Turning 50 was a huge milestone in my life that I haven't quite become comfortable with. Physical and mental changes have surfaced in my day to day living that frankly are irritating and distracting commonly in my day to day routine.
Like many women my age, the challenges I faced when married and raising children, then taking the u-turn in the highway and divorcing, raising the children as a single mom and eventually taking another u-turn and watching our children fly on their own have equipped me with the skills to change, alter and adjust. So I'm just gonna have to pull up my big girl pants and change, alter and adjust to these physical and mental changes. Losing weight, maintaining the stamina and energy I had in my 40's is........well it's an obstacle that I am gaining traction with and I will contend with.
Okay so, here's the skinny: There are some immensely meaningful and beautiful things that have happened to me and to other women my age, right now! I never even understood these concepts when I was 18 and thinking about my future. The most powerful and inspiring revelation I have had is not about me at all. I look around at the world today and there are women in business, women CEOs, women politicians, women my age and older in movies and television. While still the minority in many industries and various positions of power, women with vision, purpose and ambition are visible and tangible. This source of encouragement wasn't so visible when I was 18.
Several women in our office are involved in the Masterminds of Business networking groups and we all have had the opportunity to stand before the group and present ourselves to other business owners. Many people are nervous to speak publicly, but when it is my turn, they often have to tell me that my time is up and to sit down and shut up. (Lol! I admit I get a little excited to have an audience). At lunch today when everyone was sharing their experience, I said, "It's not that big of a deal and you don't need to be nervous." Everyone responded back to me, "that's because you don't care what people think of you." I suppose that's basically true. I attribute that to my age and to the examples I have had in my life. Primarily my mother, Kay Van Kampen, started in real estate 30 years ago and 30 years later is part owner of a real estate company, along with my sister, Lina Robertson Jones and several other partners. Mom is not the only woman real estate agent with a long successful run in this area. Women real estate agents in the Springfield, Missouri have held positions in the top ten consistently since I joined 13 years ago. So there are many women in my own industry that I look up to.
The woman I aspired to be at age 18 looks nothing like the woman I strive to be today.
Today I strive to work with my body to appreciate what it does for me, to love myself for who I am, to pay tribute to who I was, what I accomplished and where I am going. I don't look at my body and myself and strive to alter it to be more pleasing for others, I embrace who I am and cherish the scars and imperfections. The awkwardness and insecurity of my youth are gone and frankly, they served no helpful purpose in my life.
Would love to hear what inspires you.