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6 Important Things At Midlife

Have you read our post Enjoy ‘You’ Now. Today’s post leads you to ask yourself the much needed questions of life.

I have known Jones for more than 30 years through primary, secondary and university days. Recently she made this statement during an occasion “Go light, travel through life with only essentials, if you don’t need it give it away”.

We were unpacking the home she lived and grew up in for years, as her father had passed and her mother was living abroad with her siblings. This beautiful house had deep childhood memories, sounds of laughter, parties, conflicts, sounds of the car horn, and children playing and shouting.

This beautiful house was now empty and locked for a few years. Jones invited me to help sort out the things in the house before agents come to evaluate and put it up for sale. We spent the first 60 minutes trying to figure out how to approach the five-bedroom house, large living areas, garden and car park. We began with the most sensitive place, her mother’s room to try and locate sensitive documents and other family history that will be useful. We were waylaid by clothes, shoes, bags, boxes, books and so many items that 4 hours and several helpers later things were still being moved out from one room to be sorted and sent to charity. After 6 hours of sorting, we finally completed one room and we were thoroughly exhausted and praying not to do this again.

This experience inspired new thoughts and made me ask, what are midlife imperatives, what should I be focused on at midlife?

What is a legacy?

How come parents gather so much material stuff that might become a burden to the children?

What should we be investing in at this moment?

Jones said it to me again “if you don’t need it, don’t buy it and if you have not used it for months/years give it away”. Hmmmn. This is an Instructive statement for me at this time.

If you need to move homes at midlife you will suddenly realize how much stuff you have gathered and moved with you.

Midlife imperatives will be different for people across locations and unique circumstances but here are a few to help you.

  1. Like Jones said, travel through life light. Become a channel, a pipe of blessing to others. Let things come through you to others. If you don’t need it, find people that need it and bless them. Some of the items you are keeping for your children will not be appreciated because it’s from an older generation or it’s not just their style. Every week take a section of your house and unpack items to give out to bless others. We need to keep looking at what cannot be seen that is eternal and look less at what is temporal.

  2. Keep your life simple and manageable. Avoid investing in things that will significantly complicate your life without value or long-term benefits. It might be nice to invest in it, but it can complicate your family life or compromise your relationship. Keep it simple and connected.

  3. Another imperative is, resetting the social pressure clock to your own timing. It is time to lead your life based on your goals and aspirations. “What will people say or do?” Should not keep controlling your choice, budget and lifestyle. Social events in Africa can be extremely expensive putting a lot of stress and strain on you emotionally, physically and financially. It’s time to step back and rethink this invisible social competition with social ghosts. Stop and save yourself from the incarceration of social pressures. Listen, people don’t really care. People forget by next week. People laugh and move on. So, you too move on with your authentic life. Recently I decided to wear white to all social occasions from now. Simple and straightforward.

  4. Let your heart flow with grace, kindness and love. Share moments of love, family time, family experience, family travel, family games, family laughter and fun times. Invest in creating a deep and great experience for your friends and family. Have a monthly and quarterly family and friends Sunday lunch or dinner, everyone brings a little meal to share. Go out to a garden restaurant and share meals. Travel to the next nature town and take pictures together and laugh. Spend time with older family members, sharing love and outings with them. Old people don’t need many things, they mostly need someone to talk to about the weather and about very basic fundamentals of life and love.

  5. As the children are going away to start their own lives. The family house may have fulfilled its purpose. You may need to consider converting the property or relocating to a more manageable property for you and your partner.

  6. We will face new challenges at this transition time but we must develop the right mentality to push us to the other side. I try to tell myself this: “We are hedged in, pressed on every side, troubled and oppressed in some ways but we are not crushed or destroyed, we may be unable to find a way, we may experience embarrassment but we are driven not to despair.

Always remember that ‘Your greatness lies not in what you have, but what you give’ So what are you giving?

Read our post Midlife Legacy for a more in depth conversation with yourself.



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