Do you take time to reflect on your life? Do you indulge yourself in memories or feel trapped by them? Are you ready for new beginnings? My guest in the Over 50 & Thriving Guest Series, this week, is Candi Randolph from Inspire My Style. Candi poses these questions to us as she reflects on her own Life Over 50.
I have only known Candi for a short time but enjoy reading her blog, especially her weekly coffee catch ups where she shares new ideas and experiences. We have so much in common and I enjoy her writings on personal style, living healthy and naturally as well as tips for styling your home. Even her logo is stylish! Be sure to connect with Candi at the end of the post through her website and social media.
Reflecting on My Life Over 50 – Old Memories &New Beginnings
I am over 50 at this point in my life, no doubt about that. My recent birthday cake had 63 candles on it, figuratively of course! So, I have lived long enough to know where I’ve been, and where I’m going, in life.
When I was in my teens, I remember trying to visualize my older self. At the time I had the age of 30 in my head as the definition of ‘older’. Ha. For some reason, I just couldn’t imagine what I would be like, what I would look like, what I would be doing, at the ripe old age of 30 and beyond. I even wondered if that meant I would not live a long life, because I could not see myself older than in my 20’s.
As the years have gone by and I have matured both physically and emotionally. I can look back at that young, naive girl and know that she didn’t have the capacity, the life experience, the maturity, to see herself as a grown person. I chuckle when I think about it now.
And, fortunately, I’m still here in the flesh, living every day with a grateful heart. I have persevered through the good times, the tough times, the inspiring moments, the devastating losses, to become who I am today, thriving in my 60’s.
How have I done this?
I strive to hold on to the memories that inspire me to keep moving forward, and let the rest go. That allows me to keep my eyes focused ahead on the new beginnings and experiences I am living now, and looking forward to, in the future.
Memories of times past can work for us, or against us. They can hold us back, or spur us on to action. We are in charge of them, so we decide how they are going to influence us in the present. It may not be a conscious awareness, but we really do have control over them.
My memories of the distant past are somewhat fuzzy and disjointed. I’ve always been like that.
My husband could tell story after story, in great detail, of experiences he had 20, 30 or even 40 years ago. How do people even do that? I always admired his memory capabilities!
Sometimes I’m glad that my memory doesn’t throw all that really old stuff at me. My more recent past, say the last 25 years or so, is always ready and waiting to dredge itself up and slide into the forefront of my mind, if I’ll let it. That’s enough of a challenge for me!
I find balance in holding the treasured memories close to my heart, and remembering the mistakes I’ve made only to keep from repeating them.
Do you know someone who just can’t let go of the past? They may be criticizing themselves, or others, for mistakes made long ago. Or they continually talk about the days gone by, so much so that their ‘today’ slides by without them even realizing that they will never have it back.
It’s almost like they are carrying a heavy suitcase in each hand, dragging it with them wherever they go. They really can’t move ahead because their attention is always focused on those doggone bags in their hands.
Thriving in the present, for me, means letting all that old stuff go. Put those suitcases away, forever.
My life turned upside down 2 ½ years ago when I lost my husband, my soul mate and the love of my life, after 20 years of marriage.
I was forced to make a decision, and I knew it. I could remain tied to my grief for a long time, maybe forever, or I could pick myself up and look ahead to what life had in store for me.
It has been a process for sure, and it still is. But I vowed to myself that I would move forward, look for those new beginnings and experiences, and continue living life.
Can I honestly say that I am thriving? Yes, I believe that at this point in my life, I can. I feel good about that.
My health is good, I have a wonderful, supportive family, 4 grandchildren to love, the ability to work and run my businesses, enjoy the sunny SW Florida climate and always trust that the Lord has everything in control.
I have 63 years of life experience behind me, many treasured memories to inspire me, and untold new experiences to look forward to!