I chuckle sometimes when I remember the manic behaviors I had as a younger woman.
There was such a need to maintain the image of perfection that I was always in a state of anxiety. It takes a lot of energy to try to be liked and adored by everyone in the world.
Midlife gave me the confidence and moxie to venture out on my own terms. It allowed me to care more about what I wanted versus what I thought others wanted. With that came a freedom that was liberating and empowering.
Here are 5 things I’ve given myself permission to do in midlife:
1. Leave the house with no makeup.
This was huge for me! I used to feel the need to have a fully made-up face before my feet touched the front porch. Now, I realize that I’m hot with or without it.
2. Take naps.
I used to feel guilty for taking any time away from “stuff” that needed my attention. Now, I feel entitled to snooze whenever I feel the need.
3. Go to the movies alone.
The thought of stepping out solo before midlife made me feel like the last kid chosen in gym — embarrassed. Now, I delight in the absence of commentary and chit-chat during a movie.
4. Enjoy long drives.
I used to feel major dread about traffic, distance, speed, and whether I had enough gas to make it to my destination. Now, with the introduction of books on tape, I love a long car ride. As the story unfolds, I delight in having time to hear as much of it as I possibly can. I’ve even been known to drive on fumes without a single heart palpitation.
5. Take time for joy.
I remember running from sun up to sun down, making sure that my clan was on time for their events, had three meals daily, did homework and wrote timely thank you cards. Now, I schedule into my week things that I want to do. I choose the schedule based on my desires.
Midlife has given me a new take on life and it’s filled with exploration and self-care. It can be the same for you. Just give yourself permission and get a library card for the books on tape!
“You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.” – Mandy Hale