Women in the middle of life are faced with many challenges; financial issues, body acceptance, ill parents, job loss, divorce, empty nest, perimenopause, and society's view on aging (aka stereotypes.)
Society challenges our mindset by telling us we need to slow down, we can't do things we used to anymore, our mind isn't sharp, and aging skin is not beautiful. Our mind + our bodies will follow suit into this type of lifestyle and succumb, but only if we let it.
Growing up, I was never taught anything about menopause or perimenopause and what to expect as we grow old. When I first hit perimenopause in my early forties, I felt a sadness and a regret for a lot of time spent (and wasted) not treating my mind + body with respect.
I overate and overdrank for three decades, all while talking to myself in the most horrible mean girl fashion. I couldn't do things that I wanted - the BIG things in life were just a dream for me. My normal was, I can't.
I woke up one morning after a night of drinking with my face and jowls hanging lower than usual. I let out a gasp in the bathroom and thought, "oh, no, I look SO old."
In that moment and the moments that led up to quitting drinking in 2013, I searched for "anti-aging" solutions and "quick topical fixes" to "fix" my aging skin. I tried everything from my dermatologist recommended products to over the counter solutions - none of which worked.
Do you know why they didn't work? Because my mindset was fixated on "I'm old, and I can't change" instead of focusing on what I could change that would help me feel and look younger.
What I began to realize as I kept going through perimenopause is that I could very easily succumb to those stereotypes and take the easy route out of life OR I could stand up for my future and change. I took the latter option.
I changed my life on August 11th, 2013, at forty-five, when I poured two bottles of chardonnay down the sink and vowed never to drink again. I didn't have a plan, a mentor, a meeting, or a vision for my future other than it looked dull and shameful. I knew that if I didn't quit at that time, I would give in to what aging meant to me then.
I'm grateful every day that I gave up alcohol and began a journey to change my mindset and un-learn the bull-shit rules of society.
It is within the unlearning process that I have come out on top of my aging game, and have developed new rules for my (mid) life. The new rules today are there are no rules.
Life is about following your curiosity and experimenting, especially during the middle. You can't wait any longer, and you cannot let society or anyone else dictate what you do as you age.
It's your rules, baby!
Now, go out there and rock your AGE and BLOW YOUR MIND!