If you haven’t reached middle age yet, you will sometime. Then you will be familiar with this situation. This is about your parents if you are decades away. In any case, it is still important.
How many of your checkboxes does this satisfy?
You’ve passed middle age. Although you probably still see yourself as a lively twenty-something in your head. Unless you look in a mirror, or if you’re a woman, you’re forced to read a magazine that features young people who are incredibly skinny and dressed like dolls.
Even if some of your children have only recently left home in their third decade, they may already be parents. You therefore have the good fortune to have grandkids.
You’ve undoubtedly had a variety of challenges and victories in life, which you have no doubt overcome, albeit certainly not without some unresolved sadness and considerable stress.
You may have had a job, but now you must either rely on your own resources to augment your income after leaving your job or start seeking for employment. Alternately, you were always an entrepreneur who frequently redefined what you have to offer.
You fall into that group if first-world nations say that individuals must work until they are at least seventy before getting any retirement income. In other words, you don’t have enough money yet to give up your job. You also don’t want to.
You have amassed an encyclopedia’s worth of information, experience, and skill throughout the course of your existence. Your legacy is this. There are several methods to compile and disseminate material, such publishing a book, a blog, or making a movie, but you might not be sure where to begin or how to do it effectively.
There is a lot of potential for this to be a revenue model. All it needs to start rolling is a clear sense of purpose.
You’ve undoubtedly always wanted to do something to change the world. You want to start something new in your community or build on what you are already doing there. To you, community is important.
One of the sandwich generations, you are. Those who must continue working while taking care of their elderly parents, assisting with their grandchildren, or both. Life is incredibly busy. Busier than when you were younger, it seems.
Self-care, both psychologically and physically, may be neglected. The feeling of remorselessness may then overwhelm or depress you.
Sometimes younger people will ignore you, not out of disrespect but because they believe they are right where the action is, which is often the case. It doesn’t imply that you aren’t or that you can’t use your experience to make up for it.
You still have so much wisdom to impart and so much to give, so you are far from becoming redundant.
You may continue to make a positive impact on your family and the communities you are a part of or want to develop for a very long time. You may develop new synaptic connections, learn more than you did in the previous few decades, and double your legacy.
You may contribute your decades of parenting experience. In your latter years, you may still be “the greatest you.”
What can you do to utilize those abilities and make the sandwich years more enjoyable?
It’s difficult to address that in a blog post. But if I had the choice, I’d only recommend these three.
1. Continue to question why, just like a kid.
Do you still recall how challenging it may be to get your kids to do what they REALLY wanted? When they were unable to put it into words, it was certain to end in tears. Maybe they were simply exercising their clarity muscles.
You may plan out how you’ll do it and in what sequence after you are crystal clear on what you need to do, what you want to accomplish, and why.
Do you also recall how our kids would continually question “why” about anything that came into their path? They both studied and were taught in this manner. Later in age, it’s not a bad habit to acquire. Asking oneself why all the time is not nearly as unpleasant! Like children, we become clearer the more questions we ask, the more we learn.
Everything logically arises from clarity. Work it out with a friend, a trusted adviser, a mentorship group, a business or life coach, or a mix of all three.
This advice is sound for everyone (or any parent), but it’s more important as we get older since every day should count and not be marred by uncertainty or, worse, regret.
2. Show gratitude. It is a skilled craft.
Our two kids were the epitome of manners when we first arrived in Australia 30 years ago. We taught them the same way since that is how we were trained. Just a few weeks after we arrived, I received criticism from another mother for teaching my four-year-old how to express gratitude. She remarked that she still had time to acquire social graces. I was confused as a recent immigrant. I can see now that she was mistaken. I tried to instill in my child the importance of being appreciative of what has been done for her.
I’ve been reading The Gift of Imperfection and Daring Greatly, two books by Brene Brown. She emphasizes the importance of having “enough” and showing gratitude in both instances. We rob ourselves of joy when we strive for perfection in any area of our life, including job and parenting. As Brene points out, expressing gratitude for being and what we are is an indication of our value.
3. Support blogging.
Our kids love to make up stories. We tell children tales all throughout their lives, ranging from fables to fantasies, anecdotes to amazement. We activate their synapses with our stories so they may gain from the lesson, insight, humor, and emotion they carry. Through these tales, they learn to make sense of complexity, to embrace light and dark, to weep and to celebrate mankind. From the tiniest newborns to people raising their own children, we utilize stories to help our kids live the best life we want them to.
Don’t carry this vast storehouse of knowledge to your grave or old age unnoticed. Your legacy is that. You have inside you a wealth of tales that have the power to alter the lives of many people, both personally and professionally, in addition to those of your children and grandchildren.
A blog post isn’t a book that gets dusty on the shelf. It will remain in place as long as the globe continues to produce the energy needed to run the internet. We can only hope that it will be well beyond our great-grandchildren and theirs. Your gathered knowledge may be useful for millennia to come.
So let’s hope for the wildest journey of your life.