Being in my 50s, making changes, and gently gently


These early to mid 50s – what is happening I often wonder. Why this shake up? And so many seem to have a struggle at this time. For women menopause arrives, for men a crisis of a different type. Energy levels aren’t the same as when we are 20. We face that we are not young now, and need to look after ourselves more.

It seems to be a time of appraisal and wondering what it has been all about and where we are going. A good honest look at it all.

For me it’s been an almighty recapitulation and honest facing and taking responsibility of what has been and a look at what I’d like from here on.

And asking what raises my spirits and enthusiasm and what slumps me down.

The 50s for many seem to have some common themes. Children have left home, we are no longer needed by them. There’s a loss in that, and a bit of purposeless as well as freedom. There may be deaths in the family. And there may be the start of looking after other elders.

I had a sense of purpose in bringing up a child and building a business to support us. I had a husband and we were a team and I loved that we had a vision of building something together. And then that all changed. He wasn’t a good choice for that and had to be offloaded. And then some years later my son left to live his own life. The foster child I had living with us left too, then the dog died.

Now alone it was ‘just’ me I was building the business for, and then I struggled with that. I had to look at what I feel I deserve. And I discovered that I had a firm thermostat setting for limiting success, for love, for happiness for myself. I didn’t deserve ‘too much’ of the good things.

So time to shake things up a bit and make some changes. I’m downsizing my business, to free myself from the endless toil of mundane jobs I don’t like to do.

I’m on my new course all this weekend. I’m learning to be a cbt psychotherapist. I did a post graduate diploma over 2 years in Transpersonal Psychology and I did a life coaching qualification. I’m tempted to just start that coaching going, I’m still deciding how to go about that. I’m already providing therapy on placement each week to clients on placement and finding it easy and it’s coming naturally. I won’t do that until I’m qualified though, but coaching and encouraging….I want to find a niche.

I want more connection and contact with people, and for my life to revolve less about money. It gives me great joy to use my own experience to see people move past their own blockages, to be of service to others. As part of my training I’m going to set up a therapy group for women, a thought that excites me which is a sign I need to pay attention to.

So the 50s are useful for a whole life appraisal. Time is running out, and how best to use the time left. 20 years of good health if I’m fortunate. How do I want to spend it, doing what, with whom?

I found this chart which made a lot of sense, to me anyway, and gave some optimism too.

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