Have you found yourself struggling with getting older? Specifically, I am talking about the never-ending physical markers that constantly remind you that you’re “Not 20 Anymore.” I feel you. So was I. But I got you.
I will not minimize the impact physical changes have on us because the natural manifestations of aging are not to be underestimated. These changes alter how we view ourselves and present ourselves to the world, our essence.
So yes, it is true. Throughout your life, there will be some physical changes that you will experience that not only suck but are most likely going to kick your ass. I have personally discovered that the emotional and mental toll that aging has had on my psyche, mainly due to how others view me, was even worse. The biggest suck of them all is ageism. It not only sucks—it bites!
But you are gonna love it. Honest! The emotional benefits that come with aging are extraordinary. Self-awareness, self-confidence, strength, wisdom, and the liberation you feel from the “I don’t give a shiitake anymore” moments all eventually eclipse the yucky bits.
Overcoming midlife challenges
Believe me when I say that I have been through “it” in my own life. I have endured hits, misses, chills, thrills, and spills, but I have learned to sharpen my game from all of them. Some of those events were brutal, and some magnificent, but the lessons and skills I learned have become my Superpowers.
At age 50, my life took a significant turn, and the most challenging adjustment came in the form of my divorce. While it was an incredibly difficult process, it turned out to be the best decision I could have made for myself and, in time, for my (ex)husband and our children as well. It was during this phase of my life, in my 50s, that I began to truly discover who I really was.
Divorce tested me in ways I never imagined, but it also became the catalyst for building up my resilience and inner strength. Throughout the journey, I leaned into the pain, allowing myself to feel it fully and working through the emotions that accompanied it. I discovered that journaling became a powerful tool for processing my thoughts and emotions, providing a safe space to reflect and heal.
Amidst that transformative time of my life, dealing with the challenges of divorce, I found a welcome diversion and a source of strength in embarking on a new career path. Transitioning from my role as a business leader, I seized the opportunity to take on the oversight of a strategic account within our organization.
Together with an incredible team, we worked tirelessly to elevate this account to become the top-performing entity in the company. This professional endeavour not only provided a fulfilling distraction but also empowered me to navigate the personal angst I was experiencing during that period.
Amidst these changes, I also made a conscious effort to prioritize self-care from within. I recognized the importance of nurturing my own well-being and really tuning into my intuition, which I came to realize was my innate Superpower.
Learning to love yourself
Learning to love oneself is a transformative journey that I embarked on, and it’s astonishing to realize that it took me this long to get there. Yet, it’s a truth I can’t deny. I discovered the profound importance of self-acceptance and understanding that I am enough, just as I am. There’s no need for further fixing or trying to be someone else.
In the game of life, self-acceptance should have been my starting point, but I grappled with it for a while. Like many women, I struggled with self-love due to self-perceived body issues. However, I came to understand that my physical appearance is in its unique evolutionary state, as it is meant to be. I learned to love and embrace myself even during moments when I didn’t feel particularly lovable.
One crucial aspect of my journey was discovering the power of forgiveness. I learned to forgive not only others but also myself, recognizing that forgiveness is a liberating act that allows us to release negative attachments and move forward with grace. I have learned the act of forgiveness is a true Superpower. I forewarn you that it is not always easy to do this when you have been wronged, but I have learned that the act of forgiveness is not for them, it is for you!
Through these experiences and others, I discovered the depths of my resilience, the strength of my intuition, and the transformative power of self-care. My journey serves as a reminder that even in the face of profound challenges, we can emerge stronger, wiser, and more aligned with our true selves.
Embracing a positive outlook on aging
Whether consciously or not, you are on your own Hero’s Journey. We all are. Miley Cyrus sings: “It’s all about the climb.” She is right. It’s your climb that you are navigating. Embarking on your own Hero’s Journey, however, requires courage, resilience, and a willingness to embrace the unknown.
Here are some tips to help you traverse this transformative path:
- Embrace the fear and take risks
Step out of your comfort zone and face your fears head-on. Don’t let fear hold you back from pursuing your dreams and aspirations. Take calculated risks and seize new opportunities, knowing that growth often lies on the other side of fear.
- Live without regrets
Embrace a mindset of living life to the fullest. Make choices that align with your values and passions, even if they seem unconventional or challenging. Prioritize experiences and relationships that bring you joy and fulfilment, allowing you to live a life without regrets.
- Reinvent yourself and embrace growth
Embrace the process of reinvention and personal growth. Recognize that change is inevitable and use it as an opportunity for self-discovery and transformation. Embrace new experiences, learn new skills, and allow yourself to evolve and grow into the person you want to become.
- Find the silver linings in every challenge
Shift your perspective and look for the lessons and silver linings in every misstep or mistake. Each challenge holds an opportunity for growth and learning. Embrace a mindset of resilience and see setbacks as stepping stones towards personal development.
- Refuse to quit and be a warrior
Cultivate a warrior mindset, persisting through the trials and tribulations of life. When faced with obstacles, tap into your inner strength and determination. Remember that resilience and perseverance are key to overcoming challenges and achieving your goals.
- Recognize your own strength
Discover the depths of your own inner strength. Believe in your abilities and trust that you have what it takes to overcome any obstacle. Transmute pain into power and use your experiences to fuel your growth and personal empowerment.
By embracing these tips, you’ll navigate your Hero’s Journey with courage, determination, and a commitment to personal growth. Embrace the climb, learn from every experience, and embrace the powerful, resilient woman you are becoming. Chart it. Live it. Own it.
Brenda Ackermann is the author of “Aging Sucks But You’re Gonna Love It! A Woman’s Survival Guide to Getting Older” out now https://www.amazon.com/Aging-Sucks-Youre-Gonna-Love/dp/1738804933