A friend shared a quote on Instagram recently and it got me thinking, really thinking about being middle-aged. What it means and how do I feel about it. What have I done since becoming middle-aged?
Here is the quote
I love it. I love Brene Brown. Braving The Wilderness was ever so slightly life changing for me. She wrote about running away from things, hands-up. She wrote about being vulnerable and its importance. I loved it and am looking forward to reading Daring Greatly, arriving tomorrow. Hands up who has watched Daring Greatly on Netflix as well. So good!
I love the line ‘You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think’. It is indeed time to show up and be seen.
Okay so middle aged. What does that mean? It sounds so old. A term for someone surely much older than my 42-year-old body and mind. But mathematically I am middle aged. Women live on average until they are around 85, and I am bang in the middle of that. I AM MIDDLE AGED.
I fight the ageing process every day. I look after my body with exercise and good food. I look after my mind with journalling, counselling, coaching, time with friends. I stay in touch with the youth, I have friends of all different ages. I listen to current music and know all the words, but do also love my classic tunes from the 90s. I don’t want to get older but alas know it’s happening.
But Being Middle-Aged brings knowledge and yes courage.
I was forced with hands tied behind my back into adulthood at far too young an age. The day my mum died when I was 16 ¼. I have been dealing with adult life and its darkest issues for a long long time, way before many people had to.
I think this has hugely contributed to me having the guts at a younger age than many to realise that being a slave to the system isn’t the only way. People have a mid-life crisis and quit their jobs, leave their relationships, move to different part of the country in their 40s. I has my crisis when I was 38.
17 years after joining the rat race, I engineered a way out. I am impressed I lasted that long. In my 17 years I worked for five, count them out, five companies. And did maybe ten different jobs in those ten year, getting slighter higher in the hierarchy and slightly more stressed at each step.
By the time I was 38 I was a senior commercial manager in the Telco world negotiating million-pound contracts with franchisees. It was tough, my toughest job yet. The big salary wasn’t worth the stress, the tears, the bullying, the 75-minute commute.
But that big salary funded a lovely house and an extravagant lifestyle that I felt I couldn’t not have. I tried moving around jobs in the big companies to find gratification. But it never came. The only way to be happy was to quit.
A Solution to my prayers
I didn’t quite quit. I was conveniently relocated from a Hatfield, rural location to central London and was able to argue the commute was now too long, compared to the job I had taken. It took months to negotiate but eventually they caved and offered me redundancy.
There was my gift, meaning I could afford to pay the mortgage and properly work on building up Mrs Mummypenny up. I am incredibly grateful to Matt, my old boss for sorting out the redundancy for me. I could never have got my business to the level it has got to without that cash injection to pay my mortgage whilst I focused on building it full time despite it earning peanuts.
And that mid-life crisis of quitting the rat race and that corporate job worked out. I now make more money than I did in that stressful, London based job. My sanity is in tact and my happiness (most of the time!). I chose whom I work with on my blog and I call the shots. And I get to do the school run every day, as much as I’m not super keen on that one.
My boys know that mummy is at home for them, and to take them to football five days a week. But I am also creating the most incredible business from my fourth bedroom/office.
I am brave, I have courage and I encourage everyone reading this post to take the step and do what you want to do. Stop pleasing others, do in life what you want to do. I know that money that get in the way of these things. If money is a barrier, remove that barrier. Okay I got redundancy, but you could build up a savings pot of 12-18 month of expenses to allow you to build up the business of your dreams.
Anything is possible when you put your mind to it and with patience (says me, I don’t have any patience, apart from the months it took to negotiate and then get redundancy, 12 months for the whole process).
What is your dream? What would you love to do with your life? And how are you going to get there?
No sponsorship in the slightest. Natural post all the way