We are living in interesting times aren't we? So many things have changed for women over the last hundred years, and not the least of which is our life expectancy! Statistics show that in 1900 the average life expectancy for a woman in Canada was between 48 and 51 years old, where as according to Stats Canada a woman like myself born in 1960, can expect to reach an average of 74...and children born today are expected to live well into their 80s on average! It isn't our Grandmother's world by any means.
But that change has left a lot that needs to be re-thought in terms of what we do with the time we're allotted. I like to think of our lives as a play with Three Acts. The first act is the early years...childhood, teen years, early twenties. Those years that could be know as the 'maiden' years, which they are often referred to. That time where we are just coming to know who we are, what we might dream of being, where we fit in this vast world we're part of. Years of learning, growing, hoping.
Then comes Act Two...our mid-twenties to early forties, when we live our lives as the 'mother' figures. Whether we have children or not, we're making our way in the world differently usually. Supporting and caring for our children, our partners, our financial needs. Many of the dreams we held in the first act fall by the wayside, with very few of us making our own hopes a priority. Our time and energy is devoted to those we love as we dedicate ourselves to nurturing and caring for them physically, emotionally and financially.
And then that time passes. The children are grown and out on their own. They may still need our support (often financially :) ) , but not in the way that consumed us for so long. Our lives are more settled, having dedicated decades to creating them, and we reach Act Three. In the early 1900s, that might have meant we only had another five to ten years to concern ourselves with, so having been labeled the wise old 'crone' might have been a comfortable way to live out those few, sparse years. But things have changed for women today.
While having the respect and wisdom of what would have been referred to as the 'crone', women today can expect another thirty or more years to expand, share and enjoy that wisdom and accomplishment. They have the opportunity to be the change-agents of the world, the ones whose compassion, knowledge and energy can make a difference in the many lives that they will touch. They have the power to be an amazing force in how this world will move forward...being voices for the environment, the vulnerable, the less fortunate while having the confidence to create the life they've always envisioned for themselves.
Today's women, in their forties, fifties and sixties have the unique opportunity to revisit those hopes, dreams and passions of the maiden years. They have the time to explore and rekindle the smouldering coals of what once fired their spirits. Sometimes the biggest challenge for us, today's woman, is just to realize that. To take the time to think about what those things were that we were once most passionate about. To realize that the treadmill that we lived on for so many years of our lives, in getting to where we are now, doesn't have to be the treadmill we continue running on! To finally realize that it's okay to change and let go of things that no longer serve us or feed our spirit, and instead to pursue those things that do. It's certainly taken me some time to realize that...but I'm here now!
Today, give yourself the gift of a little time and ask your heart...What am I most passionate about? What would I do if I knew I could not fail? What makes my soul sing and my spirit soar? What am I going to regret not doing? In this Third Act of my life, what is keeping me from doing that now?
I'd love to hear your answers! If you have any trouble figuring out those things that will allow you to be 'Truly You', I'm here and I can help. We are all on this journey together!
It takes time and energy to become who we truly are! In life, so many things can get in the way of our figuring that out..but the time comes in each of our lives where we need to be able to do that if we're going to live happy fulfilling lives that are authentic reflections of our best selves. These are just things I've learned along the way. I hope that they might help you in your own journey into being Truly You!