Susan Macintosh | 22nd June 2016
I know that as I get older one of the things I crave is a life of ease. Not easy, ease. A life that has breathing spaces, many joys and much play. Living a life of ease and calm is a choice that you make for you. It’s about setting yourself up such that you do have the lifestyle of your own choosing.
Once upon a time, do you remember, the days, months and years used to spread out in front of you … Christmas took forever to come around. A whole 12 months of waiting. Now it feels as though Christmas was only last week, and here it is, seemingly just around the corner. And I know that there is so much fun and living that I want to enjoy between now and then. I don’t want the next 6 months to go by in a whirlwind of obligations. I want to be able to enjoy what it is that I am doing.. creating, continuing to learn and grow and live well.
If we are not careful, we can let life lead us, instead of us designing and creating what we want to do. The “rush, rush, rush” can be intoxicating.. I’ve got so much to do”.. you tell everyone. Marketing images give you the picture of the perfect life? And many of us, without even thinking about it, do our best to fit right in. Right into what though?
Perhaps if I tell you the story of a dear friend. She dropped by unexpectedly last week. Just knocked on the door which was unusual in itself. “Chris” had always been the perfect student (gaining her PhD whilst her children were at school), the perfect daughter of ailing parents, the perfect wife of a very busy and successful man who managed a business “empire”, a property developer in her own right, mother of 3 high energy kids all of whom had had learning difficulties and had completed University Degree programmes, is an active “hands on” grandmother of 3 beautiful little people, fit, is beautiful and always immaculately groomed. Her life ran like clock work and she is universally loved. And yet here she was, sitting in my kitchen having an anxiety attack, sobbing into her coffee. And she felt as though she was failing! “That she wasn’t doing enough”. The question is why? Golly, I feel exhausted just listing her achievements.
We spend a lot of time comparing ourselves to others, doing the “right” thing, sandwiched between our loving responsibilities for ageing parents, our working and business lives, creating beautiful homes, cooking delicious and healthy meals, our children and grandchildren, our health and fitness “needs”, our “need” to save more, make more, invest more… so much so, what happens to us? Who are we in all of this?
Who is “Chris”? She had forgotten herself in all of this. My suggestion.. “editing”.
One of the lessons I continually need to learn and maybe you do too… is to learn to reflect upon what is that you really want out of your life and to do more of that and less of the other. Letting go that which isn’t working for you. It’s quite a skill to take on less, simplify and spend time letting go of obligations that don’t work for you. I call it “editing my life” or “curating my life”.
Quell horreur… perhaps even admitting that you can’t do it all, and asking for help? LOVE LOVE LOVE help.
Could I ask you to give some thought this week to what is is that you are doing? Are you making good choices for you? What do you need to edit out of your life to give yourself a life that you love?
Living life well over 50 is a choice that you make for you. It really is experience that matters.
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