How timely. The first post to sit in my new, pretty format (hope you like it?) and it’s about getting this life party started.
I happened to notice this article about the challenge facing women in their twenties and thirties on Australian news site Women’s Agenda. The article quotes author and entrepreneur Wendy McCarthy, who says her real contribution to her field of work kicked in in middle age. It was this bit that struck me:
“Before 55, I was only practicing.”
Me, I often say that something quite radical changed when I hit 40. I realised I’d arrived. There was no more dress rehearsal, no more run-up. The real thing was now. I was bloody-well half-way through my life.
I wrote a post about it: Holy shit I just turned 40.
Far from finding this awakening daunting or sad, it got me fired up and anchored and excited and…relieved.
I started making decisions differently. I stopped working to the notion that if things didn’t turn out it would be a “good lesson” for when I finally reach that point when it did matter. I also stopped working to the notion that I didn’t know what I was doing; that only grown-ups who’d “arrived” did.
Ha! At 40 it struck me, I was now a grown-up. Here I was, arrived.
This also struck me: I was deserving. No one really knows what they’re doing – ever – but I had as much right to have a solid, dignified, knowing stab at it. I’d done the work. I’d done the run-up.
Knowing that I’m knowingly living the real thing has done wonders for my sense of self and my happiness. I’m calmer and have a quieter knowingness about me. I just do.
What about you? In your 20s or 30s and still feel wobbly and in run-up mode? Or, if you’re 40-plus, when did your real shit kick in?