Perhaps you wonder what your life would be like “if only” you could do what you sometimes dream of.
I get bombarded with how I don’t want to look my age.
Well, why not?
And, people have always said “act your age.” Well, why should I?
I raise these points because people have pre-conceived notions of how we’re supposed to deal with aging and what we should look and act like.
I invite you to throw all of those preconceptions away and hang in here with me while I advocate for change and reinvention at any age.
While I know there are many of you who read this column and you’re quite young, but don’t write off those of us who are twice your age. We have much to say and offer. And, I think as a result of reading this, you’ll be inspired about your future.
What is this thing called “age?” It’s a chronological phenomenon. It means that each year we show a little wear and tear on our bodies and our psyches. I know I carry weight where I don’t want it, I don’t have as much energy as I used to, I have a few wrinkles.
But, what I don’t have is a deteriorating mind or brain or desire to live life to the fullest.
I speak, coach and write about “ReInvention.” You know the definition of insanity, right? It’s doing the same old thing and expecting different results. Reinvention counteracts that … it implies changing and shifting and doing new and different things.
As we get older, we actually begin to get more freedom to do so. Perhaps our children are out of the house, we live with our mate or perhaps alone. It becomes “our time” to do what we want. If we want to have sex in the middle of the day, in the living room, we can do that. There’s no children to interrupt us. (This applies to whether we are married or not.) I am divorced, in my 60’s. I have a totally free life to be with who I want, when I want and where I want, doing whatever it is I want. Wow!
For many years, I towed the line of “normalcy.” I was married, raised my child, worked full-time, but also balanced that with my family needs. I put aside many of my desires, hoping that the rainy day for doing them would show up. And, yes, I’m here to say that day came.
I’ve reinvented many times in my career and even when I was younger, but the most exciting reinventions have come in the last few years, since age 56. I got a divorce after 25 years of being married. He wasn’t bad… we just had little in common anymore. I learned after 9/11 that life is way too short to be unhappy.
At age 60, I was living in Austin, TX where I had lived for 20 years. I was ready for a new adventure, so sold everything and moved to NYC just because it was a life-long dream to go there. I’ve been here ever since and love it.
So what does it take to start thinking about ReInvention?
First, you must SHOW UP … just acknowledge that you might be curious.
Next, you must BE WILLING … ask yourself if you are OPEN to even consider it.
Next, you must TELL THE TRUTH … talk (to yourself or others) about how you really feel and if you truly WANT things to be different. Without an honest and deep look inside yourself, you won’t know how things truly are.
And, lastly, GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION … you can show up, be willing to explore, tell the truth … but without the permission to pursue “different,” it won’t happen.
Finally, I just want you to know that reinvention can be simple. It doesn’t always have to be dramatic. It just means that you honor doing something that brings you closer to what you value in your life or makes you feel purposeful.