Tomorrow I turn 50 and I’m simply floored. Thirty was no no biggie, forty felt mature, but fifty? That feels like something - like a long time. Like half a century. How did that happen?!
But don’t get me wrong - I don’t mind aging one bit. I’ll take my wise brain over my young body any day.
In fact, 25 was the only age that ever gave me pause. I was so full of anxiety - sure I hadn’t accomplished enough. Looking back now - TWENTY FIVE years into the future, it’s laughable. What could I have possibly expected to accomplish at 25? I was a baby who had so much more to experience!
I’ve taken some time this week to reflect on what I would tell that 25 year old today if I could talk to her. Read on for 50 truths for my younger self.
Nice women don’t have honest conversations with each other. Well, they don’t have honest conversations when they are most needed… when they are hurt, when they are angry, or when they disagree. Nice women grin and bare the pain and disappointment. Nice women are taught that it isn’t polite to make waves.
But truth be told, we all know that nice women still usually have the conversations - just not with the women they need to have them with. When we are hurt or angry, us nice women gather our allies and tell them our woes in hopes that they’ll take up the fight on our behalf. Or, at the very least, validate our feelings.
On Monday I attended the Be Your Own Best Friend class at the SheHive led by Lisa Machala of The Collaborative Body. The purpose of the class was to help you replace your negative self-talk with self-leadership.
At one point in the class Lisa asked how we knew someone was our friend. I jotted down a few notes… a friend is someone who is kind to me, challenges me with love, laughs at my jokes, has long, brave talks with me and performs acts of service for me.
I stared at the page as tears started to well up in my eyes.
Most nights, after a full day of working for my corporate clients and taking care of my home and teaching whatever class I have lined up at the SheHive, the rest of the family goes to bed, and I settle in to my office to catch up on everything I didn’t have time - or energy - to do during the day. Stuff like answering emails, writing newsletters, and scheduling classes.
When the stay at home orders went into place, I sprung into action to do ALL the things that needed to be done. I built a home office. I worked with my team around-the-clock to move our classes online and to form SheHive LIVE. I created new schedules and bought things we needed to be at home. I was busy, busy, busy.
But, pretty soon, there was nothing left to do. There was nothing more to divert my attention from the fear of a global pandemic - no other way to try and control it. My energy began to wane and I found myself scared, overly-exhausted and empty.
From the conversations I've had with my circle, I know I wasn't alone. And it makes sense. The pattern is part of our biology - and our psychology.