This post is part of the Gorgeous 50’s series inspired by a book given to me by one of my sisters on my 50th birthday – ‘Grown up and Gorgeous in your 50’s’ by Pamela Robson. I will be sharing some of Pamela’s words and my own thoughts along the way. To see all posts published as part of this series, go here.
Reinventions can be as small as a new hair cut or joining a weight loss group or as big as retraining for a new job, building a house or travelling overseas. Start by making a plan for your life. Draw up headings such as ‘home’, ‘work’, ‘personal’, ‘money’, ‘relationships’. Look at what is working in your life, and what is not.
Make a wish-list, then refine it. Put down your goals, large and small. Prioritise what’s important to you. Then work out the steps you need to achieve them. Don’t get too bogged down in the detail. When you reach this point you just have to take a deep breath and jump in.
Achieving our ambitions can help us feel better about ourselves, liven up our lives and make sense of the world. And it doesn’t have to interfere with our marriage, work life or relationships with children and friends. Being fulfilled makes us better to be around.
I think I’m rather practiced at the reinvention thing in some regards. I mean, I walked away from the corporate life I’d been living since the age of 17. There was a brief interlude when I had my babies and then back at it I was, crawling my way up the ranks from the bottom again. Then one day in mid 2012, I walked out of the office never to return, though I didn’t know that at the time! Long story. However, since then I have been learning who Min is and in a sense reinventing myself.
I did a 365 Grateful Project where I took a photograph every day of something I was grateful for. I did this to help me reconnect to life and get a more positive attitude. This led me to starting a blog – a platform on which to share my daily photographs (the blog I had before this one). This then led to my love of photography. I did a local course on how to use my DSLR Camera on manual. This ignited a passion which then led to me doing a Diploma in Professional Photography at The Photography Institute and a try-on of the ‘photographer’ hat for a while. All of this then led to the creation of a new blog – this one – Write of the Middle (and a try on of the ‘blogger/writer/influencer’ hat), and onward the story goes! I will continue to follow my curiosities and hopefully that will eventually lead me to finding my true life purpose!
In other ways, I am so terrible at reinventing myself. My hair, for example, rarely ever changes. I am afraid of radical change to my hair in case I hate it. That has happened to me in the past and scarred me for life I think. I recall I was probably around 12 as I was about to start high school and very keen to make a good impression. It was during the Christmas/summer school holidays and Mum took me to the hairdresser for a back to school hair cut. I told them I wanted to look like Farrah Fawcett (you know, long flowy, flicky hair) and I came out looking anything but Farrah Fawcett. My hair had been radically chopped, was way too short, and I hated it very much and was devastated.
Getting back to the topic at hand, I think that reinvention is necessary as we move through the various phases of life. Nothing ever stays the same really … even my hair!! It has some greys (that I hide) for example and it’s not as thick as it used to be – so I’m adapting and reinventing how I manage my hair. We need to do that across most aspects of life as we move through the different phases of it.
Priorities change too as we move through the various phases of life. Having lots of friends for example is not as important to me as it used to be. More important to me is having quality friends. Going out partying at night is something I used to love to do but I’m not so much into parties now and I prefer my social events during the day. If going to an evening event, I now prefer a quiet dinner out with friends over going to a noisy club or party.
Life audits – a little term I just came up with, which probably already exists – are something I think are important and something we naturally seem to do once we reach midlife. It’s where you look at what in your life is working for you (relative to: work, home, friends, relationships, etc) and keep it and what is not working for you and ditch it! It’s actually a form of self-care. Our time is precious and we want to spend it in ways that ‘spark joy’ (haha – a little play on the Marie Kondo craze that is sweeping the world at the moment) and help us grow and flourish, not in any ways that is detrimental to this.
ONE THING THAT NEVER CHANGES
Setting goals and achieving them is something that is just as important to me now as it used to be, if not more so. As humans, regardless of our age, we need to feel a sense of purpose and at the end of the day it’s nice to feel a sense of achievement and accomplishment.
Make this a year of finding fulfillment, peace, and purpose
Have you reinvented yourself in any way lately? Ever done a life audit? What sparks joy for you?
Ciao for now,