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Friday, 11 September 2015

A is for: Acceptance

A is for

As women, mid-life is a time of change whether we want it or not. As well as the biological imperative, there are changes that come as children grow up and move out, mortgages are paid off, and changing economies mean job losses or new opportunities.



It seems a logical time to look at ourselves and our lives, as they are in flux, and ask if we like what we see. The desire to change our lives, as ladies of a certain age, is prevalent to the point of being cliche. The number of books and blog posts on the subject (my own included) can attest to that. They exist because, unfortunately, the answer to our question is often ‘NO’!

I have been on the self-improvement hamster wheel for as long as I can remember, with varying degrees of success. Approaching mid-life, my desire to ‘fix’ myself ramped up another notch. But each attempt continues to bring me less-than-hoped-for results.

With each failure, each perception of lack comes another reason to beat myself up. The delusional dictator in my head uses a ‘laundry list’ of should-haves to make me feel like crap. Feeling like crap makes me want to do better, to fix things… You can see how this goes – cyclical stupidity and self-fulfilling prophesies!

I am worn out from the trying.

I want peace. I want to be like those smarter (saner?) women, who have accepted and embraced who they are at mid-life. Those people who say, confidently ‘I am enough’.

I can’t remember when I last thought of myself as enough of anything - much more likely to be either too much of something, or not enough. Too fat, too short, too loud, too slow, too clumsy… Not disciplined enough, not talented enough, not kind enough, not lovable enough…

Is any of that true? All of it? I no longer know, although I suspect the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Change is inevitable, as the saying goes. I believe that it can also be good for you. It can shake life out of its routine and lead to personal growth. And I do understand the irony that acceptance is yet another change, albeit a different flavour.

However, exhausted, I am going to give (self-)acceptance a try. It has to be better than what I’ve been doing! And perhaps acceptance is necessary before change can be possible, maybe that’s the point I have been missing all along.

So, I will say it… slowly… tentatively…

I am enough!

Have any of you gone through this mid-life madness and come out more accepting and at peace? Has acceptance let to positive change? If so, I’d love to read your comments or, because this is all new for me, any tips you’d like to share.








2 comments:

  1. I went through some huge changes around the age of 50. I became an artist and began college. I remember waking up one night with an anxiety attack... what if this is just a mid-life crisis?! Then I woke a little more and figured what the hey, if it is, it is a fun one. So I relaxed. And it was fun and still is.
    I also let go of being lonely. I no longer need (or want) someone in my life. I am complete by myself (and my cat).
    I spent a lot of energy beating myself with guilt: past sins, bad mommy, etc. I began to forgive myself and move on. What's done is done. I am a better person now and that is what is important. To me, what is crucial is: have fun... enjoy the day, enjoy others, enjoy nature, and most of all, enjoy yourself!
    Today i was looking back at photos in my Facebook albums and realized that I am basically a happy and content person. Acceptance is not always easy (I am still working on the weight part) but being content sure helps.
    Sorry if I got carried away. You got me thinking! KmB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry I didn't see this comment sooner (something funky on the e-mail notification end, I think). But I did want to Thank You for commenting, as you so often do. This one was personal, and it is difficult to break the habits of a lifetime.
      I like your attitude of 'well if this is a mid-life crisis, then at least I'm having fun'. I should try that more often, as I have a life right now where I get to write, which is fun and my dream. What you say about forgiving yourself is also key - still working on that one! I'm glad that you've come out the other side able to say you are happy and content. I will take that as hope for me. I'm glad too that you feel that you can come here and express yourself!! You've got me thinking too now!

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