The Wisdom Years – why I’m holding a workshop for women 50 and over
Approaching my 50th birthday was weird. I intellectually knew I was 50 but I honestly didn’t ‘feel’ like I was 50. In my head I thought I was still in my 20s. I was ok with being 40, but less so with being 50.
And I didn’t want a party. Nope. Not at all. No way. I didn’t want to celebrate having less time to live than I had already lived. You know what I mean.
So on my 50th birthday I was in sunny Sri Lanka, having a perfect birthday for me.
But there was something about being 50 that triggered a switch in my brain into a mild panic mode – ‘S!*t, Ruth, you’ve got to get some stuff done. Time is running out and you don’t know how much longer you’ve got. Come on, get on with it’.
That is what Dr Steve Peters would call ‘the chimp’. My chimp is very impatient. About everything. And if I listen to it too much it leads me down completely the wrong path.
But being 50 did make me think am I doing what I really want to do? I wasn’t unhappy (apart from a horrible commute for a job I really liked) but I felt it was time to be more myself.
It took a couple of years from that point to figure it out (including some coaching) and here’s where I’ve got to:
I’ve been around the block, seen stuff before (flares and leggings) and mostly I know everything will, eventually be ok. I know the tough times will pass, and I need far less stuff than I had.
A big thing for all women is that at some point our periods stop (freedom) but not even this is a straight-forward process. It’s unique to each woman and there’s still a taboo about menopause.
Our wisdom is needed more than ever. There’s a lot of s*!t going on right now and more than ever I feel that women are needed in boardrooms, in politics, in science, governing bodies and generally in positions that positively change society, culture and our attitude towards the environment. We can contribute to a reasonable and compassionate type of politics and commerce, starting at the grass roots level.