Midlife can sometimes feel like a time where nothing new happens and everything bad happens all at once. Your job can start to feel mundane and boring and yet your family life can be changing drastically (or vice versa). So today I am bringing you an A-Z list of words to describe the way things SHOULD be in midlife. If you’re reading through this list and any of these words don’t mesh with where you are in life, maybe it’s time to try something new. Read through this alphabet and let me know which word resonates with you the most.
As we grow older, we often find ourselves thinking, “I can’t do that”. We think this way solely because of our past experiences and this sometimes causes us to act in a certain way for your family or your boss or your friends. Instead of hiding your true self, choose to be authentic by, first, rediscovering who you truly are and, second, showing the world the incredibly unique person that you are.
If you are being authentic, then you should also be bold. Don’t be afraid to show the world who you are and what you can do. Boldly show the world that you have yet to do what you came here to do!
“Throwing yourself on the sword takes Back Forty Boldness, and definitely Back Forty Badassity…and yet, what else do you have to do in the next 40 years anyway?”
At this point in your life, you’ve been around the block a few times, so be confident! You have a unique set of skills that you have been honing your entire life. Be confident in what you know and share your knowledge (and confidence) with the world.
It is important to be determined to reach your goals. After all, you have yet to do what you came to this world to do. Think about what goals you have. Have you been actively working towards achieving them? Or do you find yourself thinking, “one day”, “once the kids are out of the house”, or “after I retire”? I challenge you to commit to a goal and be determined to reach it.
When was the last time you were truly enthusiastic about something? Is there something that you strongly believe in? When was the last time you shared that enthusiasm with others? Remember, enthusiasm can be contagious and if you believe in something deeply you should share your enthusiasm with those around you.
The more we grow, the more we tend to keep our eyes focused on the past. We remember what we know to be true from the past. But we must also remember to keep an eye on the future. The best is still yet to come, and if we keep our eyes on the past, we just might miss it.
Who has time to pretend to be what others want you to be? And, honestly, isn’t it better to be genuine anyway? When you are genuine, you pull others towards you.
They say hope springs eternal. Well, I don’t know about you, but sometimes my spring seems to dry up. We need to remember to always stay hopeful. With each setback, we need to remember that we have these setbacks for a reason and that we will still achieve our dreams.
We have the power to inspire others. We can inspire our co-workers, our family, our friends. The first step towards inspiring others is to be inspiring. Take on life wholeheartedly and never give up. You will achieve whatever you put your mind to and that is the most inspiring thing of all.
Don’t let life get you down; and when it does get you down, don’t let it keep you down. There are hundreds of moments each day that can make us joyful – just as long as we choose to notice them. From the beauty of a sunset to the smile of a loved one, we have so many reasons to be joyful each and every day. No matter how many things may seem to be going wrong in your day, remember to pause and appreciate even the small moments that bring us joy.
You have your own, unique set of gifts and talents that you have accumulated throughout your life. Some of these talents you have chosen to learn and others were forced upon you, but, regardless of how you learned these different skills, you now have this knowledge. Never forget that no one has the same accumulation of knowledge as you do – your unique experiences have made you valuable in a way that no one else is.
“So many of us resist change when we see it coming, and yet there’s nary a one of us that can’t claim some new understanding, skill, capacity, awareness, knowledge or personal improvement on the other side of any change.”
Sometimes we need to be reminded to be playful. Stop taking life so seriously! Go out and have fun! Jump out of a plane, or go to an art show, try a new restaurant. It doesn’t matter what makes you lighthearted and playful – just remember to take some time to play from time to time. Life is too short to be serious.
You have yet to do what you came to this world to do…and you are here to do something meaningful. Think about it. If each and every person on this earth decided to do one truly meaningful thing with their life, how much better would this world be? What are you passionate about? What have you been holding off on doing because you don’t quite believe you can achieve it? Your life is meaningful, and your legacy should be as well.
Everyone wants to be considered noble, after all, who wouldn’t want to be considered moral and good? But, being noble doesn’t mean you are more moral or better than those who surround you. As Earnest Hemingway said, “there is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.”
We each have our own voice, sometimes we just need to remember to use it. Be outgoing. Be friendly. Be candid. The more you share your true self with others, the happier you will find yourself.
This is one that I have held strong beliefs about for as long as I can remember. It is so important for you to be passionate about something. Anything really. I don’t care if you are passionate about feeding monkeys at the zoo – just be passionate! When your life is full of passion, it is full of meaning.
I’ve always considered being called quirky a compliment. Quirky is defined as having unexpected traits and I feel that those unexpected traits are often the most powerful. Take a moment to think about what makes you quirky and you’ll often realize that those traits are also the traits that make you the most unique.
Being radical is defined as “affecting the fundamental nature of something”. I feel that when we live our (mid)life to the fullest and prove that our best is yet to come, we are affecting the fundamental beliefs about aging. We are not destined to slow down and get boring as we age and I believe that viewpoint is still relatively radical. By living each and every day of our lives to the fullest, I believe we are all being radical.
Being spirited is an important aspect of midlife (and life in general). When we live our lives being as full of enthusiasm, determination, and energy we are truly living life to it’s fullest.
We are meant to not only survive but to thrive. So many of us just survive in our current situations while waiting for something better. Instead, decide to thrive. What does it mean to you to thrive? Now take the first step towards that.
To thrive in your midlife, you must first decide to plan for the future instead of dwelling on the past.
People who are winning life aren’t just improving their own life, they are also uplifting others. It has been proven that the more you uplift others, the happier you will be as well. People who give to charity and/or volunteer are over 40% more likely to be happy than those who don’t. This statistic holds true for those who express gratitude and help others as well. So do what you can to be happy and remember to uplift others.
Be vibrant. Shine for the world to see.
Be a little wild sometimes. Being the responsible one can get boring, and as we age we are often forced to be responsible more and more often. Not that being responsible is a bad thing, it is actually very important. But sometimes it is equally as important to be a little wild and let your crazy side show. Plan a night out and decide to be a little wild.
I admit it took a little digging to find this one. Xenodochial (pronounced zeena-doh-key-ul) means to be hospitable. Making others feel at home is truly an art. When you can make your friends, family, and even strangers feel as if they truly belong, you are making the world a better place.
I’m always hesitant when it comes to saying two words and those words are “young” and “old”. These definitions are becoming so circumstantial that I cringe when using them. But at the same time, let’s be honest, we are getting older. I believe being young-at-heart is part of what keeps us young even as we age. Remembering to embrace life through the eyes of the young helps us live life to the fullest. Becoming set in our ways helps no one.
Finally, be zealous. Live your life with zeal and passion and it is almost guaranteed that your best is yet to come. You have so much life to live, now go out there and act like it!
Recently, The Back Forty went to their first conference where they participated as an exhibitor. Scroll through the images below to get a feeling of what it was like in our booth and what we brought to the conference.
“The components of anxiety, stress, fear, and anger do not exist independently of you in the world. They simply do not exist in the physical world, even though we talk about them as if they do.”
Times are interesting for sure.
Is there any more fuel for stress today than there was last year, last decade, or last century?
Who knows? We don’t compile that data. Not here anyway.
One thing for sure, the more stress that gets expressed, expanded and elevated, the more seems to show up.
For example, putting aside the incidences of terrorist attacks that seem to have become a part of living in our modern world, the amount of random acts of violence for the most innocuous reasons—a relationship breakup, being cut off in traffic, a layoff—have seemed to rise. Or, is there simply more tension in the general air that have those events just catch our attention more?
Either way, left unchecked, tense times appear to bring about more tense times…for each of us individually and the world as a whole.
I recently noticed that the political climate has had my “guard up” for the last several months. Even though I believe in my mind that I can separate the mood brought about by this climate from my work, my relationships, and my being and interacting in the world, I realized that I’m fooling myself. The general mood I find myself in in one area can’t help but put a pale or cloud over another area.
We’ve all heard that “Wherever you go, that’s where you are.” So, realizing that bracketing or separating out the moods in one area from others won’t just happen on its own, I’ve become more vigilant about stemming the tide of tension.
We are living in times of high-potential stress. It’s what we each do with that potential that makes a difference. The potential either gets expressed, or it gets transmuted by our individual efforts.
Given that muscles are only built from resistance, perhaps this is a perfect time to build muscles around stress…because the world’s resistance to being at peace is all around us.
We can either add to the escalation in our responses and reactions, or peacefulize events and environments through intentional workouts.
Simon Sinek says “We live in times of high stress. Messages that are simple, messages that are inspiring, messages that are life-affirming, are a welcome break from our real lives.”
We seek to do that each week here, in our Back Forty messages and efforts.
What messages can you send out today, whether initiated or in response, to turn the tide toward peace?
Here’s a few ideas to help you Peacefulize in a Stress Test.
First, it’s important to just notice the resident vibe in which you’re operating. I say “resident” because it kind of lives in us. It may be an unwelcomed visitor, but if it’s a negative vibration that snuck in and is living in your basement, it’s smelling up the whole house.
So, first, begin to notice what’s lurking in the unseen. Are you irritable? Are you punchy? Are you easily rattled or thrown into concern or argument? Notice how you respond to the natural flow of life each day and see if you can be an observer to yourself.
Is that person happy and content, from an observer’s point of view, or might they have something going on behind the scenes or under the hood?
Get good at noticing your resident mood…and what might be going on that has you in that mood.
Have some empathy for yourself, realizing that you’re not wrong for any reason you may be punchy or irritable, and understand that most people would be operating the same way you are.
You’re only human, and stuff happens that throws the majority of humanity into fear, concern and stress.
Realize that you have a choice, each and every moment, as to how you’ll be. Will you side with the majority, and be the average person handling stressful times in an average way, being just as argumentative and committed to being right as the next person…or will you be different?
Look, you’re not “right” for choosing to be different, for choosing to find a different way to operate than the majority, but just realize that you do have a choice.
If you do happen to be one of the minority who choose to take the road less travelled, find ways to bring peace instead of more dissension and tension into every event or environment in which you find yourself.
General tension in the air means that most people will be at a heightened level of blowing off steam. See, in every situation, how you might be someone who cools down the steam so that, as water, it can flow easily down the path of least resistance, which water tends to do.
Sure, “count to 10” if you need to resort to basics…but, beyond that, how might you serve yourself and others by bringing out the possibility or perfection of every situation vs. buying into the problem that everyone else will be focused on? Be inventive. Be creative. Be different.
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”
In The Back Forty, we say you have yet to do what you came here to do.
If you’re here to play a yet bigger game – no matter what you’ve accomplished thus far – it will take you being different than the rest of the crowd and bringing out ALL of you in a NEW way.
We created The Back Forty Re-NEW-ALL Program for just this reason: to support you to go against the grain of how the majority would view challenges and potential stresses and actually have them serve you to be who you came to be and do what you came to do. Those “stress tests” are really your best friend, helping you get there, if you approach them powerfully.
Check out A Back Forty Re-NEW-ALL Program here, to ReNEW the ALL of YOU.
When working our way through midlife, it is easy to feel as if everything is going wrong.
Your kids or moving out, or even worse, they’re not. Your parents are getting older and need more help. Your job is feeling stale but the stability makes you feel as if you couldn’t possibly leave. Your personal style is non-existent. Everything just seems so serious!
The list goes on and on, and with all of these changes, no wonder why people in midlife tend to feel as if things are not the way they should be, or at least are not the way they want them to be.
Therefore, I want to give you a list of some inspirational articles to help you shift your personal midlife experience in the right direction for you. I have 20 articles for you to explore and 7 topics to embrace. Enjoy!
Now that you’ve made your way through my seven topics and 20 articles, I hope that you feel a little lighter, a little more beautiful, and way more inspired!
About a month ago, The Back Forty took part in the California Women’s Conference (or CWC). Building up to this event we frantically worked to create the perfect presence. We finalized our first online course, published our first Back Forty journal, and created countless banners and flyers. We didn’t know what to expect walking into that exhibit hall, but we had dreams of the contacts we would gain through our raffles and giveaways, the books we would sell, and the contacts we would make.
At our booth, we had a small recording studio set up. We were thinking that we would interview a few people about the passions they discovered while traveling through midlife. We had no idea how big a role this would end up playing at the conference.
We were thinking that we would complete 15-20 interviews each day, lasting about 5 minutes each. What we weren’t expecting was to be so inspired by the stories of finding one’s passion and the joy of sharing that passion with others.
We ended up conducting about 30 interviews over the two-day conference, but the average video ended up lasting 15 minutes. Suddenly, our expected 3 hours of content became over SEVEN AND A HALF HOURS.
Walking into the event, we had no idea the type of passion and joy we would find in those we interviewed. Now, not only have we had the chance to interview amazing people, but we have been given the opportunity to share these inspiring stories with the world. We have decided to turn these inspiring interviews into an online program aimed at inspiring others to create their second half of life as their best half. Now, this course is not ready to be released yet, but I have put together a short video with some excerpts from our two days of interviewing.