Get out there! Or don’t.

October 17, 2016

enoughGet out there and do this!  Do that!  Reinvent yourself! Make your dream come true! Contribute to the world!

There are a lot of voices out there exhorting women to use their midlife and after time to DO SOMETHING! Telling them they are OBLIGATED to do it. That they’re not enough without CONTRIBUTING!

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I hear them. You do, too.  But i have to admit, they rub me the wrong way.

Let me present a different view:

Maybe you’ve already done it.

That’s right. Maybe you have already contributed in a big way.  Or a small way.

Maybe you supported a family with a long work history. Or maybe you had a career you loved.

Perhaps you raised a family and enjoyed watching them grow into happy and accomplished adults.

Maybe it’s time to rest on your laurels.

All this exhorting to make something of ourselves later in life? To reinvent ourselves?

Just NO.

You are absolutely enough. You don’t have to do anything further, unless you want to. Are called to.

If you want to spend the rest of your life playing with your grandkids, taking them on trips, learning how to weave baskets or just napping all day–it’s perfectly ok. You’re entitled.

You do not have to monetize your true loves if you don’t want to. You’ve earned the down time.

Whenever I hear a “should” or an “you’re obligated to” my hackles go up.  And oh-by-the-way, this is a uniquely female thing. You don’t hear men being hounded to do something. When they’re done, well, they’re done.

Here’s something to think about:

By the time you get to midlife, you’ve already done so much.

So be easy with yourself.

Do what you want to do, even if it’s sitting on the porch every day with a book.

It’s enough.

You are enough

59 comments on “Get out there! Or don’t.
  1. Jennifer says:

    I think I am finally doing what I want to do after years of doing what I was obligated to do.

  2. Leanne says:

    Oh Carol I could kiss you for this post! I totally agree with you – it’s about time we all shouted “I’m enough!” and rested on our laurels a bit more. I love midlife for the chance it has given me to let go of expectations and just enjoy myself – nothing to prove and nothing to lose. And I may be the last person on this earth not trying to monetize anything 🙂 xx

  3. Michelle says:

    I completely needed to hear this today. Perfect post for a blah Monday.

  4. Karen Austin says:

    Good point. I’ve knocked myself out trying to get approval (especially of parents). They never tell me I’m enough, so it’s time for me to tell myself. Thanks for being a cheerleader.

  5. candy says:

    I have contributed tons over the years. Now I contribute, give service and help where and when I feel it is necessary.

  6. Haralee says:

    Amen!How many times do I hear, “you should sell these” about pieces of my art! I already run a business, thank-you very much!!

  7. Debbie D. says:

    You’ve articulated what so many of us are thinking, Carol. Thank you! We’ve earned the right to just enjoy life.

  8. It is SUCH a tough thing to get into our heads I think, but so necessary. I’m treating it as a new habit, a thing I actually practice so that choosing what feels like the right thing to do is truer than following through on a plan.

  9. Love this post. It’s such a great topic. Thank you Carol!!

  10. Carla says:

    My life was forever changed a couple of decades ago when I read Albert Ellis’ notion of MUSTurbation.
    It really helped me to said all of the should musts and oughts.

  11. Erica S says:

    So, I am the type that has already done a lot, and plan to do more still. (and yes, I’m middle aged). I am just that way – it comes from me. Noone else. And I agree with you completely that if someone just is not that way, there is absolutely nothing wrong with relishing the successes of the past and being fine with just that if one chooses. To each their own. Love your point about the difference with men – we women completely do this to ourselves. We really need to knock it off lol.

  12. Amen! A perfect post for a Monday. Thanks for the “permission” to simply coast without feeling guilty. We ARE enough.

  13. Great insight: We don’t hear men being admonished to be better, do better, etc.Besides, I’m not sure the male ego could handle that.

  14. Yes, absolutely! This is exactly where I’m at right now.

  15. Ellen Dolgen says:

    Amen! This is the time in our lives that we are free to be and do what we want to do! No rules!

  16. Barbara says:

    This was just what I needed today. Thanks, Carol!

  17. Tyane says:

    What a perfect read for a Monday! I needed to be reminded of this 🙂

  18. Amber Myers says:

    Great post!

    I love sitting around with a book 😉

  19. I agree! I think, as a mid-life mom myself, after a few decades of raising children we deserve to just embrace the quiet and kind of decompress from all of those crazy-busy years. I’m enjoying following my own interests now, and it’s nice.

  20. Paola says:

    Beautiful text, you wrote very inspirational, I was needing that!

  21. Thank you for this. The term midlife reinvention bugs me. Like the life I had “before” needed to be made over. Now granted, I am doing something totally different than I was before midlife,but it’s just because I wanted to. Not because I felt this big urge to reinvent myself. I just do now pretty much what makes me happy.

  22. I don’t think anyone should have to do anything they don’t want to, especially if they’re in a position to not have to worry about it. For me, personally, I don’t want to just to sit there. I find joy in doing and discovering new things. The older I get the more adamant I become in not feeling beholden to anyone else to be happy.

  23. This is so great, thank you for the positivity! I especially love your comment about not having to monetize your true loves…often times this can turn a hobby that you love into more of a hassle.

  24. Crystal gard says:

    We contribute plenty that by the time you reach mid and later in life it’s time to do what you want for you

  25. I so needed to hear this today, Carol. I’m constantly wondering whether I’m contributing enough to the world.

  26. This was so great and such an encouragement! Sometimes we think that just because it’s something we would do that it’s something someone else should do too!

  27. angie says:

    not everything is meant for all of us but I agree we should all enjoy the life we want to live
    come see us at

  28. This post is a refreshing change of pace from the usual advice of “be better, keep improving, push through your limits”. Sometimes it IS okay to say “I’ve done enough!” Thank you for the timely reminder!

  29. Julie Syl Kalungi says:

    Ohh but I think I have found myself a Cheerleader….Singing! Lol I am enough. No one tells me to d more.I do so because I LOVE what I do and if it contributes to the growth of something bigger than me…Heck yeah! So Yeah I do hear you. DOnt take life too seriously though…It not meant to be!

  30. Valerie says:

    I love this post. It makes me happy and warms my heart. Thank you.

  31. Our Family World says:

    Such a beautiful written. You made my day and you makes me feel happy. This is important to remember.

  32. parpar de real says:

    Such a good post and topic. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  33. Liz Mays says:

    I love how this gives us permission to be ok with where we’re at. We’re always feeling pushed to be bigger and do more. I LOVE this!

  34. such a great post! it’s true. thanks for the share

  35. Ima says:

    Never really looked at this this way
    It’s so true
    We need to just give ourselves a break sometimes

  36. Ashlea says:

    I am just starting my after teenage years life. I hear the what are you going to do with your life. You need to get a job (Stay at home mom and happy). I hope you go back to college(taking 2 years off do to finances and baby). People just never know when to keep their opinions to their self.

  37. rain says:

    i’m just now getting in the groove of relaxing and being easy on myself.

  38. peace kairu says:

    Yep very true, I have decided I can not make everyone in the world happy I have to be happy first, cant give what you do not have.

  39. Amy Putkonen says:

    I just thought it was because I am who I am and my husband is way more of a relaxed person. But I suppose it could be that it is a male/female thing. Ha! I am constantly adding things to my “list”. Sometimes it seems that there is just SO much that I want to accomplish during this lifetime and there is just never going to be enough time to achieve it all.

  40. Jill Conyers says:

    I never take it to mean I’m nothing if I don’t ______. I guess I would be one of those that rub you the wrong way. Truly my intention is to share what I’ve experienced because it has been amazing.

  41. Thanks for the pep talk! It is hard to remind yourself that you are enough and you should put yourself first!

  42. yes! everyone should push themselves to leave their comfort zone too.

  43. Elizabeth O. says:

    Beautiful message. I would love for women to remind themselves that they are always enough and have done enough in the world. They have managed to age gracefully while doing so as well and asking more from what they’ve contributed is just brutal and heartless and insensitive. We can keep going but only if we choose to keep going.

  44. I agree. 🙂 At the end of the day, it’s your life, your rules. 🙂

  45. Fatima says:

    I love the inspiration behind this post. Sometimes we forget the value of just being true to ourselves. Someone will always have an opinion… so what? Let them. You know what’s right for you! 😉

  46. Carolann says:

    This is why I love your blog Carol. You write about what affects us all in one way or another. Just know that I read most all of your posts – even if I don’t always comment. Thank you for your wisdom. Your posts are so timely too. At times, I fee written just for me lol.

  47. Rosey says:

    I want to do more…it’s just hard finding the time and the right fit. I’m hanging in there though. And I agree, if you’re done being busy, relax! 🙂

  48. Cori says:

    Love this post! I think what it comes down to is some people either can’t live the way they want or they feel others should follow a single way of living and it you don’t join, then you’re a failure.

    Different things make different people happy. Just because something isn’t your cup of tea, doesn’t make it wrong.

  49. Silly Mummy says:

    I love this – it’s so true. I actually think it can apply at any time in life as well – people don’t have to be ‘ambutious’, over-achieving, goal setting, reinventing all the time. If someone is happy with their life and not hurting anyone, they are fine. Being happy and content is the greatest achievement of all.

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