My daughter, Riley Anna, recently turned ten years old. “TEN YEARS OLD!! DOUBLE DIGITS! I’m a TWEEN! Only three years ‘til I’m a TEENAGER!” (The all caps and exclamation points are hers, not mine, I can assure you.) My response to her overzealous excitement at turning ten was more along the lines of a quiet– “Woo-hoo. That’s great.” – followed by a tearful spell locked in the bathroom – every mom’s one sure “alone” place in the house. Of course, I’m thrilled to watch my daughter as she grows into such a loving, empathetic, fun, entertaining, caring person. But this milestone birthday brought home the fact that a decade is a good chunk of time, and this last chunk whizzed by at a rate that makes my head spin. Given traditional wisdom, the next will fly by with even faster. So what does this mean? Since I gave birth to Riley Anna at age 34 (I just barely missed “advanced maternal age” – isn’t that a charming medical phrase?) – you do the math. I’m coming up on a milestone birthday of my own and making great strides into this time of life we call “mid”. It seems like a good time to step back and take stock of my life, so I have. And you know what? I wouldn’t go back a decade for all the Botox in Hollywood! Since turning 40 I’ve experienced some of the best times of my life. I’ve been writing, performing and recording my original music again after years away from it. I’ve made time for meditation almost every morning of the past four years. I’ve been trained and certified as a creativity coach and now have the distinct privilege and pleasure of helping other people create and live their best lives. I’ve taken up running and am loving it, and I’m even training for a half-marathon – something I never would have done as a 20 or 30 year old! All this to say – if you’re ready for a change – if you’re hoping there’s something more – if you’re experiencing a little trepidation about the prospect of your next birthday – take a page from my daughter’s book. Own your age! LOVE IT! Be thrilled by the possibility of it all! Each new year brings new opportunities to do what we’ve never done, go where we’ve never gone, try what we’ve never tried. Now’s the time to go for it! As I like to say, “I’m having a Mid-Life Oasis – because it’s to much nicer than a crisis!” Join me, won’t you?
(as featured on MOREmagazine.com)
The idea of a Mid-Life Oasis™ came to me back when deciding what to name my creative lifestyle coaching business. (www.creativeoasiscoaching.com)
I realized that many women around my age (40-somethingish– give or take a few years) were thinking more and more about the term “Mid-Life” and how it applied to them. More often than not, when we see the words “Mid-life” –the word “crisis” – follows closely behind (like piece of toilet paper stuck to your shoe – lovely, right?). Yet, as I contemplated my own life, I realized that my experience seemed the opposite of a crisis. It felt more like an oasis. I had learned to create time and space in my life for the things that truly matter to me and make me feel good. I was more comfortable in my own skin than I had ever been in my 20’s. For me, mid-life meant living the life I really wanted to live, being the real, authentic me and making time, even in my busy day-to-day life, for deep, personal satisfaction in mind, body and spirit. So, how did I manage to find this Mid-Life Oasis ™? Several years ago, I felt stuck, overwhelmed and a little bitchy a lot of the time. I began working with a creativity coach, the amazing Jill Badonsky (www.themuseisin.com). With the help of a supportive,compassionate coach, I began to make time for my love of singing and songwriting again after years away from it. It opened the window to a creative new way of living a fulfilling life. And, most surprisingly, it introduced me to my wonderful mid-life career change into a creative lifestyle coach. Now I have the satisfying role of helping other women discover their own oasis. I’ve done a bit of blogging in the past, but recently, while working with my fantastic business coach, Jennifer Moore (www.pinkheels.com) – I’ve decided to devote more time and energy to it. (As you can see, I think personal coaches are wonderful and if I were queen everyone would have at least one to help them live their best possible life!) I believe we can all use some inspiration and encouragement when it comes to creating an oasis in our lives – and that’s what I promise to provide here. Please feel free to drop me a line and tell me about your mid-life experiences – whether you’re just now beginning to discover your oasis – or you’ve been happily doing so for some time. When we treat life as our greatest creative expression, we transform our day-to-day existence into a joyful adventure – rich, fulfilling and fun! I hope you’ll join me. All the best from my oasis to yours, Jill