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.
Pamela has quite a bit to say on ‘reinventions’ which is why I needed to split the post on this topic into two. Here’s where you can read Part 1, and now here is Part 2:
FIND A PASSION AND GO FOR IT!
Research your family history
Develop a talent, such as cooking
Join a political party
Take up a new sport and compete
Write letters on issues to your local newspaper
Learn a musical instrument or a new language
Go travelling – backpack or five-star
Take an adult education class
Build your dream house in the country
IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU!
Adding a new dimension to your life doesn’t have to cost money. Helping others is deeply rewarding. It can help you expand your social network. There are hundreds of positions lists on Volunteering Australia’s website. Here are a tiny few:
- Tour guide or museum guide
- RSPCA clerical assistant, fundraiser, event organiser
- Nursery seedlings planting
- Fostering native animals
- Wetlands conservation volunteer
- Court supporter
- Bookshop assistant
- Emergency services radio operator
- Rescue boat crew
- First Aid officer
Well then, we have two lists of ideas for our ‘idle midlife minds and hands’. List 1 is about finding a passion and List 2 is about volunteering and community service. I think these lists are fabulous, though not all options appeal to me.
Before I give my thoughts on the two lists, I need to say that I do think there is often an assumption that midlifer’s, especially those who are retired, are idle (hence my tongue in cheek comment above about idle midlife minds and hands) and have nothing to do, hence plenty of time of their hands. It’s important to keep a few things in mind. Midifers often:
- have children and grandchildren that keep life busy
- have aging parents that need caring for
- still have homes to keep clean and maintain, and not all midlifer’s are empty nesters!
- finally have some time to look after themselves: e.g. establish an exercise routine they enjoy, get all those health checks done, apply some self-care, etc
- finally have some time to do things they have wanted to do or pursue in a long time (like travel or hobbies etc)
So yes finding a passion is good (we all need to love what we do and to have goals and dreams and fulfilment) if you don’t already have one (or two) and volunteering is fabulous if you have the time and there is a volunteering option that suits you (there is always more pleasure in giving than receiving) but what comes to mind to me is this saying:
Put on your own oxygen mask first, before helping those around you
By this stage of life, as mother’s and natural nurturers, we most likely have a history of putting others needs before our own. This is a time to make ourselves a priority. We’re all different, but we all need to be sure we find the right balance for us as individuals. We need to avoid the need to please others and inadvertently creating overwhelm for ourselves. We need to listen to our gut feeling about what is right for us and our own wellbeing and happiness. So with that in mind, let’s move on now to more of my thoughts on the two lists of Pamela’s.
From LIST 1, I could put a tick beside:
- Research your family history – because I have done some of that … but once the website wanted money from me to add more, I stopped. Fascinating to do though! I set up my family tree at My Heritage. It’s free up until a certain point, then payment is required to add more.
- Go travelling – well duh! I would like some more of this please!
- Take an adult education class. Yes! I’d do this. I love to learn and there’s lots of things I’d like to learn more about. In recent years I studied photography and got a Diploma in Professional Photography.
- Build your dream house in the country. A house in the country would be a dream come true for me. I really don’t like suburbia at all! I crave the country – even better – the mountains/hinterland! I don’t want a mansion though. Just a cute cottage. Not too big as I don’t want too much to clean. Must have aircon – cos I do not cope well with the heat. A veranda would be nice and good natural light coming in through the windows!
From LIST 2, I could put a tick beside:
- RSPCA assistant of some kind – because I love animals! Here’s some more info on RSCPA Volunteer Roles.
- Nursery seedlings planting. Ok confession time – I just love brainless repetitive stuff sometimes and when it involves getting my hands into dirt and being outdoors and in nature – yes please! There may be volunteering opportunities at your local plant nursery but here’s a bit of info on volunteer opportunities with Greening Australia.
- Fostering native animals – yes I would do this but not at my current house – at my house in the country when I get it (how’s that for positive thinking)! Here’s some info on how to become a Carer with Wildcare Australia in South East Queensland.
- Wetlands conservation volunteer – perhaps, but I think that working with animals might pip this one at the post for me. However, nature and protecting nature is my thing too! Here’s some MORE INFO for anyone interested in this kind of volunteer work.
Here’s Volunteering Australia’s website for more volunteering options.
Which items from List 1 and List 2 interest you? Are you doing any of them already? Are you making sure you put the oxygen mask on yourself first?
Ciao for now,