SELF-COMPASSION IS THE KEY TO THE VAST UNKNOWN

We might not know what the future holds, but self-compassion and recognizing our worth is the key to making the most of all life offers. #midlife #compassion

HEADING TO AN UNKNOWN DESTINATION IN LIFE

In January I mentioned in my New Year, New Decade, New Horizons post that I was struggling with the idea of approaching a year and a decade ahead with no clear destination in mind. It's liberating in some ways, but also quite confronting to be a planner without a plan.

CRESTING THE HILL

I chose the name of my blog to reflect the fact that Midlife is that perfect point where the climb is over and we're at the crest of the hill and enjoying the view. What I hadn't realized was the fact that most of my life's journey has been about pushing onwards and upwards to reach the point where I am now. The hard work is behind me, the view stretches out in front of me, but where do I go from here?

If it took half my life to reach the crest, where do I journey to next? There's a saying that goes: "There are many paths up the mountain, but the view from the top is always the same". I'm now faced with the question of what to do with the many paths that branch out from the mountain top, and which one to choose. I read a great post by Deb, a fellow Aussie blogger, that referred to FOBO - The Fear Of Better Options, and (as she puts it) "in many situations there’s no incorrect choice… that we can’t measure what might have been" and I guess that means that we follow our head/heart/gut and hope for the best.

There are many paths up the mountain, but the view from the top is always the same. #lifequotes #inspirationalquotes

WHEN THERE'S NO DRIVING PASSION

It's so strange for me to be on a path where I can't see the destination, and it's very different to how life has been up to this point. I've 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 love being a wife and mum but it's not my all-encompassing passion, I'm an average cook, ordinary dresser, not particularly creative, and nothing special. I've never had a "Passion" that's driven and inspired me, but I've just kept putting one foot in front of the other as I headed up my mountain. 

Society tells us we need to be "special" and super busy, but now that I've taken a pause, 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. It's been SUCH a long path to finally accept that it's okay to not be the next best thing, to not want to be hitting the next mark, or achieving the next goal..... I can just be "me" with all my flaws and ordinary-ness, and that's more than okay.

THE DECADE AHEAD

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'm finding that the key to all this uncertainty lies in self-compassion - being kind to myself and allowing myself to be less than perfect, to try new directions and possibly fail - without being defeated in the process.

Krista O’Reilly-Davi-Digui from A Life in Progress says that "self-compassion and a growth-mindset are required for us to become the fullest, healthiest versions of ourselves." She says that "we must get honest about who we are, where we are, our stories and struggles, and our gifting too. First, we need to see and tell the truth about who we are, then we can take positive action to move closer to who and how we choose to be."


Krista O’Reilly-Davi-Digui from A Life in Progress - self-compassion and a growth-mindset are required for us to become the fullest, healthiest versions of ourselves. #lifequotes

BECOMING "WORTHY NOT RESPECTABLE"

The Channing quote that formed the nucleus of my #WOTY (SYMPHONY)  states in part "to be worthy, not respectable" and I think self-compassion is a big part of finding worthiness. Krista also mentions that "self-compassion and having less fear of failure means we’re able to work toward meaningful goals without attaching our worthiness to the outcome. We are less worried about judgment from ourself or others and this allows us to try new things and take some risks."

In the decade ahead I want to come to the point where I can accept my flaws and shortcomings without feeling the need to justify them or apologize for them. None of us are perfect and none of us have all the answers, we're just doing our best to get through life in a worthy and meaningful way. I may not have any idea where I'll end up by 2029, but I want to know that I've given it my best shot and that I've grown and flourished, and encouraged others to do the same in their life journeys. It's all about becoming our best selves and living lives that are deep, rich and satisfying.

A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life. #inspirationalquotes

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Do you have the next year and decade all planned out, or are you facing the unknown like me? Are you working on your self-worth and self-compassion as you head into the future? Will you join me as we launch ourselves into the vast unknown?

RELATED POSTS



We might not know what the future holds, but self-compassion and recognizing our worth is the key to making the most of all life offers. #midlife #compassion
We might not know what the future holds, but self-compassion and recognizing our worth is the key to making the most of all life offers. #midlife #compassion

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

32 comments

  1. I happen to think that respectable is overrated lol...but worthy, now that's a different concept. And tying that worth to a title is where the trouble and confusion begins.

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    1. It's all so complicated at times isn't it Jo - we get so caught up in what the world tells us and forget that it's okay just to follow our hearts and be true to our own journey. I like the idea of being worthy and becoming the best version of "me" - that's my goal for the next decade.

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  2. I'm struggling through my 6th decade as I accept that I need things in my life to stimulate me. I'm driven and that's me. Sure I can relax with a book for an afternoon but I struggle if I don't have something which I feel is valuable for me in my day. I've accepted who I am but finding what I really enjoy doing rather than filling in long hours each day is still a challenge. Not sure where I will be at the end of this decade but I sure hope I'm still fit, fun and active and Sizzling way beyond 60 :)

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    1. Hi Sue - I love that you want to live with purpose and that you inspire others to do the same. I'm still testing the waters of retirement and I have a feeling my approach will change over the next decade (much as yours has done). There is a lot to be said for living intentionally and knowing what works best for us - but first we have to put in the work of finding out who we are and what we truly want - then we can start an action plan to become our best selves. You're just blazing the trail for me!

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  3. Nope. No plans other than breaking into China for my books and Thailand in July. That's it. Otherwise business as usual.

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    1. I think world domination sounds like a pretty good plan to me Leanne - even if it's for your books and not to become a meglomaniac!

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  4. Hi, Leanne - When I worked, I had a driven, fast-paced, go-go-go personality. Although I knew my retirement date two years ahead of time, I avoided making any kind advanced plan for how I would spend my days. This has worked perfectly for me. I LOVE the flexibility of being busy if I want to be, but also taking a mid-week PJ Day when ever I like, for no reason at all! I look forward to following your new year ahead!

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    1. Hi Donna - that's where I feel I'm at with retirement. I love the flexibility and not being on anyone else's timetable. I know things will change over the year/s ahead, but I really want it to change on my terms rather than being based on what other people think I should be doing - people pleasing is taking a back seat for me at long last!

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  5. Hi Leanne, I have plans for the next decade but I also love the spontaneity of retired life. Nobody is perfect and no-one has all the answers, very true indeed. Being kind to oursleves and each other is very important #teamlovinlife

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    1. I think life changes when we retire Deb - less structure and less "same old, same old" stuff. There's so much flexibility and that is a really weird feeling for me. But I think I'm going to enjoy exploring the decade ahead and allowing myself to not know where the path is leading.

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  6. Once I turned 70 I was glad to get there. I see the decade ahead as, I hope, the "best" for both of us. I would like to think that after the many decades of giving to others via our teaching careers, raising children, and caring for grandchildren, this next bit...before the OLD gets harder..is US time. Both of us now are really enjoying what's on offer (as my husband calls it) in our retirement that is not perfect but is most suitable for us. 49+years together and these are the best years so far. Denyse.

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    1. Hi Denyse - that's exactly how I'm hoping it will be for me (us) too. I don't think we'll be seeing too much of our children - just visits here and there, and the same with the grandgirls. I quite like how autonymous we are and how many opportunities to dabble in things (what's on offer!) which I didn't have the time or headspace for before I left work. So many paths down the mountain!

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  7. As a self-acknowledged planner, it's actually hard for me to admit that I don't have any long-term plans at the moment! Our "someday" plan became a "tomorrow" plan and that's taking all my focus. And even there, I'm trying to focus on one step at a time. It's quite new for me to be much more living in the moment... many times I am crafting my daily plan in the morning. It's a bit unsettling , but I also think it's how it needs to be for the moment. In all of it, I'm trying to be kind to myself, to let the things happen as they unfold, and to not rush into scenario-what-if-worrying. A big shift for me.

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    1. I'm the same Pat - there is no way at all that I can see what the future holds - it's a complete unknown, so worrying about it, or trying to create a plan, or putting a whole lot of "what ifs" into play just seems pointless to me. I'm taking a step back and allowing things to unfold in their own time and space - a real learning curve for me!

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  8. Leanne,
    Just wanted to stop by to thank you for visiting and for taking the time to comment!! Loved this post because like you, I am also facing the great Unknown. Being newly retired, this is the first time in 42 years that I do not have structure on my life...the structure that working provided. I have learned in this first year of not working that I do need to provide my own structure so I make lists...Lists of what I need and want to accomplish in a day and in the week. That seems to work well for me, keeping me on track....I am excited though about the future because I feel the future is now in my hands and I can hopefully, choose what paths I want take.
    I hope you have a great weekend!!
    Hugs,
    Debbie

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    1. Hi Debbie - it was a pleasure to pop over to your blog and admire your latest projects (you're much more adept at all of that decorating stuff than I am!) I don't make lists, but I do have a calendar that I try to keep updated so I know what's coming up (my days seem to run into each other without the structure you mentioned) I don't want to find out I missed a coffee date or a commitment because I got my day of the week wrong!

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  9. Leanne,
    Me again!! Thanks so much for stopping by again!! I hope you are having a great weekend!!
    Hugs
    Deb

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    1. You too Deb - it's always lovely to visit and make new friends x

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  10. A fab read! I am facing this sort of thing now. I have stage 4 cancer and now that all my kids are at school (youngest is 7), I am beginning to focus more on me and what I want. This is such a lovely discovery! I have been signing up for weekend courses, travelling and planning travels. It's time for me now despite still being in the thick of it. I am letting go a little and letting myself awaken.

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    1. Life can give us some really horrible wake-up calls can't it? Stage 4 cancer would have to be the most horrible, but I am so inspired by your positivity and that you're using it to enrich your life. Go you!! I do hope you keep me posted xx

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  11. Hi Leanne, I see this decade and beyond as the time to enjoy the journey where I move at my own pace, including stops to smell the roses. The view from the top is not always the same because I experiment with painting the landscape in different colours and combinations. #lifethisweek

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    1. I like that you can reinterpret your landscape Natalie. I see the view changing depending on what direction I look in. I'm hoping to focus on green pastures, lovely sunshiny skies, and endless opportunities.

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  12. Worthy. not respectable is a wonderful goal. I wonder why it is sometimes easier to feel compassion for others than for ourselves.

    "In the decade ahead I want to come to the point where I can accept my flaws and shortcomings without feeling the need to justify them or apologize for them." Me too!

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    1. Hi Laurie - we are always our own worst critics aren't we? I'm really working at being kinder to myself and giving myself a bit of breathing room. I need to quieten the voice in my head that often reads more into a situation than is actually there!

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    1. Thanks Leanne - a little self-compassion is definitely on your agenda xx

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  14. Returning (late!) from my link ups...Thank you for linking up for Life This Week. Next week's optional prompt is Taking Stock. Using words of your own or ones from other bloggers as prompts is cool. Hope to see you there: 2 March 2020. Denyse.

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    1. Hi Denyse - I'll definitely be there on Monday - I love your link ups x

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  15. Leanne, Interesting about how you chose the name of your blog. I notice your phrase “I’ve taken a pause” which made me think of the phrase “gave me pause.” Similar, different, yet possibly on the same path. One makes me stop and rest and one makes me stop and think.

    I know we are in different countries, across the world from each other, although we have had similar experiences with our careers. Hitting the next mark and achieving the next goal was also my experience. It is almost how I can let out a sigh of relief at this point in my life.

    This is an excellent post in more ways than you may realize, Leanne. I agree with living our best and in a worthy and meaningful way, however that picture plays out to each of us. I always have continual goals I am working on. I have also been a planner with written down daily goals. Yet the concept of ‘human being’ versus ‘human doing’ is still important to me. Sometimes I just want to let out a sigh and just be.

    A great thought-provoking post, Leanne. As always! xx

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    1. Hi Erica - can you imagine if we ever met up and had a cup of coffee (or ten!)? We'd lose our voices from over-use I'm sure! I'm finding life quite interesting atm because I really do feel like I've reached the point I've always been climbing towards and a bit like Christie, I'm asking "So what, now what?" and trying to figure out which path to take next. I need to keep reminding myself that it's okay to sit and pause and admire the view and be proud of myself surviving the climb - then when I'm ready I can decide which path to choose and how far I want to walk along it.

      I find that the connection with other like-minded women blogging about their retirement has really helped me accept that this is such a blessing and one I should be savouring and not trying to push through, or trade in for the 9-5 grind again. I may not be rolling in $$ but I'm rolling in contentment - and that beats working for someone else to earn money I don't really need to buy stuff I don't need either. Learning to just "be" is a constant WIP for me - but so worthwhile!

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  16. The next ten years my husband and I will finish "raising" our youngest two boys. During the next ten years, we have plans for building a home and continuing to set things in motion for our business and eventual retirement. Thank you for a wonderful post! You've given me things to consider. ~Adrienne from Gluten Free Preppers and a member of the Blogger's Pit Stop Crew

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    1. Hi Adrienne, thanks so much for stopping by and I hope your next ten years goes smoothly and to plan. I had plans of finishing out my working life in my "perfect job" only to have the whole thing blow up in my face. The funny thing is that after the dust settled and I escaped from the stress and toxicity, I found myself in a very happy stage of life and waiting those extra years to retire has been skipped over. Being happy with what I have now means that I'm content (and it helps that both our "children" are happy, settled, and thriving in their adulthood - that's a huge tick on the boxes of my life!) x

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