As I am leaving my youngest to attend University on the other side of the planet, I’m feeling a bit nostalgic and have been reflecting over my five decades and how there are so many different phases we go through in life.
I see my young daughters entering their twenties filled with hope, dreams, and goals for the future. They have their whole lives ahead of them and are filled with confidence but also a sense of trepidation of heading into the unknown. I remember those times very well and felt the same way. I’ve read that our brains are fully developed at 25 and after that age is when we tend to get our stuff together and become mature adults. And your relationship to your children will change at that time.
Recalling my thirties, it was all about having babies and raising young children. There wasn’t much free time for myself as I was focused on providing a good life for my family. I often talk to young moms and tell them to enjoy their babies and young children while they can because it goes by so fast!
In my forties, my life was about balancing career, getting “ahead,” and still very much focused on my family, but dealing with different problems that come along with the teenage years. It has been a pretty turbulent time with lots of ups and downs, twists and turns.
As I’m heading into my fifth decade now, with children leaving home to venture out into the world, I suddenly find I have much more time for myself. Running a women’s executive network has also shown me that many women at this age actually step into their power. They no longer have all their focus on their children and have a lot of energy to use all their experience to make a positive impact in the world.
And I am watching and learning from friends in their sixties as they are witnessing their young adult children finding their way, make their marks in the world, and especially the miracle of grandchildren. They are so enjoying this stage of life!
The one thing I’ve learned is that you must enjoy each phase of life as it comes. Be aware that it will change eventually so be as present as you can now in each stage.
I am so grateful I was able to take the time to help get my daughter settled into her new home far away from home. I’m so proud of both of my daughters and how they are venturing out into adulthood. And I see the cycle about to repeat as well with them. From my perspective now, it’s time to be there in the background supporting them if they need it and also cheering them on to find their brilliance in their own way.
Life is truly what we make of it. Yes, there are immense challenges at times but when we can see how we grow and learn from these, it gives us a sense of accomplishment to know we can handle whatever is thrown our way. Enjoy each phase of your life! Because once it’s gone, it’s gone. Be inspired by where you are now…and make the most of it while you can!