There will come a day in your life when you will say: “I’m too old for this shit”.
It will be a day when you’re gatvol. A day when you realise that it’s time to stop doing everything that is expected of you and to take back your power.
You will ACT. You will do something so different that you will shock people. People who think they know you won’t recognise you.
You will probably be in your forties or fifties, and will wake up one day with the question, “Is this all there is?” And the answer will be: “Hell, no!”
You might have been unhappy or dissatisfied with your life up to that point. You might not even have realised just how much. There might have been stirrings within you – a desire for something different, something more. Perhaps you never had the courage to acknowledge these feelings or admit them to others, or even to yourself. But then something shifted.
Maybe it was the realisation that you were getting older. You still look like you, but when you look closely in the mirror, you notice that your skin is no longer taut. There are lines that have appeared out of nowhere. Bits of you are starting to sag. Wonderbras have become essential. Little wiry grey hairs start to increase. No matter what you do, that muffin top won’t budge. You certainly don’t jump out of bed in the morning.
People around you start to notice this change, too. Young people call you “aunty”. Your children think you’re stupid. You may notice that in social situations or at work that you’re not one of the young ones. Your children start having milestone birthdays and get their driver’s licences. You find yourself writing matric again, and then having to take out a second bond to finance their tertiary studies.
Where did the time go?
But you realise, as you do the maths, that there are still many years for you to live. At 40, you’re promised another 30 of your Biblical three score and ten years. At 50, at least 20. That’s still a lot of life left!
And you’re not old in your head! There’s still so much you are able to do, and so much that you haven’t done. You look at young people and envy them the possibilities and opportunities of a yet-to-be-lived life. What you don’t realise is that you’ve got an advantage over them. They have their youth, but you’ve got experience. and you’ve still got time.
I reached my “I’m too old for this shit” point over a year ago. I took a leap of faith, quit my job, and started working from home. It was something I had dreamed about for a long time. People were shocked. How could I leave a secure job and take a chance on my side hustle? The choice was between being miserable and exhausted indefinitely or living life on my terms. When I looked at how many more years I was going to torture myself, the decision was easy.
I have not regretted my choice. Not one single day.
I see possibilities in my life now that I would never have been able to consider had I stayed. I am allowing myself to dream. The next chapter of my life is waiting to be written. I wish I had had the courage to make this move sooner, but our perceived responsibilities and expectations others have of us stop us from doing what we want to do.
Now is the time to pursue the dreams we gave up because life happened. Our children don’t need us as much anymore. We can put ourselves first. We have the confidence of knowing that mistakes don’t mean that you’re a failure; they make you grow. We know what’s important to us or are in the process of finding out. There’s a whole new journey of discovery once we learn to focus on ourselves.
People always say that life is short. It’s not. From where I’m standing, there’s still a lot of mine left and I want to live it fabulously.
Love and light