Change isn’t bound by years. It’s a perpetual process that has its roots in need, desire, and circumstances. But it should never be tied to any number whatsoever. But the boundaries that we create in our minds are often a reflection of our resistance to adjust and alter our lives. Even when it means improving. In the wise words of Louise Hay: “Know that you are the perfect age. Each year is special and precious, for you shall only live it once. Be comfortable with growing older.”
And while we may feel invincible in our twenties and steadfast in our thirties and forties, all the other decades that follow are as susceptible to growth as are the previous ones – so why should reinventions be any different?
There are no rules
In your emotional state, your beliefs, your attitudes, your choices. You are human, and you will feel a whole range of positive, negative, vague and conflicting emotions. You’ll make wrong decisions, you’ll change your mind, you’ll label without intending to, you’ll fail and succeed. That is no reason to either judge and criticize yourself. Or to make excuses to put off meaningful action to adjust your behavioral and thinking patterns.
Embrace these moments as opportunities to change, use them as learning experiences. Reinventing yourself means making even the smallest of changes whenever the chance arises. You can start by saying no to the second piece of cake, saying yes to a hiking adventure, or taking the time to enjoy a book instead of stressing over the news. Welcome the moment and make it better. You’d be surprised how some of the most profound changes in life start with something as seemingly small as taking a morning walk.
2. It’s always a perfect time for beginnings
We’re often guided to perceive our silver years as “the end” of something or the other. The end of youth, the end of parenting, the end of marriages, careers, and friendships. But this sense of imminent doom is merely an angle, a standpoint. Start by changing your mindset to see this as a beginning of a new era, and so many other changes will follow suit!
This is a perfect time to start a new hobby, meet new people, even begin a new career – the sky’s the limit. Who’s to say that you’re too old to try dancing the Argentine tango, starting your own cooking class or switching to a vegan diet?
3. Reinventing is staying curious, not just passionate
Please don’t shoot the messenger, but passion is overrated. At least in the sense that it should be your Northern Star of change and reinvention. Some people spend an entire lifetime looking for the one true passion and end up without one, but with fifty. While others have this one special thing they enjoy doing. Whoever you are, passion is not the end, nor the beginning of taking action.
Every day presents you with opportunities to do something new, or something old, but differently. How many times have you refused an invitation to a neighborhood gathering, a martial arts class, or your friend’s chess club? “None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm,” as Henry David Thoreau once said. Perhaps you have some past interests and dreams that have been waiting for the right moment to come true.
4. Create your future now
Most people avoid thinking about practical aspects of their future, out of fear or need to be “in the here and now”. But enjoying the present moment also means preparing yourself for the future. And ensuring healthy and comfortable conditions to greet your old age and live those years as independently as possible. And every choice you make now will affect those conditions down the road.
Consider starting your own private pension plan, life insurance and where you wish to spend your later life. Do you see yourself with your children, in your own home, or in a retirement home? From finding the best in home care services to ensure yourself greater independence to choosing a life insurance policy very early on. You need to take care of these things today in order to have a tomorrow you’ll enjoy.
5. Let your fears fuel change
In the realm of reasonable quirkiness and “hang-ups”, we all have a whole slew of things we’ve felt uncomfortable doing by now. Whether it’s karaoke, public speaking, rollerblading or learning origami, it’s never too late to try your hand at new things.
Facing and overcoming fears is one of the most rewarding, joyous feelings you can experience, and it often leads to more courageous choices and profound changes in your life. These fear-induced advancements are sometimes the most powerful catalysts for reinventing yourself and finding new meaning and purpose.
Olivia is psychologist and entrepreneur from Brisbane. Mother of two beautiful children and proud owner of two silly boxer dogs. She is a passionate writer, a traveler, and conscious consumer, seeking healthy and sustainable products to incorporate into the lives of her family. Her motto is “Be the change you want to see in the world”.