Midlife Journey: Turning Point

And now.

Now I am a bonified member of the “sandwich generation.” Which is why I haven’t posted in a long while. This summer, we moved my 76-year old mother from her home 4 states away to an independent living facility 20 minutes north of us. It has taken an enormous effort from her, my husband and me and brothers, plus others, to make this shift. And now we are all adjusting.

And with Ma nearby, and needing a lot from us, which we gladly give, and the very young adult children, one still in college, well…

…it feels like another whole stage of midlife. And this is what I know now:

Midlife is continually about change, shifts and letting go. That will not stop.

Here are some of the tools I am using to make those changes, and grow in health and happiness.

(And I have great news–the 50′s really are fantastic! Yes, it’s a time to let go of a lot of things you have spent a lifetime building up–certain ego identifications and defenses. But after weathering some uncertainty, a better self emerges!)

1. Lisa Erikson’s  Teleseminar on Women’s Energetics and Sacral Healing.

2.. Reading about “Chi Running” which applies to walking, and how one’s gait and the way the foot habitually hits the ground can strengthen your body or tear it down. This seems to be a giant continuation of several years of exploring the psoas muscles in relationship to breathing and core body strength, which feeds into my work as a voice trainer and singing teacher.

3. Continuing with dietary and cooking changes from March. (Urban Detox Club) That’s going well, but I need to continue to ‘up’ my exercise to just maintain the status quo. My arms are in danger of turning into sausages. I’ve add large rubber bands for resistance training.

4. Refashioning my wardrobe–for years I’ve wanted to develop a personal clothing style, which admittedly, alternates among sloppy, ill-fitting, bohemian and conservative. I admire my daughter who can pull a vintage size 6 off of a thrift store rack and make it look like a million bucks. But I am of large boob, no waist and no hips, so that has never worked. I have discovered that, like everything else one wants to do, it takes TIME. And I am having fun learning by reading various style blogs–although finding style blogs for my age is still a bit of an issue.

5. I firmly believe that our bodies are only as healthy as our Earth. We are one and the same. I occasionally cleaning up streets and creeks in my area by walking with a pair of rubber gloves and a trash bag to pick up trash. (I am reminded of our son’s 7th birthday party where we took his friends on a creek hike in Rock Creek Park to pick up trash. Totally illegal and totally worth it.) We’ve also upped our compost and recycling efforts.

6.  Writing, singing, occasionally slipping back in to my beginning belly dance moves, refashioning jewelry (finally have more pieces to show, just need a new camera…) and learning with the lovely folks over at Good Vibe University.

Care-giving takes such an enormous amount of time, energy, concentration and selfless awareness. We have to remember to spend time caring for ourselves!

Or there won’t be a Self to care for others.

What do you do to care for yourself?

5 thoughts on “Midlife Journey: Turning Point

  1. Cate, thanks so much for the mention, I am so glad you found the course valuable. I can so relate to all you have said, and am glad to hear the 50s feel even more freeing. Accepting change and transience is such a big part of my life now too, although I am not yet in the position of caring for a parent at the level you are. But our mortality – all mortality – is continually driven home during middle-age, isn’t it?
    I got a giggle out of your goal to develop more of a personal style, as this is a goal of mine too, and your description of your wardrobe as rotating between “admittedly sloppy, ill-fitting, bohemian and conservative” describes me to a tee too! Xo – Lisa

  2. I’m so glad to hear your mom was willing to make her life and safety easier for you. So many people fear giving up their independence to the point they refuse to budge from where they’ve planted roots, not realizing the roots can be transplanted just fine, making the lives of others much more stress free. Nice to hear from you Cate. Yes, remember to take care of yourself too. Sending a virtual hug.

  3. Love hearing from you, Lisa and Connie and getting your take on these years. “Pondering what is in our hearts,” and then sharing with friends is a woman’s way. I am so grateful the Web brought me to both of you!

  4. Hi! Came to visit after I found your comment on my blog. I can so relate: I´m just on my way to visit my 92-year old mother-in-law, in the apartment we bought for her three years ago, in town, with an elevator, so that she would be as independent as possible, for as long as possible (with a bit of help). I´m definitely going to look into that bit about Chi Running. Taking more responsiblity for mother-in-law happened for us almost exactly as I turned 40 and realized I also have to take care of me, if I´m going to enjoy the health I have always taken for granted. I will continue to explore and follow your blog!

  5. Thanks for visiting, Viktoria! Your mother in law is lucky to have you, and even though my mom and I are very close, I haven’t been ready to have her with me until now. It is good, but with many adjustments all around. Life continually evolves, no?

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