It doesn’t seem possible that I am well and truly a “middle aged” woman, even though there have been a few clues. For example, I don’t do cartwheels any more. I last did one when I was 50, and while I pulled it off, it didn’t feel — or look — quite the same as when I was on the gymnastics team in high school. So there’s that. Aside from the disappointment of my not being able to do cartwheels any more, I am wracking my brain to figure out what the fuss of middle age is all about. Life seems fuller, richer and more easily navigated.
As I find myself in life’s “middle,” I’ve uncovered ten super powers, ways of being in this world I didn’t know or couldn’t have been when I was younger. These treasures have given me wisdom, courage, compassion and insights that can only come from living, learning, healing and growing: in short, you can only get Super Powers from living life, paying attention, and letting life take it’s course. Because our life experiences vary, each of us will have unique Super Powers. Here’s mine:
1. Healing: I have healed a lifetime of old wounds. In doing so, I have become less judgmental, more compassionate and more forgiving. However, there are few things that I’m still working on. Healing is a process, after all, (knowing this is part of the Super Power). Super Power: I am no longer among the walking wounded, I am more present to life and it’s beauty: Alive.
2. Patience: I’ve learned to be more patient with the process of life, with myself and others…mostly…(I am short on tolerating nonsense and B.S.) On a bad day though, Roger will tell you, I can still be pretty impatient—but it’s usually computer related. Super Power: I am less stressed and more able to let things unfold and let life take it’s natural direction. The word ease comes to mind.
3. I have become comfortable in my own skin. Learning to be comfortable with myself after years of thinking there was something horribly wrong with me is quite a fete, if I do say so myself. In the process, I may have read every self help book ever written (which also makes me a font of knowledge on mental health and pop psychology—people love that about me!) Discovering that I am actually o.k. has been particularity welcome to my budget and my bulging bookshelves. Super Power: Wholeness.
4. I know what I am good at, and am ok with not being good at everything. It’s a funny thing—we often don’t notice the things we are really good at because they are so naturally a part of us. We tend to notice more what aren’t good at. For some unknown reason, it seemed like a good idea for me to put my strengths aside and focus on my weaknesses. Once I saw the crazy in that, I decided to spend as much time as possible doing what I’m good at, and delegating the rest. Things have gotten a lot better since then. Super Power: Efficiency, mastery and the ability to contribute.
5. I have become comfortable with the fact that life is an ongoing process—and I can continuously improve. To me, this means that there really is no such thing as failure, just course corrections. When I made this discovery, I found I am no longer afraid to forage ahead, confront fear, make mistakes, learn from them, correct them if I can and carry on. Wow. Super Power: Courage.
6. I have discovered that most that people don’t change much—you just have to accept that they are the way they are, and get on with things. Super Power: Acceptance.
7. Much of life is made up of choices. You don’t have to stick out untenable situations or abusive people. It may take some effort to unravel things, but in the end we have a significant hand in our experiences and how we experience them…Super Power: Personal power.
8. I have learned to listen to and trust my heart, and to take the time I need to make the right choices for myself. Super Power: Internal Strength, discernment, wisdom, and self assurance.
9. I survived menopause, (and my family is still alive too) about fifteen years of rocky health and poor medical care. There’s a saying, “If you don’t have good health, you don’t have anything.” I can attest to that. I listen to my body, and take steps to ensure it’s health these days, and I am grateful to wake up in the morning feeling good. The Super Power: Endurance, perseverance, appreciation and the value of self care.
10. And speaking of healthy, healthy relationships are everything. I don’t have time for drama, conflict or deceitful shenanigans. Life’s too short, been there done that, and all that stuff. Super Power: Strong internal compass.
By mid life, we have all experienced our own unique set of challenges, losses, illnesses and disappointments. We have learned to survive, endure, and thrive. We have learned we are stronger and more capable than we imagined. What are your super powers?