Recently it feels like I’ve come out of a long dark tunnel. Work and life have been very busy. Filled with things I chose to take on, but most of them requiring attention to activities and detail that bring me little joy. This left me with a sense that this was how it was always going to be, that nothing would change, and, as I didn’t have the energy or time to change anything anyway, life would stretch on being ‘same old same old’ with no end in sight.
I started to lose faith in my capacity to create the delicious second half I had dedicated myself to, in committing to The Ripenists.
It wasn’t that I disliked the components of my life – I’d chosen to do what I was doing – it was just hard to see the through-line from where I was, to where I wanted to be. What’s more, my picture of the where I wanted to be, seemed to be becoming fuzzier…
As we’ve observed before, midlife is, for most of us, the busiest time of life. Unlike our more youthful years where we were focusing largely on one thing – studying, working, raising children – at midlife, there is a myriad of demands; all of which are important to us and yet often, we feel pulled in multiple directions.
In this space it’s very difficult to hold on to a vision for ourselves and our future that is bigger, as opposed to busier, than we are right now.
Losing faith in ourselves and our lives at midlife is a spiritual experience, because what we let go of is hope.
Hope that we will meet someone, hope that we’ll have enough (money, time, fill in the blank), hope that we’ll be at peace with ourselves and our Beloveds, hope that the best really could be yet to come.
I don’t find it at all surprising that there is a high incidence of depression amongst midlife women. And yet, when we’re in this space, when we’re busy and responding to all the demands without enough space in our lives, most of us just put our heads down and keep on going. And we’re very good at that.
We either don’t recognise the creeping greyness that is enveloping us or we choose to ignore it. And as we do, so our faith in the possibilities of a delicious second half ebb away with it.
To craft a truly delicious second half, we need to have both faith and hope. Faith – as in a firm belief in something without evidence – in this case, that our second half can be more delicious than it is right now. Hope – as in trust, that our faith will be rewarded.
We need to create and hold to a vision for ourselves and our lives that is bigger than the one we have right now.
We need to be able to define what that bigger version of our selves and our lives looks like, and then we need to see ourselves living it. Without vision there can be no faith. Then, having created the vision of the future we want, we need to keep it alive by taking consistent action that moves us in the direction of that vision. In doing so, we stoke our hope that our faith is warranted.
So maybe for you, like me, it’s time to pause and revisit your vision for your delicious second half. Understanding in doing so, that our second half is happening right now, not at some distant point in the future. So:
- What vision do you want to hold for yourself and your life that is bigger than you are right now?
- What aspects of your current life need to stay, go or be introduced, in order to align your day to day with this vision for yourself and your life?
- What actions, if taken today, would stoke your hope that your vision will be realised?
Ripenist Reflection: I wonder where you are in your midlife journey – is the greyness of midlife busyness getting the better of you, or are you holding firm to a bigger vision for your delicious second half? Please share in the comments below or on our Facebook Page.
Share the Wisdom – one of the wonderful aspects of The Ripenists community is that our stories inspire action in others. If someone comes to mind as you’ve been reading this article, please share it with them. It may just be the “I’m not alone in this” nudge they need to receive from a friend right now.