Discover more from Your Midlife Matters with Alana Kirk, the Midlife Coach
How to thrive in midlife
(when many of us are merely surviving)
What does it really take to thrive for a women in the modern mayhem of midlife these days?
The answer is pretty central to my work as The Midlife Coach, and something I am constantly working on, negotiating, practising, trying in my own life. So I hate to tell you, you never discover the secret sauce and then sit back, waiting for a Welcome Cocktail because you’ve “Arrived!” It’s an on-going practise, yet often we think the success of life comes from a checklist we create early on of all things we want to become and achieve, and never take the time to check in again.
It’s a really exciting time for women in this midlife, even though it can hard, and this context is really important. I see women all the time who think there’s something wrong with them because they’re overwhelmed. Or they think they’re not good enough because they’re not enjoying life, because although it might look great on paper, they are totally exhausted trying to be everything to everyone. Or they think they’re selfish because despite all the overwhelm, they feel underwhelmed by whatever stage in life they’re in and they feel lost.
As I say to them - “when life feels hard, it’s usually because it is hard. Now give yourself a break!” Understanding the context of your life rather than comparing it to someone’s else’s Facebook pics is going to serve you much better in getting the support or making the changes you need to help you thrive better.
In a recent interview (below) I was asked some interesting questions on this, and some other topics that affect women today as we see such a redefinition of what is possible for women in this unique, extended midlife.
Genevieve Gresset is a UK relationship and dating expert, consulting on Channel 4’s Married at first Sight TV show. We met when I interviewed her for an article I was writing on post-marriage dating and immediately connected over our passion to ensure women don’t waste a moment of their lives being held back by outdated, pernicious conditioning, and by the struggle to juggle the impossible responsibilities and to live our lives as vibrantly as we can.
In the interview below I explain how we get to redefine what ageing looks and feelings like now.
We also cover:
What are the best questions to ask yourself?
How to rebuild your life if you feel you are standing in the rubble of what you’d planned?
Giving birth to yourself after perhaps giving birth to a family.
How the hardest thing for women, whether in their 30’s or 60’s, is staying connected to themselves. We invest so much in the people in our lives, yet can go through years without barely investing a kind thought, or a curious enquiry or a check in in our own lives.
Why my favourite word is ‘evolving’.
How to get out of the ‘or’ mindset into an ‘and’ mindset.
How to stop feeling responsible for everyone’s happines.
Genevieve asked me as a woman, and a single mother during the menopausal time of my life, what are my biggest challenges?
I explain it is trying to prioritise my emotional, physical, and mental wellbeing while getting on with the day job of raising three teenage girls, running a home, and running a business. How to navigate a busy, challenging, dynamic, exciting life while keeping aware of the physiological and emotional changes going on within me.
She also asked me what keeps me sane?
Since Gin is probably not an acceptable answer I went deeper! It is kindness to myself.. and I explain how I learned how to be the hand on my own back. My other sanity hack (especially with teenagers and exes!) is to meet people where they are, not where I need them to be.
She asked me what do I wish I’d known as a teenager growing up that I know now?
I go back to my favourite word ‘evolve’ and explain how I wish I’d known I didn’t have to have all the answers figured out by 20; and that is because we’ll often have different answers as we grow, evolve, love, learn, loose and laugh. That you are not your thoughts and feelings… be curious and intentional and choose the thoughts and beliefs that serve you.
I also explain how it took me years to figure out that there is a difference between drama and adventure and how to live a life filled with the gain of adventure (the little moments as important as the big) and reject the life of drain from drama.
I hope you find it useful and if you have any questions or thoughts, I’d love to know in the comments. She also asked me about my new book and what I’m looking for form women to help me give them the information they need.
The post I mention where I’m looking for women’s perspective on their own sense of sense and sensuality, sex and relationships is here.
I’m also starting a new FREE 5 day
challenge adventure called the Happier Habits Adventure on the 16th October, where for 5 days I’ll give you practical tools, keep you accountable and be your cheerleader as you make small but really significant shifts in your life to feel more connected, in control and intentional.