Ageing Well Ageing Well, Living Well Over 50s Lifestyle

3 Life Lessons for Living Well

January 19, 2020
3 Life Lessons for Living Well

Ageing Well and Living Well is something we all desire but sometimes we need to a wake-up call to make the changes required to achieve the life we want.

I’m delighted to have Leanne Le Cras from Cresting the Hill as my first guest in the Ageing Well, Living Well series. Leanne and I have been Best Blogging Buddies (BBB) since we both started blogging 5 years ago. We ‘get’ each other, especially where blogging is concerned and together we form a great team co-hosting the weekly Midlife Share the Love Party.

2019 was a year of change for Leanne. Today she shares her story about finding the courage to make changes in her life and the life lessons she learned along the way.

3 Life Lessons for Living Well

WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU A WAKE-UP CALL

2019 taught me a lot about living well. Sometimes you have to reach a place where you wake up to the fact that you aren’t living the life you want before you can start making changes to bring about a life that feels authentic and brings joy and contentment with it.

Last year I finally left an extremely toxic work environment, and I learned a few very important truths in the process of working through the fallout and progressing through to recovering myself again. They’re truths that we all know, but sometimes we let them gradually slide away when we’re slowly sinking into a situation that’s unexpected and stressful. So, I thought I’d share three lessons that I learned over the year it’s taken me to emerge and live life well again.

LESSON 1 – BOUNDARIES

I’ve learned a lot about boundaries in the last couple of years – they’re vital to living a healthy life and for preventing ourselves from becoming too embroiled in the problems and upsets of others. Boundaries help us set healthy limits, they teach us what we’re responsible for and what isn’t ours to carry. I wish I’d had stronger boundaries in place before I encountered a situation where they were so desperately needed.

Discovering how to set boundaries meant that I had to understand that I can’t fix someone who doesn’t want to be fixed, that some people are so caught up in their misery (real or perceived) that it defines them and they want to draw you into their story. You can’t allow that to happen – if other people ignore your clearly stated boundaries, then they aren’t your friends, they aren’t respecting you and your need to function independently. You need to be brave and move on from those people – no matter how obligated you feel, or you’ll drown as they drag you down with them.

LESSON 2 – FORGIVENESS

A large step in my recovery process was learning to forgive – not because the other person apologized, or tried to reconcile, or admitted their responsibility in the breakdown, but because I needed to get them out of my head. When we don’t allow forgiveness into our hearts, we give the other person too much power, and too much headspace. They become a cancer that eats away at our happiness – past hurts and injustices swirl around and come back to be relived over, and over again.

When you choose to forgive, it opens the way to move forward, you regain your heart and mind and it frees you from the darkness associated with that time or that person. To be able to look back now without rancour is such a relief, to know that I don’t hold a grudge but actually feel sorry for the other person and can let them go from my thoughts is an absolute blessing. I’m free to get on with living my best life without them being a part of it in any way, shape, or form.

3 Life Lessons for Living Well

LESSON 3 – DETACHMENT

The last lesson I’m still learning is to detach myself from the opinions of others. Very few people have any idea of the level of toxicity I was working under for those years, so they aren’t in a place to understand why I’d leave my job and choose to not jump back into the workforce. I’ve finally figured out that I don’t need to explain myself to other people, I can make my choices and live them with peace and contentment, free from trying to justify them to those who aren’t in my inner circle.

It’s taken me months to realize that I’m living a life that I could only have dreamed of in the previous decades of my working life. I’m free every day to do what I like, when I like, with whom I like – I have a life that is completely on my own terms, and I’ve earned every bit of it. The secret for me is to stop worrying if it’s okay to live such a gentle and pleasant life, to step back into my own world, and leave the rest of the world to get on with doing things their way, while I quietly get on with living my own life in a way that makes me truly happy.

STRESS FREE 

So, how do I live well? I choose to live without stress, drama, upset, tears, and toxicity. When you take the burden of carrying other people’s responsibilities off your own shoulders, you feel the lightness. People comment that I look younger – I don’t have that strained look around my eyes anymore, I sleep well, I live at a gentler pace, I love every single day of my life now. I’m never waiting for the weekend, or for 5pm to roll around, I’m not walking on eggshells or tip toeing around someone else’s dramatics. I feel ten years younger than I did at this time last year. I smile all the time, I laugh without making sarcastic comments to lighten an unbearable load, and I am surrounded by people I love and choose to be with – life is very, very good indeed.

And what do I suggest for ageing well?

My recommendation would be to make sure you have a life you enjoy, it won’t be perfect, but you should look forward to each new day.

A few suggestions to begin with:

  • if you love your job – stay there; if you hate your job – leave.
  • If you want to do something new – get on and do it.
  • If you want to stop doing something that’s no longer working for you – then make the change.
  • Don’t keep treading water – life’s short and we need to make the most of the years we have ahead of us

that’s how I’m planning on ageing well.

3 Life Lessons for Living Well

MEET LEANNE

Leanne lives in the beautiful SW of Western Australia. She has two adult children who have grown and flown, married and settled in the city. Her empty nest consolation prize is two delightful grandgirls to keep her young and on her toes. Other than that, she spends way too much of her spare time blogging about the highlights of Midlife at Cresting the Hill and shares the rest of her leisure time with her husband and two cats

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CONNECT WITH LEANNE:

Blog:  Cresting the Hill

Facebook: Cresting the Hill

Pinterest: Leanne|crestingthehill

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29 Comments

  • Reply Erica/Erika January 19, 2020 at 03:31

    Thank you Sue for featuring Leanne on your blog site. You know how I greatly look up to the both of you and I appreciate the wisdom you share.

    I like your word, “emerge,” Leanne. Emerge reminds me of the stages of transformation to “emerge” as a butterfly. You remind me how I am constantly still learning to set boundaries, a challenge at times. I also try to not accept drama and toxicity in my life. Like you say, life is too short. A great post, Leanne!

    • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au January 19, 2020 at 15:41

      Hi Erica – I think we all belong to a generation that was never taught about boundaries and self-care. I’m so glad that we can take it on board now and use what we learn to make the years ahead more authentic and calm. Tough times teach us stuff and I’m planning on making the most of what I’ve learned!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2020 at 07:09

      Hi Erica, I’m looking forward to the Ageing Well, Living Well theme this year and introducing Women who are sharing their wisdom with us. Have a beautiful week. xx

  • Reply Retirement Reflections January 19, 2020 at 09:59

    Hi, Leanne – It’s wonderful to see you here. Looking forward to each and every new day is sage advice for aging well. Life IS short. We have much more choice in how we live our lives than most of us imagine.

    • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au January 19, 2020 at 15:42

      Hi Donna – you’re so right, the choice of how we live our lives is in our hands. I’ve learned that we can give our power away and suffer the consequences, or hold it close to our heart and give from a genuine sense of care (rather than obligation) and that makes a huge difference.

  • Reply Jennifer Jones January 19, 2020 at 10:43

    These are great tips Leanne. Many people find forgiveness difficult but if you can bring yourself to do it, then it is such a release and feeling of freedom. Sue this is a fabulous post to kick off your series. Sharing.

    • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au January 19, 2020 at 15:44

      Hi Jennifer – forgiveness has been a big one for me, but nobody ever grew kinder or softer by holding onto grudges and unforgiveness. You don’t have to forget what happened, but you can choose to leave it behind and move forward, rather than replaying it and allowing it to control your life into the future.

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au January 19, 2020 at 11:45

    Hi Sue – thanks so much for sharing my story and all that I learned from the horrible job situation I found myself in. I hope that by sharing some of the lessons that came from it I can shed some light into other people’s lives and help them live more proactively – because that’s what living well is all about. xxx

  • Reply Kathy Marris January 19, 2020 at 16:48

    I love this Leanne. We really do need to let go of what we can’t control. I’ve always been a big people pleaser but I’m finally beginning to realise that not everyone likes me. I’m working really hard to not bother with people that don’t make any effort with me. I’ve let go a few toxic friendships and focused on the good people in my life. I also think where you work is also a big one. If you’re not happy you do really need to move on. I also did this in 2019 and I’m a lot happier.

    • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au January 19, 2020 at 23:28

      Hi Kathy – moving on from a job when you’re in your 50’s is a really tough decision because there’s less out there and the competition is fierce. I’m so glad I don’t have to leap back into it again. I think the biggest sign of recovery and moving on is that when you look back you realize you never want to repeat that time of your life – learn the lessons, be grateful you escaped, and then look forward to what’s next – that’s me in 2020 🙂

  • Reply suzanne vosbikian January 20, 2020 at 00:12

    Leanne, it took me a while to understand that forgiveness did not have to be in response to an apology. After waiting, resentfully for a very long while, I finally learned that it was something I had to do on my own, and for myself in order to put the hurt behind and move forward. Sue, thanks for sharing Leanne’s story here. It is a wonderful beginning to what promises to be a great series.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2020 at 07:08

      Hi Suzanne, I’m looking forward to presenting the series and not only from the perspective of other bloggers, but all Women who are Ageing Well and Living Well. Leanne’s post was a great start!

    • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au January 20, 2020 at 22:43

      Hi Suzanne – I learnt this from a quote about “accepting an apology you never received” so that you can move on. I think it actually makes us the bigger person and the forgiveness more real – waiting for the other person to acknowledge their part in it all can be soul destroying – and I’m not letting that be another layer on top of the original drama. It’s a good feeling to move on.

  • Reply Jo January 20, 2020 at 08:12

    Yes, yes and yes. I’m shocking with boundaries, pretty good with forgiveness (mainly because I don’t have the attention span to hold a decent grudge) & way too attached to detach. Your points are sound – if you don’t like something, change it, if you can’t change it, find a way to accept it.

    • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au January 20, 2020 at 22:45

      Hi Jo – boundaries have been a huge learning curve for me, and I can hold a mean grudge – so taking that off the table is such a relief, detachment from other people’s opinions – still a work in progress….. but I’m getting there on all three areas so I’m pretty proud of myself 🙂

  • Reply Natalie January 20, 2020 at 10:05

    Hi Leanne – All three are important components and within our control for living well. I’m glad for you that you’ve reached the stage where you look forward to each new day. Hi Sue – A great start to your AWLW series! I look forward to reading more. #lifethisweek

    • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au January 20, 2020 at 22:46

      Hi Natalie – I think learning that we have complete control over who and what we accept into our lives is a big step forward and allows us to be the masters (mistresses?) of our own destiny. I feel so much better taking back my power and will never allow anyone to drown me again – that’s been the biggest lesson for me.

  • Reply Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid January 20, 2020 at 11:48

    I can totally relate to this and wholeheartedly agree that if you don’t like your job, leave it. Reminds me of one of my favourite quotes, “you can’t change the people around you but you can change the people around you.” There is nothing more satisfying than living life at your own pace and on your own terms.

    • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au January 20, 2020 at 22:48

      You’re so right Sam – I’m a little envious of people who say they “love their jobs” – I didn’t love that job, but it was a good fit for me and I thought it would last through to retirement. I didn’t anticipate the craziness factor and leaving was definitely the best choice – it beats staying and having a nervous breakdown!

  • Reply Debbie Harris January 20, 2020 at 15:49

    Don’t keep treading water is great advice Leanne. I always enjoy reading your words and hearing your thoughts. All these tips are vital for us as we move onward. Thanks Sue for sharing Leanne’s story on your blog, I know you are both great friends and it’s so good to hear your experiences so that we can all learn. What a great start to your series Sue xx #lifethisweek

    • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au January 20, 2020 at 22:50

      Hi Deb – I think a lot of us have walked similar paths in our work lives and as we get older (and wiser) we choose not to be treated poorly again. I’d much rather be retired and living life on my own terms, than putting up with someone’s drama and upsets because they hold my paycheque. Life is so much better these days!

  • Reply Trisha Faye January 20, 2020 at 23:50

    There’s lots of good advice here to learn from and incorporate into our lives. Thank you!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 27, 2020 at 06:38

      Thanks Trisha! Have a great week, Leanne certainly gave us something to think about and implement in our lives. x

  • Reply Denyse Whelan January 23, 2020 at 11:32

    Ah the wisdom gained from the not-so-good times in our lives, Leanne! I wonder if we are actually “not” able to feel it or live it until we do have more of life’s experiences under our belt. I know that it was not until my late 50s and into my mid 60s I started living more about what I “did not want” anymore. I had to choose to leave roles I found some identification in (schools) and I admit that was hard for a bit. Now, as I have weathered a cancer-storm, I can integrate my whole life skills and experiences into the now of me. It sure does take time…as did yours. Thanks Sue for sharing Leanne’s story.Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week’s optional prompt is 4/51 Australia 27.1.2020. Hope to see you there too. Denyse.

  • Reply Yvonne Chase January 24, 2020 at 12:48

    Great post with lots of nuggets that speak to me. Im big on boundaries. They’re necessary. Currently in the process of moving on from a very toxic space with a heart full of forgiveness. All I feel is sadness for all parties involved. Nothing but peace within myself as I take the necessary steps to move on.

    Visiting from Bloggers Pit Stop

  • Reply Christina Henry January 24, 2020 at 23:00

    I walked away from a toxic work environment a few years ago. I walked away from a toxic marriage a few years before that, and I’ve walked away from toxic friendships and relatives. The only place left in my life is the few true friends and family. Makes for a much more peaceful life

  • Reply Roseann Hampton January 30, 2020 at 11:42

    Leanne what you said about forgiveness is so true. It’s really hard to move forward when anger/hate is holding you in the past. Thanks for sharing with us at The Blogger’s Pit Stop!

  • Reply Nancy Dobbins February 4, 2020 at 22:59

    Hi Sue,
    Of course I am delighted to see Leanne featured here on your blog!
    Leanne, I totally agree with all your take-aways…especially the one about not treading water. Life is precious and short – if you wait to do the things you really want to do you will find it has passed you by.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 5, 2020 at 05:21

      Hi Nancy, I had to start with my Best Blogging Buddy, Leanne and she certainly has shared her wisdom of living life well. It has been a tough year for her in 2019 but she has come through with her usual grace and strength. xx

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