Starting over for women in their fifties
Life, for you, or for the matter of fact, anyone, can start from the moment we decide it is time. It does not matter whether you are in your 30s, or mid-fifties, or even older.
As a woman, you might find yourself in a situation that forces you to approach a different path in life, something quite different from what your friends and relatives might choose to do at this stage in life. However, understand that starting over at fifty, when you get knocked down by life, is nothing but an integral part of living life with utmost intensity, and authenticity.
Nevertheless, do not deny yourself from feeling certain emotions like that of being lost, and hopeless; embarrassment and shame too, go hand in hand. Thanks to the society which makes us believe that we need to have out life sorted out by our late twenties, begin a family by the time we reach our mid-thirty, and eventually plan for retirement when the clock keeps ticking and we are in our fifties.
Life, however, does not always play out the way we imagine it to be. With all this mysteries and questions, at some point in our lives, we might find ourselves to be in a position where we question our purpose in life, and for you perhaps it was not until you were in your fifties, that you realised that life has not revealed its purpose to you.
Or, it could also be that you were simply living life in an auto-pilot mode, and an incident, could be a tragedy or an event took place that lead you to the moment of awakening, and you wished to start life over, in your fifties.
Any of these circumstances bring along with itself their own set of confusion, fear, and hopelessness. But we are here to help you walk through this life-changing moment that you have encountered and make you look into all that you have gathered in these past years, which will in fact help you start life, and not pull you down.
Look for kindred spirits
Thinking that you alone at the time when you are considering to start over is that most damaging thought. Do not buy the lie that there is no one out there who is thinking of starting over other than you. If you do so, you will only judge, limit, and constrict yourself. Try to find women who are capable of understanding you, people who 'get' you. If you share the similar values, faith, or perhaps a sense of humour, it is easier to connect with them. Online groups are also helpful in such situations.
Keep the curiosity alive
Margaret Lobenstine writes in her book The Renaissance Soul: How to make your Passions your Life- A Creative and Practical Guide where she offers strategies for planning out life. Especially if you have truly lost everything, and lack a sound support system, trying to start your life over in your fifty's might be more overwhelming than ever. In such times, it is your curiosity to find the good life that shall help you navigate through moments of self-doubt.
Your assets and resources
Yes, it might seem contradictory to the pervious point, but hear me out! Mostly we tend to think of assets in the terms of materialistic things, such as real estate, bank balance, etc. As much as this is true, there are various kinds of assets that you have gathered for all these years that will be adding to your bucket of confidence in these tumultuous times of life.
Emotional assets such as being self-aware, intelligence, emotional health, coping strategies, being able to stay positive, yet grateful, spirituality, are all huge emotional assets for women trying to start their life over at fifties.
Personal and social assets including friends, peers, or anyone who is able to understand and uplift you are your assets.
Financial asset typically includes cash and credit, but is not restricted to it. Your ability to have a budget for your money, money management skills, and in general having a healthy relationship with money are part of your financial budget. knowledgematik.com offers more insights from practical examples of women who have had the similar life goals and financial constraints.
Community assets such as organizations that help women to start their life over, irrespective of age, blogs, websites, etc., are all community assets.
Create an objective look towards yourself
For the most part of our lives, we get too used to living with ourselves, and rarely forget all that experiences that we have had, the family histories, and even skills of managing households. With the fear that holds you back while you are considering to start your life over in your fifties, you need to take a step back and retrospect- all these aforementioned aspects that have been integral parts of your life have also shaped you into who you are. Do not take them for granted!
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, if you are an able-bodied, healthy woman despite being in your fifties, it is the greatest asset that you have at your disposal. Be grateful for that.
It is okay to feel anxious
Feeling scared is normal. So is turmoil and shame. Do not restrict yourself from feelings these emotions- supressing them cannot help you grow, and move forward. One of the best coping skill is to write a journal every day where you can simply be yourself. You got this!