Ever feel like you know/knew when to let go, but haven’t yet?
The time to let go is here. In some cases the time has passed already.
Do you still have this baggage?
- Paperwork and old systems to get rid of in your office?
- A relationship you need to “do something with” in your heart (but you’re clueless so you put it off)?
- A well-meant attachment to a loved one’s or child’s work? (You’re cheering from the sidelines, but they don’t seem to want it as much as you do.)
- Several half-finished creative projects in baskets in your workspace?
- Notes and files in Dropbox, Evernote or Scrivener?
- At least three boxes too many of sentimental Christmas decorations in the attic?
- A dress in your closet that was super sexy, or a professional skirt which you’ve outgrown, either mentally or physically?
Whatever it is for you, holding on too it can deplete your energy and power.
How Women Get More Interesting With Age
I was talking to a girlfriend last night who is also in midlife. (50+) We were discussing how women in menopausal or post menopausal age, actually get MORE interesting because their main graceful move is in letting go of things.
Releasing certain hopes and dreams from years ago calls for more bravery, appreciation of complexity, and badass kindness than was ever called for during your child rearing years.
The fortitude required isn’t even imaginable when you’re in young adulthood, when you’re building your life, your home, your career, your family, etc. Focus is on children, work, and acquiring stuff for your domicile. You’re trying new fashion trends because you haven’t yet figured out what really looks good on your body and in your home. It’s called “Adulting” these days, and can take a decade or two.
This season passes. You have become an adult, and then some.
You own a gravy boat, know you should wear clothes with a waist if you still have one, you even know where your personality and work strength lie because you’ve taken all the personality tests and received very real “feedback” from others. You’ve lost money and made money, had kids and pets, and a bruised heart. And you’ve weathered all of it.
You have more to give than meets the eye, which is exactly the point.
Now that there’s so much more to you, how will you carry it all?
You don’t. You don’t carry it all, unless you want to go a little crazy over the long term. Resent builds with the burden of the load.
Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D. and HardiCoping therapist, writes that chronic stress carries an emotional element of conflict. “This conflict usually involves some aspect of your life that you want to change, or get rid of completely, but that you cannot without disturbing the routine or happiness of your loved ones.”
How’s that for a double whammy?
You’re stressed because you don’t want to disturb the status quo you helped create by aiding your loved ones. At the same time, that stress is building walls of isolation.
The more you carry, the more isolated you feel. More responsibility and attachments to outcomes and property press us down until we feel as if we’re the only ones keeping it all together. The more we need other people in our lives, the less we want to be with them… Vicious.
Women Who (Still) Do Too Much
One solutions is to develop skills that help you actually thrive under stress. If you can begin to see stress as not harmful to your health, and actually (weirdly) kind of fun, then you’re well on your way to coping. Additionally, if you learn structured skills to deal with stressors in your life, you’re way ahead of the game.
I remember a little book on my mother in law’s bookshelf, Women Who Do Too Much. After looking up the publish date, I noted a small detail. The book was actually titled “Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much.” Is it any surprise that we’re still having this discussion then? For the past 30 years we’re STILL doing too much; we’ve just learned how to think and talk about it better. Talking and meditating may be cathartic, but where’s the relief from the real weight of things?
It may be time to move on, let go of some it these things you know and own, and for goodness sake, stop explaining yourself.
If you spend these good, juicy years of midlife tenaciously clinging to a version of yourself from 20 years ago, it’s like holding an angry cat in your arms. Sad, and a little distressing!
Holding on exacts a high price from your heart, body and purse. Since we’re strong women, too many of us take more on anyway. “We’ve got this, we’ve seen some shit, we’ve traveled this road before, we can take it,” we say, and wear the effects like a badge of honor. Some women happily and willingly pay it for longer than other women think is wise.
Here’s the surprise. Letting go of some things takes more daring and audacity than any younger version of yourself could ever know.
For the first time, lately, I feel so tender toward my 30-year-old self. I’d love to just sit and have a cup of tea with her, hold her hand.
There’s no preparing a young woman for this. What we can do as wise older sisters is teach how to be kind to yourself as you swing, swing, swing on your trapeze and know in your bones that one of these times you’re going to let go of that bar and stretch so far for the next grasp, and to our surprise, a hand will always be there.
What would I tell my 30-year-old self?
As long as you stay in touch with the people who are important to you, but continue to develop new relationships… you will always have connections that matter.
If you make those scary career moves even when you don’t think you’re ready, and when you don’t have the money, or the experience or the training, or the business plan… your work will always fulfill you.
If you keep moving through life without expectations of others, but a reliance on who you are and what you know to be true… you will always land safely in the next station of your life.
Just know that you will arrive there with more waves of compassion and kindness for others than you ever knew as a younger woman. You’ll put more distance between yourself and issues and situations that don’t serve your peace and enjoyment of life, and you’ll embrace the ones you can influence. Music and laughter will re-enter your life, just like when you were a teenager. You’ll dance more, cling less, and experience more fun and feel joy – just because you witness it in others.
Letting go is the boldest, baddest move you can make.
What about you?
Do you know what to let go now? Do you know which pedal accelerates your best YOU?
Deciding what to leave behind and what to keep, can be confusing if you’re just getting sober at this point in your life, or if you’re starting a business after age 50. And when you’re doing both at the same time, you’re in for a wild ride. Join other women who are walking this road. Happy Sober Business is a Facebook group for women getting real about life and business.
Time for your next best move? Explore how to set boundaries, manage stress, and release what isn’t serving you anymore. Let’s schedule an hour to to discuss your business and personal boundaries, so you can start thriving in the peace and prosperity you and your business deserve.