A woman my age should…
- Have children who are in middle or high school.
- Be married to a man she connected with by her mid-twenties.
- Have a career she’s content with (or be rocking it as a homemaker).
At my age I…
- Have a 19-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old granddaughter. In just over a year, I will have 6 stepchildren. Their ages range from 12 to mid-20s.
- I’m engaged to a man I met two and a half years ago.
- I am 9 months into publishing my own blog and am finding ways to make it into a career.
So, the path I’ve followed has been a winding one. Here’s where it’s taken me so far:
My daughter is working hard, taking great care of my granddaughter, and progressing in life. I most want for her to continue growing into being a compassionate, contributing member of society that allows herself to pursue her passions. She’s getting there.
When it comes to future stepchildren, our relationships are getting there too. I tend to be somewhat shy and guarded; and, I identify as an introvert. Many don’t realize this about me. My natural curiosity about people helps me negotiate business-related social situations. There’s a shyness toward me that I perceive from the kids’ side as well. It’s been slow-going, mostly respectful, and kind. They’re an interesting, compassionate, and diverse crew. We’ve come a long way since the youngest said to me, “My mom told me not to talk to the woman.”
Chris, the man I’m engaged to is the most encouraging, loving, and clever person I know. Both of us have been married before and have gained wisdom from our previous relationships. We know how valuable what we have is, so we treat our relationship as thought it has that value. That’s one of the reasons Chris came up with Monday Night Date Nights.
We’ve also learned a lot about ourselves over time. A small, but not trivial fact: I can be unreasonably emotional if I’m short on sleep. During my 20s and 30s a good night’s sleep was a rarity. I was a light sleeper, an anxious person, and had misdirected ambitions that consumed my time. Losing control of one’s emotional steering wheel, in my experience, doesn’t do a relationship good. That’s why I make getting my Z’s a priority.
Refining what I can do and keep doing with dedication, receiving that good feeling of serving others has been a process. I’ve found Refine meetings to be quite helpful. During the past few years, my work has been primarily focused on: sales, marketing, freelance writing, and acting. Given the lifestyle Chris and I want to lead, it makes the most sense for me to pursue a career that I can do on my time. In his work random business trips come up. Not only do we not like spending days apart, I love traveling. Thanks to some side work I fell into a few years ago setting up 5Ks around the country on the weekends, I’m pretty confident negotiating my way around an unfamiliar place while Chris does work for his clients.
I’m Not Sure How to Behave Like a Woman My Age, Are You?
Now and again, I feel untethered and unrooted. If I let myself ruminate on how I should feel rooted and obsess over why I don’t feel tethered, I can spiral myself into a depression. It can hit fast. I often give myself the same advice Elizabeth Gilbert received when she prayed, “Go to sleep.” When I wake up, I feel better. Perhaps sleep is the cocoon we need to take refuge in at times, so we can butterfly on.
When it comes to behaving in accordance with my age, I think I’ll pass. I don’t know how and I’m don’t think it’s all that valuable a thing to learn. Yes, I’ve gained in wisdom and confidence over the years. I’ll put those to use. My plan is to follow my curiosity, find adventures to go on, and take on worthy challenges.
What about you? Do you know how to behave like a woman your age? Do you ever struggle with how you think your life should be, rather than enjoying what it is? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on Instagram @40fitnstylish.
This post is part of a series inspired by Eat Pray Love.