What I discovered was that until about ten years prior, I was right where I wanted to be and was on target with my goals. So, it would seem reasonable that I would continue on that path and everything would be peachy-keen. Wrong!
What I didn't figure into my life was menopause, empty-nest and how it would affect me, and the illnesses that my parents, children, and husband would be experiencing during the next ten years. All of this thrown together ruined my track record on meeting my goals. It all fell apart. I wasn't expecting the effect that menopause would have on me. That was the biggest thing.
During the time from the age of 48 to 59, I was lost. I was taking care of everyone else and forgot to take care of myself. I had minor menopause issues compared to what other women experience, but I was not prepared for them.
Some of the issues I had were hot flashes, I think that is common with most menopausal women. I had morbid thoughts when I closed my eyes at night to sleep. That is common in about half of menopausal women. I had weight gain issues related to the fluctuation in hormones which I could have dealt with had I not been going through so much family stress.
Between the stress and menopause, I gained a lot of weight, I ate poorly, my health was declining (I was sick a lot with allergies and colds), and I was depressed about my life.
After I evaluated my life, put all stressors in their proper place, dealt with the issues of menopause and found myself again, I lost all the weight, I adjusted to the empty nest and love it, and I quit a job that was sucking the life out of me.
At this point I started my blog and started doing the things I always wanted to do. I rarely get sick now, I feel great almost all the time (thankfully), and I am happy almost all the time. There are times when life still gets to me, but I am able to handle it now, both physically and emotionally. I take care of myself now.
The point I am making is this:
There will be times in your life when you feel lost, you will lose your way, and you will suffer the consequences of your actions (or lack of actions). That doesn't mean all is lost. It means it is time to re-evaluate your life and prioritize it to meet your goals.
It's easy to forget about yourself when you have others who depend on you, but you must keep yourself in the game. You must realize that if you don't take care of yourself, you will eventually not be able to take care of anyone else.
You may also wake up one day and discover your life is near the end and you are dissatisfied with the choices you made.
Looking back, what I allowed to happen to me was not necessary. I could have dealt with it all differently, but I let myself become overwhelmed with the issues of others.
Don't let this happen to you. You can take care of others and still take care of you. I learned this lesson the hard way.
When you begin your evaluation of your life and goals up to the age of 50 (or beyond), ask yourself these questions:
- What would I change if I could?
- Who really needs me and who is just calling me because I will come?
- What would make me happy right now? What would make me happy in 5 years?
- Am I where I want to be in life now? (the right job, the right home, the right location?)
- What did I want to accomplish by this age that I haven't? Can I still do it?
- Finally, what steps do I need to take to get myself where I want to be at this age of my life?
Take time this month to look at your life so far.
Re-evaluate where you are and where you want to be.
Lay out a plan.
Make it SMART.
Stick to it.
End the year with your goals met and well on your way to another productive and happy year.
Are you happy with what you have accomplished so far? Do you have any unmet goals or dreams that you still want to pursue and accomplish? Have you ever taken time to evaluate your life and then make adjustments so that you can meet your goals and dreams? Share your stories and your ideas. If you have suggestions, please share those.