Wednesday, 14 October 2015
Steadily, over the summer, a feeling of change has been growing.
I woke up early this morning and realised that I need to navigate differently from now on.
The fifth decade is a significant time of transition for women. We pass the baton of fertility on to our daughters and, despite a great many of us feeling knackered, emotional, a bit shell-shocked at the changes, and on top of that having to contend with hot flushes, irregular cycles, increased headaches, adrenals kicking in at odd times and producing inexplicable surges of anxiety and worry, and tiredness bordering on exhaustion, we are expected to carry on with life as normal, with barely an acknowledgement that we are passing into a new and important phase of life and that the transition into it is, at times, hard.
I am far happier and more fulfilled in my forties than I ever was in my twenties. I listen to the life J is loving living at Uni and the smile on my face is one of happy reminiscence, not envy.
I am content with the things I do, but I've been allowing something (media pressure? The world's expectation?) to make me feel that the simple, undisturbed peace I find in my way of life somehow requires defending.
What I woke up realising this morning is that it doesn't. I have changed this year, but I like the change, I have accepted it and I will embrace it and everything else will shift to accommodate it, and if it doesn't, then out it goes.
I am steering my children through their teenage years, their times of transition, and that is proving a big challenge at times. It robs me of energy, it cuts me to my core at times, but because it's normal it isn't acknowledged as being any big deal. I am working towards my second degree and an academic career I hadn't anticipated having in the latter half of my life, and doing that with a family and a full life already in place is also a challenge. I have to work hard not just to fit it in but to summon the requisite brain power to get the concepts and understand and apply them. I have taken on a couple of jobs because I'm interested in them- that too is a challenge and time needs to be found for them, because they too are important. And I am involved in various projects which I also learn from and feel energised by, but they too require the setting aside of time. Learning the lesson that time is finite is one I never seem to get permanently, but rather, need to keep re-learning.
These shifts when they come are significant and only accommodated I think by looking honestly at your life and navigating differently as a result.
How about you?