1404 Weeks

We generally think of midlife as being somewhere between 45 to 65. However, as everything is relative, the concept of midlife could depend on where you live. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the average life span of women today is somewhere between 80 and 95. A woman in Canada might live to 84, while in the UK the average life expectancy is 82. Women also live an average of 4 years longer than men, although depending on the country that spread could literally be ten years. So I am 55 and currently live in the UK. According to the WHO stats about my life expectancy, I have another 27 years to live. Break it down more and this means I have 1, 404 weeks left!! But if I move back to Canada I can add another 104 weeks to my life!

Sure those are only averages and there are other factors that will determine how long you live. I also took an online lifespan expectancy test that gave me a life span of 90 years. But the thing is, breaking your life down into weeks makes it a lot more real. When I think that events that happened 25 years ago seems like only yesterday, the idea that I might only have that much time left on this earth is shocking.

So I don’t have that 24-year old body anymore, but it is still relatively strong and healthy, and I am still here in my fifties. Quite a bonus I’d say when once the thought of turning 30 seemed like old age. And grateful considering that a woman born in Sierre Leone is expected to have an average life span of only 47. So with 1, 404 weeks to live, I am reminded to enjoy my remaining weeks and and inspired to leaving some kind of breadcrumb that makes this world just a little better.

Take it easier

I always thought of myself a fairly balanced person, but the reality is that I have wasted a lot of time doing things in my life that did not bring me joy. When I turned 45, I thought that I would finally be on my way  towards realizing my potential and on the path to true happiness and fulfillment.

I remarried, moved abroad, and had lots of exciting plans. But there’s that line from John Lennon again  “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making plans”.  I had to deal with more challenges – not what I was expecting. Life became all too serious.

Continue reading Take it easier

I’m Ok, You’re Ok, Really!

Among other ground-breaking ideas of the 1960s and 1970s, that era spawned a genre of self-help books. There was an  increased awareness that our lives could be different from that of previous generations if we vowed to change ourselves, and thus change the world in which we lived.

Bestselling pop psychology books of the time like Games People Play and  I’m OK – You’re OK provided frameworks for changing one’s life. In I’m OK – You’re OK, author Thomas A. Harris wrote that most people live out their lives in a negative “I’m Not OK – You’re OK” state, and that adopting a mindset of “I’m OK – You’re OK” leads to happiness, personal satisfaction, and good relationships.

Continue reading I’m Ok, You’re Ok, Really!

Personality Wealth Profile

One of the areas that I need to make a change to is in my work life. As I am not in a position to retire and don’t want to work in the corporate rat race anymore, I am seeking options that will allow me to find my passion for work and make money doing it.

A friend suggested I check out a book by Marianne Cantwell and her Free Range Humans site, which is about creating the life you want on your terms. I signed up for  her course to get more in touch with what I could do going forward. In the course, Marianne recommends a personality assessment called Wealth Dynamics.

Created by Roger Hamilton, Wealth Dynamics centers on understanding and leveraging your personality profile, which can only be one of eight types.  I took the Wealth Profile test and turns out I am a “Trader” type, which was very surprising. Some of the profile does relate to me, but I learned some new things about myself.  Wealth Dynamics profiling shows you not only which path to follow for yourself, but also who you should work with to leverage your talent.

“Success comes from knowing which game to play, and then playing that game – and only that game. Each of us has a game that is most suited to our natural habits and talents.”

Roger Hamilton – creator of Wealth Dynamics

A view at midlife

I came of age at the tail end of the baby boomer generation into a culture of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, political activism, Eco-awareness, and the pursuit of spirituality. My generation was privileged overall, generally well educated and middle class. The idealism of that time gave us a mission and made us feel special,  even if the details were sometimes undefined and fuzzy.

Wanderlust gripped my generation. Queues of young life explorers on highways and back roads everywhere. I mean, Europe on $5 a day was actually a reality. When I hitchhiked across Canada alone at 15, I felt invincible. I placed my trust in humanity and was rarely disappointed (well, except for that truck driver on a lonely stretch of highway in the Prairies, but that’s another story). People back then really did care for and help each other more, and I do believe the world was a safer place.

Then many of us started settling down, getting real jobs, buying houses, having babies. Our lives started resembling those of our parents, the establishment, lives we had rebelled against, never intending to replicate. I was ambivalent about my own career, drifting in and out of various jobs and  relationships. For a long time I thought it was just me whose life always felt just a little “off”.  I grew up with so much optimism about making the world a better place, yet somehow the “we” generation became the “me” generation, and the world seemed to have gotten harder, harsher, more disconnected.

Now, in my fifties, there are harsher realities to deal with like health issues of aging parents and friends, unemployment,  divorce, and so on. There’s also another type of pervading unease. There is the realization that we no longer have all the time in the world to figure things out, or wonder what we’re going to be when we grow up.

At Midlife

At midlife, the third chapter of our lives, we get a chance to make it count and live life on our own terms. It could mean kissing that job you hate goodbye, giving back to a cause you believe in, or becoming more spiritual. It can also be about making connections in this technology-heavy world, where people are more isolated from each other than ever before. And did I mention playing more – yes, what about having more fun!

The way I see it is that being here at midlife is like being on a journey that is either halfway there or halfway gone. Which road we take is up to us, but the reality is that every day gone is, really, a day gone. I want my journey to count. To have fun, make a difference, and feel passionate again.

You can look at age as only words or a state of mind. But for many it is about change while accepting who we have become. I am sure there are other like-minded travelers out there even though we are not on the roads hitchhiking anymore. So taking stock at midlife and making it count is what this blog is all about. It’s time to redefine what it means to be me, here, now at midlife. Thanks for being here and sharing. Happy trails!