The Three Stages of Life After 50
The Transitions Between Here and There
You know the feature on Facebook where you are shown a picture you posted in the past, and then you’re asked if you want to share it, again? Most recently, when looking at those old posts, I’ve been struck with how much change has occurred for everyone in the photos, whether I posted 1 year ago or 7. Babies were born, people moved, new jobs, new careers, changes in health and wealth. And of course, in appearance. Nothing is certain except for change.
I’m going through my own major changes now, and I question myself, my confidence, and what self-talk I am using to get through these times.
In two articles I read recently, though geared toward people over 50, I have found two perspectives that may help anyone in the midst of change.
As a Pioneer
One way to look at change is to define the transition.
For me I am in-between here and there, here being living in this house, in this city, in this stable moment, to the next house, the next city and ultimately the next stable moment. The in-between time has brought me panic and fear. Chaos has hit. (This reminds me when I lived in Houston, and there was a hurricane that year named Anita. My mother told me that she understood why a hurricane was named after me.)
In an excerpt from his book, How Do I Get There from Here, the author offers one perspective that resonates with me:
“Imagine you just stepped off a ship onto a beach… You don’t know the territory nor the culture. You don’t know the rules. What you already know and have experienced may or may not be applicable and useful. How do you find out?”
“You pioneer your way through transition after transition. “
As a Beginner
A second way to approach this change in my life, is to change the way I look at myself.
Like the author of this article Beginner Again, I never thought I’d be a beginner again. This author really did start over, by completely learning a new profession so she could start her own business. Though she had experienced starting over earlier in her life, this time when she received her pink slip, she went back to the beginning, and started learning something brand new to her.
If you’ve ever started over before, as a result of a move, a new job, or new life changes, you feel excited, concerned, some sadness, and a lot of stress. When you give yourself the patience and the permission to move out of your comfort zone, then you may realize a refreshing newness. What this author says about aging is advice for all of us:
“Age may be cruel, but it has allowed me to be kinder to myself.”
In my case, and in the author’s, “I’m looking forward to discovering and rediscovering things I was certain were not for me.”