Weekly Reflections – Life begins at 40

This weekend we had the privilage of celebrating my dad’s 70th birthday with him. It was a tad bit early as his birthday is during the week and he lives fairly far from us. My cousin gave a little speech at the get-together that really got me thinking. He spoke about why “life begins at 40” and he made so much sense.

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He explained that when we reach 40, we stop paying attention to the more frivalous things in life as well as other people’s opinions and we start living life on our own terms. We realise that we probably have fewer years ahead of us than we have behind us and that puts things into perspective for us. Being on the verge of 50 myself, I know exactly what he is talking about.

When I turned 40, things changed both physically and mentally. I felt lighter in some ways. I felt liberated because he is right, this is when you just stop worrying about other people’s opinions and what they want for you. I started focusing on what made me feel more fulfilled rather than just happy (there is a difference) and I started to question what my purpose was and how I was making a positive contribution to this world rather than blindly following what everyone else was doing. I have always walked my own path but half the time it was not done consciously and at 40, I found myself questioning if it was the path I still wanted to be on. I didn’t know it then but I started questioning my commitment to security and started looking for a path I could take to freedom.

I finally acknowledged that I wanted to pursue a career in psychology so I started studying towards a degree in it. I had always rented and didn’t have an issue with that but suddenly i wanted to put down roots for myself and my son so I took a leap of faith and bought property. This was huge for me as I had never liked the idea of being tired down to any thing or any one. I even have a new car. I drove the same car for 17 years!

Now 50 is creeping up on me and there is so much more evolving and growing that I would like to, and feel the need, to do. This past week, the Universe has been throwing rocks at me to let me know that it is time to make some changes. Even my cousin’s speech was a bit of a boulder…lol. It’s time to jump before I am pushed and we all know that when the Universe pushes, it can be through an unpleasant experience. So watch this space. The leap is coming. I know what it needs to be and I am just hatching up the courage to do it.

If you are 40 or over, I would love to hear what changes you found yourself making. Did you change careers? Did you move countries? Or where your changes more subtle but very meaningful to you?

I am sure you agree that at this point in our lives, we are not going through a midlife crises but arriving at a our happy place. We are more comfortable being ourselves and more accepting of others and their choices. I am enjoying getting older. Are you?

May you be happy

May you be healthy

May you be safe

May you live with ease

Loving Kindness meditation

Bye for now 🌼

Weekly Reflections – 26/2/22

Reflection is a tool that is recommeneded by the business community as well as the self help community. I am sure we all do it but I have to say that most of my reflections have largely being about beating myself up about what I did or didn’t do that day or week. There’s no real benefit in that. This year, since “action” is my word for the year, I have decided to do it in, what I hope is, a more productive way.

Image: Canva

1 self-reflection

If the previous paragraph didn’t give you a hint, it’s that I am waaaay too hard on myself. Whenever something goes wrong, I tend to beat myself up about it. This week I witnessed more people having similar issues to those that I have had and it dawned on me that these things can and do happen to anyone. Even the most experienced in a field or some of the brightest minds that I have the privilege to work with/know. Sh*t happens. It is not about me but there are always lessons I can take from it. I don’t have all the answers and I never will. I just need to identify the right people who do have the answers I need.

1 thing I read

My book of the week is “The Psychology of Money” by Morgan Housel.

“I have no sunk costs” This was Daniel Kahneman’s response to Jason Zweig when he asked him how he could start again on a chapter even though they had already completed a draft. Morgan Housel defines “Sunk Costs” as anchoring decisions to past efforts that can’t be refunded. He also says that they make our future selves prisoners to our past, different, selves. How much do you hold on to because of the time or money you have already sunk into it even though it no longer serves you? This was a reminder for me to continue the physical and mental decluttering journey I have been on over the past few months. There is so much more I still need to let go of.

1 thing I heard

“The reason why a lot people won’t become who they want is because they’re too attached to who they have been” Lisa Nicols on Instagram. This relates to sunk costs again. I feel like the universe is trying to tell me something here ☺️. Guess I need to speed up the decluttering and letting go process. It sounds like the Universe has something good in store for me 😉

1 thing I saw

George and Georgina’s mum had more kittens and once again she brought them over to my courtyard. She must feel safe with us. It’s being awesome watching how much they have developed over this week. They started the week getting up on very shaky legs and playing with each other in slow motion and have ended it on stronger legs and a little faster and more agile. I am blown away at how they already know to groom themselves too. They are so gorgeous. And yes, I have asked our body corporate to have her spayed but until they do, my door is always open to her and her kittens.

Play time with big sister (she stole the box I put for them to huddle in🙈)

Sadly George ran off about 3 weeks ago. We miss him terribly but we can only pray that he is happy and safe wherever he is. Georgina missed him the most and has been terribly lonely but I see that she is now taking on and enjoying the role of big sister.

The last pic I took of George the day before he ran off. 😔

1 thing I am grateful for

I am blessed to have a home which is filled with love. I am blessed that my son and I can feel safe within it’s boundaries and that even a stray cat finds our yard a safe space for her and her little family. Thank you God for enabling this for us.

There was way more I learnt, saw and experienced this week but I will stop here.

I will leave you with a blessing a learnt this week:

  • May you be happy
  • May you be healthy
  • May you be safe
  • May you live with ease

Bye for now 🌼

Habits – To Be or Not To Be

Creating a system to implement new habits has fascinated me for a long time. I think I have found the answer for me…

I am fascinated by habits. I am curious about how we create them and more importantly, how we make them stick. My fascination started 9 years ago when I became a non-smoker and was I was given a copy of “The Power of Habit” by Charles Durhigg. This was where I first leaned about keystone habits. Keystone habits are rountines/habits that lead to other actions because of them. As an example, exercise is often a keystone habit as it can lead to a change in eating habits and sleep routines.

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True behavior change is identity change.

James Clear (Atomic Habits)

I have been on a quest to become healthier for a while now and to be a writer. But I suspect that therein lies the problem. “Being on a quest to”, “trying”, “attempting to” – all of these thought processes never actually get you there. I have actually cut the word “try” out of my vocabulary. There is no such thing. Either you do or you don’t. So my word for 2022 is “Action”. I act and I do. Oh and the word healthier is probably part of the problem. Either I am living a healthy lifestyle or I’m not. I’m sure you can see where I am going with this.

The thing is that in order to become, you first have to be rather than become first in order to be. In other words , you have to tell yourself that you already are so that you take on the behaviour of that which you aspire to be. So in order to adopt healthy habits, I have to keep telling myself that I am a healthy person. The day after I made the decision to be the person I aimed to become, a clip of David Goggins popped up on my instagram feed talking about being the person mentally in order to adopt the habits of the person you want to become. He gave the example of a motivating yourself to run in the rain at 5am even when you have no desire to. He says you need to tell yourself: “This is who we are now”. That made perfect sense to me. So far it is working for my goal of writing every day. I have now written every day for more than 33 days straight because this is who I am now. I am a writer. I have so many other commitments every night but this is the one that I have enjoyed the most. To be honest, I am ususally dog tired when it is time to write but I do it anyway because…yip, that’s right,…this is who I am now. For the record, my last writing streak was for 7 days so this is very impressive for the old me. For the new me…this is my new normal. As for being a healthy person…well…I’m not quite there yet.

So this is my goal for 2022, to decide on what it is I want to achieve and be it. I am under no illusions that this will not always be easy but I know that if I am doing it for all the right reasons, I will definitely enjoy the journey. Watch this space and I will keep you updated on what’s worked and what hasn’t worked over the coming year.

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