020 holds something a bit special - maybe it's the fact that the numbers look so nice and neat (I'm a little bit OCD when it comes to things like that). I'm also feeling that the decade ahead is going to be a good one too because it's the first one for a very long time that I'm going into with absolutely no idea of what lies ahead.

A NEW NORMAL MEANS DIFFERENT EXPECTATIONS

I wrote about having a new normal a couple of months ago, and how surprised I am by the fact that I'm loving it so much. Life is always moving forward and things gradually change, but for a long time I felt like I'd been trapped in a doldrums of my own making. I'd been working in jobs that paid the bills, but didn't live up to my expectations; I'd been doing the same old stuff in the same old way for too long and it had been dragging me down. When the last straw came along (the workmate from hell) I was ready to throw in the towel and give up. I'd reached a new low and I was fed up with where I was and what I was doing.

Being forced to change directions, leaving the job behind, finding the lack of appeal in anything new on offer, and realizing that I needed a fresh start has brought me to this point where I'm now looking down the barrel of a new year and a new decade with anticipation rather than resignation. I feel like there are unlimited options available - all unknown and a little bit mysterious. It's so out of my comfort zone, but that means it's interesting and challenging, and open to interpretation. Nothing like that has been on my horizon ever before.

THE VAST UNKNOWN

I find it really hard to believe that I have absolutely no idea about what the year ahead will contain. The sameness that has been part of my life for decades has been replaced by a new set of parameters. I don't have a boring job to go to each week, I don't have a family to take care of, I don't have anyone needing anything from me, I just have an open horizon with no expectations attached to it. 

It's a little bit scary to look into the vast unknown, to have so much freedom and so little responsibility - the control freak inside me is a bit bewildered by it all. I usually like to have all my ducks in a row and headed in the right direction - but (for now) I have no ducks, they've all flown off into the sunset and I'm left with a decade of potential and the questions buzzing around in my head of what to do with it all.

It's a little bit scary to look into the vast unknown,  to finally have so much freedom  and so little responsibility. Life's exciting and I can't wait to see what will happen next! #midlife #newyearquotes

SO WHERE TO FROM HERE?

I have no preconceived ideas about what 2020 will hold – but I love the sound of it and that a new decade lies ahead – full of new experiences waiting to be discovered. How wonderful it is to be able to step into it without regrets or a sense of “same old/same old” and to be content to watch it unfold. It rattles my cage a little bit and part of me wants to run back to the safety of the known, but where would the fun be in that?

My husband would roll his eyes a bit if he read this, because he sees me as the "play safe person" in our family. I'm the one who likes all the bases covered, all the boxes ticked, all the contingency plans in place.....but maybe he'll be in for a surprise too. He's already stepped up and taken responsibility for filling the gaps in making our finances stretch far enough for me to not be working - quite a change for the two of us, so maybe he'll enjoy seeing me stretch my wings a bit further as the decade progresses.

A new decade lies ahead full of new experiences waiting  to be discovered.  How wonderful it is to be able to step into it without regrets, to be content to watch it unfold, and to stretch our wings and fly. #midlife #newyearquotes

NEW HORIZONS

I read other bloggers who have bucket lists and plans, things they want to do in the next few years - along with the steps needed to get there. Not me! I have no plans (another first for me!) I have zero idea of what lies ahead and it feels amazing. How fortunate am I to be able to fly by the seat of my pants for a change and to allow life to happen to me, rather than trying to steer it in a neat and tidy direction? Who'd have thought that walking away from that "perfect" job would be the beginning of living a free and fun life after all those tedious years? I certainly had no idea, but I'm so excited to see where 2020 takes me, and where I'll be by the end of it - the first year of a new decade of living life on my own terms.

I look back on the decade that's been and it held many highlights - we settled into a new home, both our children met and married their partners, and we had two beautiful granddaughters added to our family. I left jobs, changed jobs, quit jobs. My marriage took a hit and recovered with a new appreciation for each other. I've travelled further than I expected, experienced new things, learnt new skills, discovered my limits and set new boundaries. In a nutshell, the last decade brought with it much more than I anticipated, but it also set in motion a whole new set of parameters - that led up to now where I'm free of the obligations of working and jumping through other people's hoops. Life's exciting and I can't wait to see what happens next.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Do you relate to this at all? Are you living in a new and unexpected way? Are you looking forward to 2020 and a new decade? I'd love to know what you see for yourself in the years ahead and any advice you might have to offer as I leap into the vast unknown.

RELATED POSTS


2020 brings with it so much promise - a new year, a new decade, and many new challenges and adventures. I can't wait to get started! #midlife #newhorizons
2020 brings with it so much promise - a new year, a new decade, and many new challenges and adventures. I can't wait to get started! #midlife #newhorizons

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38 comments

  1. I'm going in with a plan - of sorts - this year where I didn't last year. Why? Because the biggest change I want to see this decade is where our financial security comes from. I would like to retire from my corporate day job in the next few years so that means building up the writing income - and building up the writing income means juggling writing with everything else that's going on. And to do that, a plan is needed. Of sorts. Well, it's the sketch of a plan.

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    1. I think a sketch plan is a great starting point Jo. I've always been a planner and liked things nicely laid out (or in a list) but I'm finding that I have absolutely no idea what lies ahead, I don't know what I want or whether I even want anything at all - and that makes planning nigh on impossible. So I'll be flying by the seat of my pants for a little bit by the look of things!

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  2. I do like typing 2020 much better than 2019. I have my vision cards to help guide me through the year but as to specific plans, not quite yet. Working on them. I can't just "wing it" quite yet.

    Janet’s Smiles

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    1. I don't think I have a lot of choice other than to wing it atm Janet - it's all so vague and airy fairy. I think it's a good lesson for me to let go a little bit more and see where life wants to take me instead of holding the steering wheel in a death grip. Scary!

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  3. I look forward to each new day and new year. I have general plans that I'm flexible to modify them. I see this decade as part of my go go years so I do things that require energy earlier rather than later. I think as long as you make a constant commitment to staying amazed at and excited about the life you’re living, the world around you, and the things ahead, it will be a good ride. #lifethisweek

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    1. Thanks Natalie - I see so many bloggers leading very intentional lives and cramming lots in. I feel like I'm at the other end of the spectrum atm and it's a little bit weird. I like your advice to stay committed to being amazed - and I'm also going to be kind to myself - something I haven't been so good at in the past.

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  4. I guess I feel like it's a bit... business as usual for me. I don't feel as if I'm particularly settled at the moment but don't necessarily feel as if I'm in a state of flux. Which is worrying - as if I'm biding time. As I've done that for many years on-end in the past!

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    1. I feel like I've left one whole life behind by stopping work Deb. Maybe because it wasn't my original intention and I didn't have a lead up plan, I'm kind of in Never Never Land atm - but I might just enjoy the pixie dust and wait to see what's next. It's nice to be out of the "same old/same old" phase that the last decade has mostly been.

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  5. Hi Leanne I do like a plan to follow and yes it is safe but lately I have let go of many ideals that have been holding me back and not serving my purpose. I haven't really set any goals for 2020 which is quite unusual for me, nor have I chosen a WOTY. I'm happy, like you, to see the year unfold, enjoy my beautiful family, quality time with my husband, complete my Fitness Course and just take life as it comes. Good luck for 2020 and Beyond and enjoy the ride. #lifethisweek

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    1. Sue, I think you get where I'm going with this. It's not that I don't want to have a plan, just that life has changed so much that I can't even begin to formulate a plan. It's scary, but also really nice to be so far out of my "normal" that I have to just wing it for a while and see what's next. Life is becoming an adventure in contentment and going with the flow (who'd have thought?!)

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  6. Sounds exciting and a little scary all at the same time. Unlike everyone else in the blogging world I have no word for the year, resolutions of goals. I am just taking it day by day this year. Well, at lease for now. Perhaps I'll jump on the bandwagon a bit later and figure it out in a few months.

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    1. Hi Pear! It took me AGES to come up with my #WOTY for 2020. I think it's partly because the year ahead is such an unknown for me. It's a little bewildering to have no plans and no structure - but also quite liberating. I'm going to be doing my best to go with the flow and see where life takes me - I hope you do the same x

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  7. Wow, Leanne, I could have written this myself. Only, less eloquently as yourself. LOL You put in to words what has been on my heart for over a year as I watched 2020 approaching! In 2018 I even wrote a Christmas letter addressing my "new normal." My last decade was very similar to yours, I left the workforce, all 3 daughters graduated college, met and married my new sons, the first grandchild was born and as empty nesters (though my husband still works) we traveled more and farther than we ever planned. And, yes, I am a big time planner. Yet, today, my calendar is pretty much only filled in with birthdays and anniversaries. I am looking at 2020 wondering what this decade will be for me too. I just had my 60th birthday a week ago in January so that further imprints upon me that this will be decade like no other. Of course, they all are. But, the 50 previous decades just sort of "happened" to me. My only goal was to start my own blog. But, I'm far from a fashinista, I'm not a fitness guru, no r a home decorating maven and my cooking keeps us a live. LOL Thus, I came in searching for women of my generation who were already blogging to see what they are writing about. That's how I found and subscribed to yours. and then this today! You completely resonate with me. I was beginning to feel that there was something wrong with me for not having a plan, no desire for a WOTY or goals for 2020 or beyond. But, you gave me pause to think that it's Ok! I just want to see where things go, learn to celebrate the little things and be grateful for all that has gotten me here, today.

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    1. Tammy I think we're already friends! We're definitely on the same path and it's so strange to be on one where we can't see the destination. I think I spent the last few decades paddling as hard as I could to keep my head (and everyone else's heads) above water. I worked because we needed the extra stable income - not because I loved my jobs or felt that I had a "career". I loved being a Mum but it wasn't my all-encompassing passion, I'm an average cook, ordinary dresser, non-creative, and nothing special. I've never had a "passion" and it's been SUCH a long path to finally accept that all of that's okay and I can just be "me" with all my flaws and ordinary-ness.

      Society tells us we need to be "special" and super busy - I'm finding that it's okay to take a step back and enjoy a slower pace, to be a little bit self-focused for a change, and to accept myself for who I am. I think you're finding the same things.

      This decade ahead is going to be a bit of a revelation for me - one where I accept that I'm not going to make any world shaking moves, but also one where I find my centre and finally accept myself and start to like that person. I hope you'll continue to be part of that journey - we all need to be each other's cheer leaders. Also feel free to email me if you ever want to have a longer chat xxx

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  8. Leanne, I can definitely relate. After spending years worrying about kids and their lives, their plans, it takes some getting used to to have them all out of the house, living their own lives. My hubby retired last year so now we are completely footloose. We have been traveling often, which I like. For now, I have no definite plans or goals and that's OK with me.

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    1. I think it's a transition period for a lot of us - this whole foot-loose and fancy free thing is quite a new concept to wrap my head around. At times I feel like I should be doing something productive, then remember I don't have to. It's a bit up and down, but also a stage I would have longed for previously, so I have to keep reminding myself to enjoy it and to let it unfold at its own pace.

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  9. Hi Leanne,

    Glad to connect back with you in the new year.

    Thanks for telling me about Rottnest Island. Sounds like a nice place to relax.

    As you would have noticed from my blog posts, last year ended with a delightful family time in Australia. It was a great trip. Loved every bit of it.

    I am looking forward to 2020 and the decade ahead. But, like you, I have not drawn up any list of things to do. Let me see how the new year and decade ahead pans out.

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed your family reunion time here in Australia Pradeep - you seemed to be having a great time (judging from your blog). I'm also glad you missed all the fires that are ravaging the country atm.
      It's also going to be interesting to see where we all end up in the years ahead - it's certainly a time for moving in new directions as retirement creeps up on us all.

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  10. Happy New Year, Leanne! I am catching up on my reading and I know your posts are always filled with gems. Looking ahead at this new decade with anticipation rather than resignation says a great deal on the how your life has progressed this past year. You have done the work to make it happen. You remind me of a word that continues to surface for me these past few months. “Trust.” Especially when dealing with vast unknown.

    Thank you for sharing your genuine self, Leanne. I continually realize we are more alike than we are different on this vast planet. I also learn from your lessons. I did click on your “Marriage and Depression” post. Depression runs in our family and I can relate to your story. Thank you for sharing.xx

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    1. Hi Erica - so lovely to see you back again and thank you for your encouraging words. You're so right about it being lovely to look ahead with anticipation instead of resignation. I feel like I've put a whole life behind me and I'm embarking on a new one - with no idea where the journey is going to take me. It's scary but also exciting and being in a group of bloggers who are also on similar journeys is such a joy!

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  11. HI, Leanne - I also like the way that '2020' looks on a page. This new decade fills me with hope as well. Like you, Sue and others I am relaxing my planning. I greatly look forward to reading where 2020 takes you. I'll be following!

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    1. Hi Donna - it's so exciting isn't it? To leave all the certainty of routine and expectations behind and to step into the unknown without any definite parameters. I'm so glad that there are a group of us who are doing this together and cheering each other along as we discover what this new decade holds in store :) x

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  12. The last decade was so filled with amazing, challenging and life-changing surprises that I can barely guess what's next. My plan is to hold tight to the people I love, challenge myself, and learn to jump when there's an opportunity to do so. My plan is to be brave and see what shows up, basically.

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    1. Melissa I think I'm running a decade behind you! I really hope that I can say about the decade ahead what you've just said about your decade-that-was. At the same time I want to be brave and show up and be grateful for all that lies in store for me too x

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  13. I feel the same way. A whole new year and a whole new decade and no plans. And no idea where to even begin to make a plan. But, just maybe it's the way to go.

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    1. I'm beginning to think so too Cheryl - it's all about letting go and seeing where the ride takes me. I don't want to have expectations that may lead to disappointment, so I'm planning on going with the flow as much as possible.

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  14. The older I get the less I plan. I am way more open to spontaneous occasions and happy to go with the flow. We became empty nesters and adapted way better then I thought we would. Life is for us now and even though I still work, I love our free time and look forward to whatever 2020 has in store for us..... I'm sure your 2020 will be exciting and many doors will open.

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    1. I love that there is so much more freedom and flexibility in my life these days - the empty nest certainly leads us into new pastures! I'm also loving meeting other Midlifers who are feeling that it's okay to go with the flow - after so many years of feeling that I needed to have all my ducks lined up, this is such a great feeling (despite the scariness!)

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  15. Leanne, this is your time and you get to choose how to live it. Plan or no plan, life will unfold before you. I am looking forward to watching you blossom!

    As you already know about me, our 'plan' is to maintain happiness and contentment through balanced living. Our focus is continually on our relationship as a couple, friends, family, health and fitness, travel and an assortment of hobbies and short-term/fulfilling commitments. It is a formula that has worked for us for many years and therefore there is never a 'need' to have resolutions or a WOTY. Our blog has replaced my daily journal as an accountability partner in recent years and it provides the occasional 'gut check' to keep us from getting stale or even worse, boring!! Relax and enjoy this time of life.

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    1. Wise words Suzanne (from someone a little further down the retirement path!) I think it's always a bit tricky to let go and be less controlling when the lead in was unexpected. I feel like there's this vast vista in front of me that I'm allowed to enjoy and now I have to figure my way forward.
      I'm so grateful for my family and the few close friends who have been there through thick and thin - and also for my blogging community who are my biggest cheersquad. Sometimes I wonder how I ever survived before I discovered blogging!

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  16. So interesting to read your post and the comments from others. I had quite a routine when I was working for 45 years , and scaled it back after I gave up all paid work...and then we sold the house and moved. In theory I should have been happy to have no responsibilities (other than in my relationship) but I was rudderless because so much of what made me "me" was now back in Sydney. We know that I had anxiety & IBS affected me and confused the hell out of me why I just couldn't accept the so-called best life. I had to get cancer to find out more about that. But this year is interesting because I have NO plans (mine anyway) for any treatments or the possibilities of any...and I am well. I actually have time to determine more about what I want to do and be. I am loving the slowness of the time and giving myself space. The year will pan out one way or another without my input. I was never like this before so it is very freeing.

    Thanks so much for joining in the 2nd Life This Week in 2020 and next week the optional prompt is 3/51 Remember This 20.1.2020. I do hope to see you link up too. Denyse.

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    1. Hi Denyse - I think we'll be having very similar jouneys in 2020 - letting go of responsibility and commitments, going with the flow, letting life take us where it will. It's scary when you're an ordered person, but kind of nice too - just resting in the "now" and letting the year unfold as it will.
      I feel that life is very good and I'm going to enjoy it as much as I possibly can.

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  17. I have many uncertains in my life right now, mostly regarding family members' health. So, I'm kind of winging it and hoping for the best. I do plan to spend at least a few nights at the beach!

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    1. I'm sorry to hear about the health issues Pam - it's always so worrying isn't it? Maybe it's good to have no firm plans so you can be available for when you're needed and you also have time to invest where it's most valued. Some time at the beach definitely sounds like a good balance to all the care-giving!

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  18. I'm not sure how this new year and decade will unfold, I rarely make too many plans as I like the idea of being able to wing it! I know it will include more time with my grandchildren and family. The start of the year hasn't been the best for our community but I am keen to do my bit to help rebuild and move forward as much as I am able. Love your words :)

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    1. Hi Deb - now that work is behind me, I feel like a lot of the structure of my week has been removed. At first it was daunting, but now that I'm getting used to having so much flexibility, I'm just loving it. Hopefully mine will also include lots of grandgirl time and investing in the community (maybe on a lesser scale than you're going to be though!)

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  19. Taking life a day at a time at the moment and opening my heart to embrace the splashes of joy that punctuate my day. I hope there are splashes of joy punctuating your days ahead also. Sandra Xx

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    1. Hi Sandra - I love "splashes of joy" and I feel like I have more time to recognize them now. They're not being masked by all the noise and drama any more. Peace and joy are definitely high on my list for 2020!

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