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life after kids and a journey of rediscovery......

finding purpose after 50

I want to open up about a journey some of us embark on, especially as we cross the golden mark of 50.

For many of us, it's a journey of self-discovery, a path to finding our purpose in the later chapters of our lives. Often, we find ourselves standing at the crossroads, looking back at the years that have gone by and behind us, and wondering, "What now?" It's a question that echoes in our hearts and our minds, and I'm here to tell you, that you're not alone.

Whether you're approaching 50, have gracefully stepped over it, or are waving at it from a distance, this is for you.

Frustrations About Midlife and Feeling the Loss of Your Sense of Self

As we step into our 50s, we often find ourselves in a whirlwind of emotions. It's like being on a rollercoaster that no one really talks about. We've spent decades building a life, nurturing our families, building and climbing career ladders, and suddenly, there's a quietness, a lull that wasn't there before.

For some of us, it's the kids leaving home, for others, it's retirement or the longing for a change in a career that no longer fulfills us. We look in the mirror, and amidst the laughter lines and silver strands, we often ask, "Who am I beyond all the roles I've played?"

It's not uncommon to feel a sense of loss – loss of youth, loss of roles that once defined us, or even a loss of purpose. This period can bring a sense of restlessness, a yearning for something more, something meaningful that we can't quite put our finger on.

As a single mom who has devoted much of my life to raising my son and building a career, stepping into my 50s, I found myself in a quiet house, the constant buzz of having to balance with my child and work, has simmered down. My son, now a young adult, is slowly making his own way in the world. Needing me less and less, except for the occasional meals for when he's at home and of course, laundry! I do literally any little thing that he does ask of me, because that's my way of holding on to whatever it is that is left of this phase of being a mom. Motherhood will look different once he is fully out into the world and fully independent.

Looking in the mirror and noticing how the grey in my hair was becoming more prominent in lesser time, how the lines around my eyes spoke of laughter and tears, of decades lived, there is a sense of pride in what I see, but also an undeniable sense of loss.

The roles that have defined me for so long are shifting, and I feel like I am losing a grip on my identity.

It isn't just about aging physically. It is more profound than that. It is a sense of mourning for my youth, for the times when I felt like I had a clear purpose – raising my son, building a career, and being there for my small family. And now, with all that slowly passing me by, I'm starting to feel aimless, as if floating without direction.

Once filled with noise and chaos, the house feels eerily silent - welcoming, yet different. I sometimes do miss the mess and chaos, I still am blessed with laughter every now and then but I wished it was like the old days, and the nightly family dinners. My son, being caught up with his own journey into adulthood, with my very own transition, we are both grappling with our own new realities.

I find myself having more time but struggling to know what to do with it. Afraid to venture out just in case I'm needed, but as I wait, and wait, I realize that I'm not really needed.

After all those years of putting the needs of my son and everything else ahead of my own, it feels foreign to me to want to focus on myself.

I realize that this isn't just my journey. It is a shared experience among many of us crossing into this new phase of life. We were all trying to figure out who we were in this next chapter, beyond the roles that had so long defined us.

This period of my life, while challenging, has also opened my eyes to a universal truth – change is inevitable, and how we adapt and grow with it is what truly defines us.

8 Ways to Manage These Feelings and Finding Purpose After 50

As I crossed into my 50s, I found myself standing at this very crossroads. Reflecting on the years gone by, I realized that while I had nurtured my family, built a career, and created a lifetime of memories, there was a nagging feeling of uncertainty about what lay ahead.

But I've come to realize that there is opportunity in this phase. Life has come full circle and technically we're back in the same place we started with, where life is your oyster. It's not too late to find purpose again in your life. To rediscover yourself. To go back to who you were or to recreate who you want to be.

Here are 8 ways we can manage these feelings and sense of loss and to finding purpose in life after 50.

01. Embrace the Change

First and foremost, acknowledge these feelings. It's okay to feel lost or uncertain. Remember, every season of life brings new challenges and opportunities. Embracing change is the first step towards growth.

02. Rediscover Old Passions

Think back to your younger years. What did you love doing that you stopped because life got in the way? Painting, dancing, writing? It's never too late to pick up where you left off.

03. Explore New Interests

Have you always wanted to learn a new language? Or perhaps, pottery has caught your eye? Dive into new hobbies or interests. This exploration can be incredibly rejuvenating and fulfilling.

04. Connect with Like-minded Individuals

Seek out communities or groups with similar interests. Connecting with people who are on a similar journey can be both comforting and inspiring.

05. Give Back

Volunteering or mentoring can offer a deep sense of purpose and connection. It's a beautiful way to share your wisdom and experience while making a difference in someone else's life.

06. Prioritize Self-Care

This is the time to focus on yourself. Prioritize your health - physical, mental, and emotional. Yoga, meditation, or simply spending time in nature can work wonders.

07. Set New Goals

Whether it's traveling to dream destinations or starting a small business, setting new goals gives us something to look forward to and work towards.

08. Seek Professional Guidance

If feelings of loss or aimlessness become overwhelming, don't hesitate to seek help from a life coach or therapist. Sometimes, a little guidance is all we need to set us on our path.

Always remember, crossing 50 is not about fading into the background; it's about painting new, vibrant strokes on the canvas of life. It's a time to rediscover, reinvent, and rejoice in who you are and all that you can be.

Your feelings are valid, your desires important, and your dreams achievable. Embrace this chapter with open arms and a curious heart. There's so much more to you, and the best, as they say, is yet to come.

Finding purpose and joy after 50 is a deeply personal and unique journey for each of us. It's about redefining what matters most, rediscovering the joys in the small things, and embracing every moment with an open heart and mind.

As we continue on this path, let's remember to cherish these years for the wonderful opportunities they bring to grow, learn, and find happiness in new and unexpected ways.


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