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What brings purpose and meaning to your life After 50 – Part 3

March 20, 2019
What brings purpose & meaning to your life AFter 50

This is the third and final instalment of ‘What brings purpose and meaning to your life After 50’ with contributions from two more my favourite Over 50 Bloggers.

During #MakingMarchMeaningful I asked some of my favourite Over 50 Midlife Bloggers what brought purpose and meaning to their lives.  As always they inspire me and I’m excited to share their answers with you.  This is Part 2 of a three-part series. If you missed Parts 1 and 2 you can read more thoughts from fabulous Women Over 50 HERE & HERE

Mindfulness, Non-Negotiables & the importance of the small things in life

Jennifer JonesNext Phase Fitness

When I think of mindfulness I think of someone who is calm and zen, with their life seemingly under control.

This definitely is not the way I live my life. I always seem to be busy. Too busy! But, I am mindful of what I consider to be the non-negotiables in my life.

Other than family, my non-negotiables are ensuring my life is happy and peaceful and  that I am able to keep my exercise sessions on track.  These days, it’s the small things in life that mean the most to me.

In my previous life, it was the big things that were important – biggest and best house,  biggest holidays, biggest presents, biggest shopping sprees and on and on it went.

Mindulness did not exist in my life in those days.

When a life change was forced on me, I decided to downscale and leave ‘big’ behind. From that time on, I found myself being mindful of keeping my life simple.

The life that I live is now much richer and every day I’m mindful of how much that decision and mindfulness has affected my life.

It’s now thirteen years later, and I regret none of the decisions that I made, even though there are some members of my family who don’t understand why I made them. I know those decisions were right for me and time has shown that to be true.

Becoming more mindful has had a huge impact in my life.

Sometimes it takes strength to be mindful. Being mindful and strong have contributed to the happy and almost perfect life that I’m living now. I’m very mindful of continuing to do what needs to be done to nourish that great life.

Accepting ‘Me’, Taking each day as it comes & Flexibility

Denyse Whelan

I have considered my response to ‘what brings meaning or purpose to my life’ for some days in order to have it clearly articulated for me,

Guess what?

I did not get the required articulation at all.

So, in true ‘Denyse- tyle’ this is how I see my life and the how/why/what that happens as a result.

  1. Treat everyone how I would like to be treated
  2. When that may not happen, tend to be more forgiving rather than holding a grudge
  3. Holding onto anger is like holding a burning stick and hoping the person you are angry with gets burnt
  4. Remember that no-one knows anyone completely, we only know ourselves
  5. Getting to really know myself has taken some time in my latter years
  6. Enjoy taking some time to ask the questions:
  • What do I want?
  • How might that happen?
  • Why is it not happening right?
  1. A walk outside, some journal writing and time will often help me
  2. Be prepared for life. Oh yes, I am. But some things I know I cannot always ‘be prepared’ for so, take life more as it comes rather than as I decide it should be.
  3. Each time ‘should’ is part of a sentence I utter or write is a warning sign. That I am not ticking over as kindly nor as nicely as I might like.
  4. Instead of the word ‘should’, turn it into ‘could or may’ and then see how it fits the situation.

The above is definitely not a final list.

However, it has taken me a few years to become comfortable with the person who is living my life…me.

I have been a daughter, teacher, wife and mum, as well as grandmother since 1949 yet it has taken till my recent mid/late 60s with a grief called ‘retirement’ then a rare cancer diagnosis to ‘get my meaning in life’ and more than anything it is to CONNECT.

I am also learning to take each day much more as it comes. I was the consummate planner and as I know that has its benefits, it can hold great disappointments and self-blame or others-blame when things do not work out.

Being more flexible has been a life-changer for me even though it can be hard to stay this way the more I do, the better I feel about my life and my contribution to others.

I hope you have enjoyed this three-part series. What brings meaning & purpose to your life?

What brings purpose & meaning to your life AFter 50

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21 Comments

  • Reply Leslie Susan Clingan March 21, 2019 at 01:53

    Such wise words. I think a lot of people going into retirement thinking they will no longer have to think! They can just retire. On the couch, in the hammock, in bed. I would wither away if I just retired. Thank you, Sue and your guests for sharing what they have learned. We all need a reason to get up in the morning. A purpose. Even and more than ever once we retire.

    • Reply Denyse Whelan March 21, 2019 at 18:48

      We so do. For the first few years of my retirement I was anxious and not liking my life ….grieving what was no longer part of my life and identity. It took a cancer diagnosis almost 2 years ago to help re-define aspects of my life. One thing that is a given each day is to dress with purpose and to go somewhere for a coffee. I have been doing this now with few exceptions for over 17 months. Denyse

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 23, 2019 at 05:50

      Hi Leslie, I’m continually learning from all of the wise and wonderful women I have met through blogging. We are a fabulous group! xx

  • Reply Donna March 21, 2019 at 02:26

    I am thoroughly enjoying this series, Sue. Jennifer’s sharing that moving away from ‘BIG’ made her life richer than it had ever been and Denyse’s heartfelt reminder to CONNECT are both very powerful pieces. Thank you all for sharing this.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 23, 2019 at 05:52

      Hi Donna, I’m so pleased I did this series. I enjoy learning and hearing the perspectives from other women and I know my readers do too! All wonderful answers in the three posts to the same question. Love the variety. x

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee March 21, 2019 at 09:51

    Interesting. I hadn’t actually thought age changed your purpose. I clearly need to think about this more

    • Reply Deborah March 21, 2019 at 10:54

      Lydia, the thing I’m noticing as I wade through mid-life is that I’m becoming more conscious of my mortality. It may be because most of my grandparents died young, but I guess I’m starting to think more and more about there being less time left and that’s changing the way I’m viewing stuff now – and ideally the way I live my life and its purpose.

    • Reply Denyse Whelan March 21, 2019 at 13:59

      I would think that you don’t need to ‘think it through’ but that over time and circumstances in life you may find ‘what worked for you now’ no longer is what you thought. It is subtle yet for me it is real. And like much as I know, everyone IS different. Denyse x

  • Reply Deborah March 21, 2019 at 10:51

    Loved both of these and could relate to both. At 51 I think I’m finally starting to embrace ‘ageing’ and by that I mean, accept that I am not still in my 30s and remain in denial about time remaining and the fact you’re able to look on past events with more dispassion and objectivity.

    • Reply Denyse Whelan March 21, 2019 at 14:02

      It’s a funny old thing this life and age factor. I have just been considering how cancer has changed me fundamentally because I was wondering “WHY I felt” a certain way. It was not until yet another ah-ha moment that I realised I have been changed immeasurably inside by a cancer diagnosis. I am not so much unwell at all but it is there and I need to accept it is not going anywhere..just as ageing is not for you either. But by gosh, it does not mean I don’t want to fight it….because of how it changed me and my life. I probably have made no sense! Glad you were true to yourself re the job dilemma. Denyse x

  • Reply Jennifer Jones March 21, 2019 at 11:06

    I’ve really enjoyed this series Sue. It’s been really interesting to see how other bloggers approached this topic. Denyse I loved reading of What brings meaning to your life.

    • Reply Denyse Whelan March 21, 2019 at 13:57

      Thanks Jennifer and I really found your piece spoke to me. Mindfulness IS hard …nothing like we think when we begin.

      It was great being part of this series with Sue.

      Denyse

  • Reply Joanne Tracey March 21, 2019 at 11:18

    This has been a great series with wise words. I don’t think age has changed my purpose – I think it’s continued to evolve. Age has, however, given me more immediacy around the live for now type of thing. I think creative and financial freedom are my purposes these days – which is why I tend to struggle from time to time with the day job. On the other hand, I remain grateful for it. Actually, I have no idea what I’m trying to say lol.

  • Reply Min @ Write of the Middle March 21, 2019 at 12:08

    Mindfulness, kindness for self and others, living simply – all great things for living a purposeful and happy life. Two more great words from two lovely 50+ bloggers! Thank Sue, Jennifer and Denyse! #TeamLovinLife

  • Reply Debbie March 21, 2019 at 14:27

    I agree with the others Sue, this has been a great series with wise words, acceptance and honesty as the core values. I’m proud to have been included. I really enjoyed Jennifer and Denyse’s wisdom.

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au March 22, 2019 at 14:08

    Great series Sue – and I definitely see a theme coming through of self care, needing less, enjoying the simple things, and just appreciating Midlife and all it has to offer.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 26, 2019 at 06:23

      Thanks Leanne. I find it fascinating that we all probably think the same way but with a different perspective if that makes sense. I love learning from all of my guests and reading their thoughts.

  • Reply Candi Randolph March 23, 2019 at 21:11

    Both of these ladies have such strong and insightful thoughts for us to learn from. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but Jennifer’s comment that it ‘takes strength to be mindful’ is really true. It can be easier on us sometimes to just keep going the down our current path then to stop and really consider what those actions might be doing to us. I will remember that phrase.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 26, 2019 at 06:19

      It has been a great series, Candi and I agree that both Jen and Denyse have thoughts we can learn from. I love my guest posts because I always learn something and it is interesting to read how other women Over 50 view life. x

  • Reply Jenny March 26, 2019 at 12:34

    I’m rather late to the #MakingMarchMeaningful party, but I’m so glad I finally made it. I’ve really enjoyed reading these inspirational posts . Lots of warmth and wisdom here!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 27, 2019 at 08:02

      Hi Jenny and welcome! It is never too late to join us and I’m so pleased you did. I love learning from all of my guests as each has a different perspective on life. You might also enjoy my Over 50 & Thriving Guest Series where my guests write about what helps them to Thrive Over 50. Have a great week and I hope you will be joining us for #ActiveApril. It isn’t just about being physically healthy but mentally and spiritually. I’ll be having more guests writing about that topic as well. Have a beautiful day and thanks for stopping by x

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