In my 20’s I had the disease to please and the need to fit in. I was forging an International sports career that was time consuming. I was selfish, insecure and I had no time for (and no desire) to spend energy on anything outside of hockey (until I met my husband of course!). I had my eye on my first Olympic campaign and that was all my life had room for; sport, study, me.
My 30’s were exhausting and emotional! We got married, built our first home, had 3 children, moved 4 countries in 5 years. I played in my 2nd Olympic Games and I lost both my parents to cancer.
When I hit 40 I was imagining that this decade was going to be a breeze and possibly boring compared to the last one! I have still managed to launch into it by writing a book (unpublished) and moving to France with our 3 kids where I am now learning a new language.
Most noticeably I felt a real, almost physical switch in the way I saw myself at 40. I have somehow slipped into the groove of life where my thoughts and perspective effortlessly just tucked into the flow rather than hanging over the edge creating friction and drag. I now feel like I don’t need to disturb that flow so much anymore, I don’t need to wander off and see what everyone else is doing or compare their groove to mine. My groove is smooth and I’m liking it more and more!
Dumping the Drama:
I’m not addicted to drama anymore, mine or other people’s. I really don’t care what people think about me, but I absolutely respect, and am open to the fact, that they will have their own opinions.
I am more comfortable and content in my 40 year old body that has birthed 3 babies than I was in my 30 year old double Olympian’s body – that is the honest truth.
I understand the concept of cause and effect. That it is the intention of my thoughts that determines the effect my actions will have, and as a result, what life will send back to me. This last concept of getting back goes by many names; Karma or The Golden Rule of ‘do unto others…’ What you put out there, is what will come back to you.
I find insecurity time wasting and exhausting – both in myself and especially in other people. Whether it’s masked in judgement, bitchiness, doubt, anger, resentfulness, (fill in the blank) – turning 40 has enlightened me to the fact that when these emotions are aimed at me, it is always the OTHER PERSON’s problem and not mine. Guilt and emotional blackmail won’t work on this 40 year old anymore, I’ll just shrug it off and continue in my groove.
Because here is what I know for sure:
Anxiety, shame, guilt, bitterness, blame, judgement, frustration, jealousy – any negative emotion that you can name – they all stem from one thing: FEAR.
The fear of not being good enough, the fear that someone is doing it better, the fear that someone has ‘it’ better than you do or has ‘more’ than you do. The fear of failure, the fear of people around us succeeding before we do.
I recognise it in other people through their actions and attitudes as much as I can feel it in my own. But you know what they say? If you think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, try watering the grass on your side more often!
There is enough room in this world for us all to succeed. Lifting others costs you nothing but the benefits you reap, in terms of true relationships, will always outweigh the energy spent on pulling others down.
I can still take a bad day out on hubby or the kids, or feel jealousy or resentment towards others – it takes real discipline. But at least I am aware of where my baggage is coming from and awareness is the most important step. In the words of the ever-insightful Maya Angelou “do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better”. So I am trying to do better.
In this first year of my 5th decade of life:
I have also figured out that what brings me joy has been right in front of me for a while now. I have been so busy looking for that next BIG successful life mission, to follow on from my sports career, that I wasn’t taking the time to see that the simple things are truly the best for me and offer me that freedom I was seeking in my 30’s.
Yoga, running, furniture DIY, reading, exploring my personal style – these things are mine not my kid’s or my husband’s. Of course my kid’s and hubby are awesome and I love them, but I spent my 30’s putting everyone and everything else before me and feeling resentful about it (my issue, not theirs).
Now I know that when I need my own space, to correct the balance of feeling overwhelmed, I will take it.
For my own sanity and the happiness of my family!
Now that I have managed to release some negative energy in my life, I can only imagine what my 50 year old self will think reading back over this blog post! I hope it goes something like this:
“This is where she got on the right path but there was so much more
goodness to come for her!”
Til next time friends,
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