There are many times in our lives that we decide to take action in an area that is touted by advertisers (and sometimes by friends) as Simple. Daily exercise is one of those things for me; changing my eating habits and losing weight are a couple more.
What’s so hard about getting up a little earlier in the day and doing planks, or sit ups, or walking a few miles, or going to the gym. Simple, right?? Sure, but not easy.
Eliminating carbs from our diet is healthier than eating pasta, pizza, bread and ice cream, right?? Simple enough….but not easy.
Changing my exercise and diet routines were not important to me until there was a health issue attached to the change. If I exercised and changed my diet, I was told, I could control Type 2 diabetes symptoms. Guess what? In 3 months I lost 50 pounds! I exercised and I ate a low carb diet because, suddenly, making those changes “mattered” in an immediate way.
I worked for a short while with some children in residential treatment. They were between 10 and 13 years old and I was shocked to discover that those kids would rather return to abusive and totally dysfunctional families than move into the unknown of safe, caring foster families.
No matter our age, the fear of change is greater than the fear of abuse or death, public speaking…and even the IRS! Humans fall into lifestyle habits; some are really good and some, not so much.
As “over 50’s” we frequently find ourselves entrenched in habits, life lessons and comfort…even when it’s not comfortable.
Major change is terrifying for most people and it’s frequently discouraged by our friends and family. Others in our lives are comfortable with knowing “who” we are and how we’ll respond. It upsets their lives when we respond different from their expectations.
Leaving a long term job, whether due to retirement or downsizing, is a huge adjustment. Moving from a large home to a smaller one in a warmer climate is often the catalyst for depression and sometimes disease. Choosing to, or being forced out of, a long term marriage … well, that’s just devastating, whether it’s our choice or not!
But, these are all life changes faced by many people at retirement age.
How we deal with change is most often the result of our personal attitudes and ability to choose to be happy. Yes, it’s our responsibility to choose happiness and joy, a positive response. We all know that person whom, given or winning a Million Dollars, would complain because taxes had to be paid. Our attitude is our choice.
Some people have created a lifetime of negative attitude, expecting the worst at every turn. My theory is that constant negativity is a Life Pattern, a response taught since very early childhood probably by parents or caregivers. These Life Patterns can be changed, no matter our age.
I was lucky! My parents’ attitude and the outlook they developed in me and my six siblings was one of glass-three-quarters-full. When I was six my family moved from South Georgia to Northern Wisconsin…in the dead of Winter! We lived waaaay out in the Country in a drafty old farm house. It was so cold in the house sometimes that Mom wore gloves to make up the beds! Dad would get up nearly every morning and exclaim “Come here, kids! Look at that snow on the pine trees (or drifting 10 feet high). We wouldn’t see THAT in Georgia!”
I tend to look for the silver lining in everything…and I generally find it. But, when my thirty-four year marriage ended my world came crashing in on me. My abundant lifestyle dramatically ended. I moved from a big house on the lake to a small furnished apartment (Simple but not easy) Fancy vacations became dim memories, friends (well, people I thought were friends) disappeared. We live in a couples world…as a single woman, nothing “fit” anymore.
It took nearly a year, but I did revive and thrive. I chose not to date, put myself in the Repair Shop of personal growth and, twelve years later, I am still single….and loving the life I’ve created.
My transformation continues even now, with “The Second 53 Years”. I am venturing again into entrepreneurialism…this time by myself. And, I’m excited! Mostly, I’m happy to bring stories of survival, happiness after divorce, excitement of a new venture after years in a primary career, positive, healthy change and how women, just like you and me, made it happen.
Please listen to my podcast; subscribe and review, if you enjoy it. Visit my web site http://www.the Second53Years.com ~ I offer lots of free articles and recordings to give you encouragement and inspiration to live your Authentic Life. You’ve already found this blog. I hope you enjoy reading it and will leave comments, stories and insights to encourage other women.