Women Have Mid-Life Crisis’ Too…

The 'Fuck it, Enough' Crusade Commences

I’m having a mid-life crisis, there is no doubt about it, and yes women have them too. At the grand old age of 43, I think it’s a mortality thing – it’s like you’re closer to the end than you are to the beginning, and you know this because things ache and your eye sight goes, and well, unsavoury physical things just happen. As such, you can’t help but ponder how you need to live your life to ensure you get old with a skip in yourself, rather than requiring the aid of a Zimmer frame. I don’t want a Zimmer frame that’s for sure – I saw a lady on one recently and it made me feel sad. But am I doing enough to ensure I don’t need one? I know I’m not.

From a life point of view, since I turned 40 (well before that really) things have gone downhill in many many ways – the way I want my life to be just doesn’t seem to want to happen. I’ve worked hard to turn the tide around, but I don’t know, maybe I’m focusing on the wrong things? That’s usually the case right? Life has been hard yakka, but chasing dreams isn’t always easy, and I’ve spent a fair bit of time in recent months wondering if the dreams are right, because my main goal of freedom is not being achieved in the mix – so what’s the point? While being stubborn can be a good thing, recognising when things aren’t working out is a good thing too. It’s not working out because it’s not making me smile.

My main concern is a deep level of unhappiness with my life and I’m just not laughing enough or as much as I used to. It’s got nothing to do with the three beautiful men in my life – I just can’t seem to move forward the way I want to. I’m a smiler (always have been) and a positive person as a general rule, but that’s not how things have been these last few years, and I’ve spent more time chasing the blues away than I care to remember. I don’t want to be a miserable old cow, I want to be a happy old cow, so it’s time for the blues to piss off for good.

My dream remains at my core – to be free and live a life most can only dream about – but there are many aspects of my life that I can change while working towards that goal – and it’s these changes that I am convinced will help me achieve it all. As such, today, I’m making a public commitment to change my ways once and for all. I’m not doing this because I’m a believer in resolutions, I’m doing it because it is my 43rd birthday today, and yes, I always have a hangover on my birthday – except when I was pregnant with Jax. I have to say that 43 is starting to feel a little bit old, but also, because of the four years of relentless gruel that has literally worn me out, I have decided to tackle it head on and launch my very own personal crusade, elegantly entitled ‘Fuck It, Enough’ (or FIE). I’m doing it publicly on my blog to really give me a kick in the arse to make sure I stick with it – because if you know me, you’ll know that personal pride is a very strong attribute.

I know I need to do this publicly, because I did something like this a couple of years ago privately, and well, it fizzled out – I just didn’t have the constant pressure to succeed and we need that right? Therefore, I’ve decided to come out! I need the motivation of declaring to the world - this is what I’m going to do and then I am going to do it. But I’m also hoping others will join me for the ride – to work with me over the coming months or years to work out how we can be the best ‘US’ we can be on every level imaginable. No more grinding through the days, or suffering through life.

It would mean so much to me to know that people are on board or just supporting me, with those getting involved focused on achieving one single goal – to achieve a frame of mind where you leap out of bed, every day, screaming – “isn’t life fucking GREAT?” I don’t do that every day, in fact, I rarely do it, and while generally speaking I’d say my default personality setting swings towards the positive, I have to admit that life has become a grind, and well, I don’t like it. I’ve got one life, and I want that one to be amazing – and it HAS been amazing, I just seem to have lost my joy these last few years, and I want it back.


The things I’m planning to tackle include (in no particular order)

  1. Redefining my purpose – this is the most important thing I need in my life to be content. When I have purpose, I can conquer the world – so what does it need to be? I don’t know yet, but I’ll tell you when I do. However, defining the ‘Fuck It, Enough’ crusade this last couple of months – in my head – has given me more purpose than anything else I’ve been involved with for a long time – and that was off the back of another couple of bleak months. Fuck it, Enough! Purpose is necessary – as Margaret Thatcher says “my life has got to mean something” and that is definitely how I feel
  2. Work – my work hasn’t been flowing and I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps it’s because I’ m not doing the right thing. If it’s easy, you’re doing the right thing, if it’s not, you aren’t - right? But the truth of the matter is flow or no flow, I’m not enjoying it and SAJE isn’t my dream anyway - it’s a means to an end. My main challenge with SAJE is I’m by myself all the time and that’s just not me - I get a buzz out of being around people, I get inspired by people, I get energy from people, and as such, I’ve sent my resume out and have started poking around for a job. My ideal role would be Chief Story Teller for an organisation across Asia Pacific, but as jobs like that don’t exist in Asia yet, I am hoping to find something that will excite me, and from there, create a need for that role as I go. I know being revitalised with my work will make a BIG impact and it’s the key to experiencing a massive change of mindset. Shit, just having human company every day will make me smile more
  3. Contribution – I need to make a contribution to the wider world, I need to do something that will make a difference – this kind of links in with purpose, but it’s more than that. I have a few ideas and if I can finance the travel required to do it, I will share the results, because it’s going to rock my world when I start it and hopefully touch other people’s lives too. Essentially, I want to contribute towards raising awareness around sexual slavery
  4. Friends, Community, Isolation – which nicely fits into the next aim, for some fucking reason, I have spent the last six years isolating myself. It started when Lex was born, because I didn’t want to breastfeed in public, but it has continued with our moves around the world, financial challenges, etc, etc, etc. It’s just not healthy for me. Everyone knows that women, in particular, need real friends to talk to. Steve and I talk to each other too much – it’s not healthy, so getting out more, being with lots of different people yes, yes, yes! I’m definitely going to be a better girlfriend
  5. Shut Up! – One BIG learning curve for me these last few years is isolation turns me into an annoying chatty pants. I need to shut up and definitely not talk over people – especially my husband. He tolerates it, because he knows I don’t get out enough, but it’s not a good quality for me
  6. I need to move - I’m too stationary. My current working life is focused on professional and personal writing from a home office. As such, I can get to the end of a day and not walk further than the toilet or the kitchen a few times. That needs to change
  7. Exercise, Regain Strength, Reduce the Curves – I don’t exercise enough and I love exercise. However, the boys or Steve are always more important, or work is, or something else is, but the biggest challenge I’ve faced is loss of strength since first getting pregnant in 2006. When I was pregnant with Lex, I felt really vulnerable for the first time in my life, which was a weird thing to adjust to. Then I lost my physical strength, and as a female who has always been very strong, it’s been hard for me to deal with. So it’s back in the pool and back in the gym, but I’ve also got to sort out my rotator cuff injuries that I got somehow, because it limits me and if I don’t sort it, I won’t be able to get strong again. I still don’t know what I can do to fix that! In addition, I’m rarely in photos because when the cameras come out, I run for the hills. As such, I’ve missed six years of photos with my boys – not good. I’ve got to like how I look again, because it’s also a reason for my isolation – I just don’t feel proud of myself…
  8. Quit the Darts – nuff said, smoking has plagued my life for too many years - stupid fucking things
  9. Thoughtfulness & Random Acts of Kindness – this is a big one for me, and even though I believe I’m a pretty thoughtful kind of person, I reckon I can do much much better by being focused on it. I want to do it for my family, but also for the beautiful people who’ve touched my life
  10. Sex & Sexiness, Marriage – I can do better here for my man, and feeling good about how I look is part of that
  11. Mindfulness & Meditation – I’ve got my own thing going with meditation but I don’t do it enough. I also need to be more mindful or living in the present moment – like really really do it. All of the great spiritualists – especially from the Eastern traditions – claim this is the central pillar of a life happily lived, and I need to do it and do it well. I spend too much time thinking about how things should be as opposed to enjoying how it actually is – enough already
  12. Do more things I enjoy – growing up in Australia I had so many hobbies and passions. As a kid, we were a busy family but we all loved it – that continued into my mid 20s. But since leaving Australia in 1995, I gave up a lot of those hobbies to pursue my real passion – travelling. That passion remains and makes me smile, smile, smile, so I need to travel more often – for many different reasons – however I need to re-instigate other passions, like photography and start doing some new things
  13. No judgement – I am not a judgemental person and I work really hard not to be, however sometimes people are just arseholes! It’s not easy to be un-judgemental, but I always try to see the other side and to be forgiving. With that said, I am extremely judgemental of myself and THAT needs to stop. Unconditional love towards myself is very important. I’ve never been good at that
  14. Pampering – I don’t pamper myself because, well, I just don’t enjoy it. It feels like such a waste of time, but why do I feel that way? Why can’t I relish a bit more in things for me because they feel good? Maybe I’ll come to the conclusion that pampering isn’t my thing, but for now, I need to value it more and make it more of a priority
  15. Stepping back from my boys a bit – I’m too available to my boys. I need to step away a bit, encourage them to be more independent, and give them the space they need to grow into who they are. The things that have gone on in our life these last few years have pushed us all together, and Lex in particular has needed the extra love and support, but it is time to step away just a bit. I’ll never be a distant Mum, but I need more time for me and they could do with a little bit less too
There are many other things I could include, but that’s a start, and every month I’m going to define focus areas to help Steve and I move towards a much much happier place, and we going to do it step-by-step over every month to ensure we give ourselves the best chance of success. The reality is, if I did everything at once, it wouldn’t work, so I’m going to focus on a few things and give myself a month to make the habit a habit, and then move into the next focus area. That’s the plan.

A final point, if you’ve gotten this far and you are my friend, at some point, I am going to interview you – either face-to-face or over email – and I’m going to ask you a question about your thoughts on whatever it is I’m discussing that month. I hope you’ll be keen (as I appreciate some people can get intimidated at the thought, but hey, it’s me!) but to make this a really powerful crusade - and to help keep focussed on it – I need to live it every day. I just think the thoughts, ideas and wisdom of the magnificent people I spend time with and meet along the way is a great way to keep inspired and hopefully, it will also inspire others. It’s not a pressure thing I promise, but expect it at some point and it’ll be fun I promise.


My ultimate goal with FIE is to work out how I can be truly energized, inspired, content, continuing to grow and learn, satisfied with my lot, and ultimately joyful – every day of my life, or at least the majority of days. I tried the Anthony Robbins exercise of trying to be happy for 10 days and couldn’t make it stick – I know it’s possible ‘cos I’ve met people who are really happy everyday – they exist! I want a little bit of that and think FIE is a good goal to pursue and perhaps it’s the purpose I need to move in the right direction?

So there you go, this is my birthday present to me. A crusade to manage my mid-life crisis to ensure I live a long and energized life, look and feel fantastic (in my mind) and have joy in my heart every day, because I’m not there now. I don’t want to run the risk of turning into a miserable old cow who didn’t follow her dreams to completion, and thus it’s time for ‘Fuck It, Enough” – who’s in?

Tomorrow I’ll share my list of focus areas for January.

Yours, without the bollocks

Andrea

PS: this campaign also gives me free reign to read all sorts of books I never would have touched with a barge pole (don’t think Steve realises that yet) BUT wisdom is everywhere and I’m going to find the pearls and share it if it’s good.

PPS: I’ve launched a Without the Bollocks Facebook page at long last and would appreciate some “like” love xxxx

 
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