I am 50. If I arbitrarily say that I was an adult at 25…finished with college, married, had a child…looked like a fully functioning adult…and if I optimistically hope that I live a healthy and productive life until I am 75 (achievable in this age of medical advances, and with my gene pool) I am exactly half way through my adult life. I have come a long way. I have a 29 year marriage, I have raised my kids, lived in a lot of amazing places, experienced a lot of good.
This pivotal year, I am going to have a makeover. But this is not a physical makeover, other than what I do through normal means: diet, exercise, healthy habits. The makeover I am engaged in creating is one of a deeper nature. I am creating new behaviors for myself, in how I speak, in the way I express my desires, in the role I play in my own life.
Last weekend I had a powerful experience. I invited my sister in law, who is a professional life coach, to come and work with me, to evaluate and to help me define the areas of myself that I want to re-create. A disclaimer: this process is not “therapy;” coaching is not for someone who is battling a mental illness or disorder. Coaching is a one-on-one approach that allows the coach to give the client tools for improvement, then model the use of the tools, acting out the new behavior, and helping through accountability to put the new behaviors into sustainable practice.
I talk too much, too fast, I ramble. I have known this for a long time. It has come under a heading in my thinking of “that’s just the way I am.” But it isn’t who I have to be. I am not assertive, I am laid back. This has been a personality trait that I have even felt good about: “I’m low maintenance, easy to get along with.” But the reality is that this can be frustrating to people in my life, and although I have opinions and I express them, I should be more effective in communicating my desires. I need to be more engaged in determining the next steps in life.
I can find legitimate reasons for why I have been slow to act on these realizations. A lot of my adult life has been focused on the needs of the day, raising children, “keeping
milk in the house.” That time has passed, and now is the time to pause, to take stock, to think about who I want to be, who I choose to be, going forward.
For anyone thinking this is a sign of being self-absorbed, who is thinking, “just get over yourself,” I would say that is exactly what I want to do. I want to make changes that will
allow me to be more other-centered, will allow me to be more effective in my relationships, will remove barriers.
By definition, humans are fallible creatures. Everyone knows that. But though we can never be perfect, we can be better. We have the power to act, to change, to improve. I am facing future and I’m looking forward to the journey. What is your journey? I’ll be blogging about the things I am doing. Maybe you will see yourself reflected in some of my revelations. It is empowering to think that at the youthful age of 50, I can step up. It’s going to be a good year.