As a midlife woman you may be looking for the right set of stairs to take--the right answer to help you out of your dilemma. You know there is a dilemma because you feel unmotivated or in a quandary, but maybe you just can't pinpoint why you feel as you do or what the solution is.
Midlife tends to bring a lot of "stuff" to a head. You are at a place of looking back on the phase of raising your children. It's a phase that's finished. You are in the place of needing to redevelop a relationship with your spouse--one that might have become clouded over the years. You may have just left a job, been laid off or are finally child-free and ready to get on with a job outside the home. Some of your peers are retiring while you're trying to get going.
Women are living longer these days. If you are 50 you may have another 40 plus years of life to fill. Don't quit now!
WHAT IS IT?
So how do you find what it is? Well the fact that you're looking for it is a good start. Along with looking should come experimenting.
It can be hard to know if you should sign up for a course, take a job, work from home in some way, babysit, volunteer, clean houses and so on. Maybe there isn't just one specific interest that jumps out at you.
Measuring a choice by a predictable outcome can stall you. If you assume writing from your desk, let's say, will get you nowhere so you don't spend time doing it, you short-change yourself. It is only by jumping into the world of writing, putting it online or selling it that you will find out if it goes anywhere.
Paths may not open in the way you assume they will. A new path may not become clear until you put yourself into action.
The assumption that cleaning houses will be dead-ended can only proven after trying it. You may end up cleaning the house of someone who sees more talent in you than you do and who moves you into something new.
The point is, it's easy to want quick answers. It's easy to make assumptions that prohibit you from getting off the ground. It's easy to face a disappointment and assume there is nothing out there for you.
What you need to do, though, is move, try, do, investigate without presumption.
DON'T PIGEON HOLE YOURSELF
One of the biggest things I've had to teach myself is to not pigeon hole myself. Just because I accept a certain assignment or job doesn't mean that's the only place in life I'll serve. I don't have to define myself by choices that can never be changed. Change is always possible.
By trying out a variety of things you learn what you don't like. You learn what doesn't fit you. You learn where paths lead.
Over the years my ideal schedule has changed largely due to how my children's schedules have changed, but also due to hormonal stuff that has caused me restless nights with little sleep, and irregular periods that wipe me out.
I'm no good to anyone in the morning if I haven't had enough sleep. I'm no good if I have fatigue and need a nap instead of a commitment. Permission has become a favourite word. I like my schedule of leisurely mornings and late nights, because it's working for me. But I need to give myself guilt-free permission to enjoy them.
This isn't necessarily the way it's going to be long term. I won't force change right now, but I will remain open to the possibility of change and give myself permission to not have all the answers.
How about you? What do you need to give yourself permission about? What do you need to try? Is there a new opportunity that you'd love to investigate? What's stopping you?
Prayer: Dear God,
Thank you for bringing me through life to this point.
I now commit my days to you.
Help me accept the path you have me on.
Help me give myself permission to lay low if necessary.
Change my life in any way that is not pleasing to you.
Grant me energy to take on new tasks.
I long to have meaning and fulfillment at this stage of life, show me the right set of stairs to take.
Mend my relationships and help me feel love and joy all the rest of my days.
Present to me opportunities to take courses, try new things or even do paid work that are your design.
Give me the courage to proceed.
Help me to realize change is always possible and to resist locking myself into anything.
Lord I'm going to trust you now, even this very day, to show me a glimpse of your hand in my life.
Thank you Lord for loving me and carrying me through life.