For #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 Part 1 you can read more thoughts from fabulous Women Over 50 HERE.
Reflecting on ‘Rose’ Moments
Debbie Harris – Deb’s World
If I’m being honest, since my retirement over 2 years ago, which wasn’t at a time of my choosing I must say, I have often struggled with the question ‘what is my purpose’.
When I worked I had a purpose every day and when I was a mother with growing children at home I had a purpose but now I’m retired, (and loving it by the way), each day takes on a different feel. Sure, I am busy and I ‘do’ lots of things – I’m active, I’m social, I’m caring, I’m creative, I volunteer, I’m useful – but
what is my actual purpose?? How do I make my life meaningful?
I know I don’t feel as productive anymore, which is silly when I see what I manage to fit into a day or a month, but do I actually need to feel productive?
I’m discovering more and more that I can sit and read a book or go for a walk without feeling too guilty.
But I still can feel guilty if I’m ‘caught’ at the computer reading things, writing things, wasting time, and I don’t even spend that much time scrolling aimlessly!
I’m reminded of a time in my days as a young mother of our three little girls. I had a friend who also had three similar aged children and we entered into an arrangement whereby we would look after each other’s children on a regular basis giving each other some valuable alone time.
So what did we each do on our days off?
My friend would spend the day cleaning her house like a mad woman, enjoying the quality time in her home, cooking, cleaning, washing – she had a ball but was then exhausted when she got the kids back home and they promptly set about undoing everything she had just done.
Me? I went to the movies on my own or shopping or I sat outside in the garden and read a book or I simply did nothing! Did I feel guilty in those days, hell NO!!!! I felt in control and happy and I was always pleased to get my munchkins back at the end of the day – my purpose then was to be a good mother which meant I took care of myself.
My friend and I both had the same goal and we were both happy, but we went about it differently, which is very often the case. So what happened in the intervening years to make me feel guilty if I took time to stop and smell the roses, read a book or spend all day blogging? Life has changed and we’re all programmed to be busy and make life meaningful. It is meaningful as it is and we need to accept that, cut ourselves some slack – make the days count not count the days.
I listened to a podcast recently, which mentioned a quick and easy way to look back at each day – the rose, thorn, bud reflection exercise and I have implemented it each night before I go to sleep.
I reflect on the ‘rose’ moments – highlights, successes, positives from the day. The ‘thorn’ moments are any challenges, issues that have arisen, negatives and then I finish with the ‘bud’ moments – new ideas, things to look forward to tomorrow and new experiences.
In all it doesn’t take very long to reflect and somehow it has allowed me to find meaning in the day and my purpose becomes clearer.
Thanks Sue for allowing me to share my thoughts with you.
Knowing God created me for a purpose
Christine Blundell – My Private Stylist
That is a question I have asked myself numerous times over many decades, and I guess the answer to that has changed depending on what stage of my life I am in. Now in my mid 60s, I realise more and more just how important that question is and the answer even more so.
For me, first and foremost is my relationship with God and knowing that He created me for a purpose. Whereas in my younger days, probably like a lot of people, I drifted through the days and years believing that I had all the time in the world to live out my life, but now, living each day with intention, meaning and purpose has now become my priority. My children and now my grandchildren bring so much joy, love and purpose to my life, yet I miss out on too much of their daily lives and hugs due to geographic distance, so one purpose I have for this year is to plan more visits to both Melbourne and Gold Coast to spend precious time with them.
Another major purpose in my life is that I have always had a passion for Colour and Style and to see women become the beautiful individuals they were created to be, both inside and out, realising we are each precious and special and have so much to offer. I have loved being given opportunities to work on a volunteer basis with many women’s groups and this year am designing workshops called “Uniquely You” with the Cancer Council.
Life is so precious and can be snapped away in a heartbeat, so I am thrilled that Sue is inspiring and encouraging us to Making March More Meaningful and helping us on the path to living each moment more mindfully.