Guest writer #4 in my Midlife Matters Series is Karen from One Salty Kiss. I first met Karen through a blogging group called Have Your Cupcake and immediately loved her approach to midlife. A love of being active is something we share, although Karen can be seen daily on a surfboard where as I’m usually on solid ground running.
I was curious about the name of Karen’s Blog – One Salty Kiss and you can click on this link to read about how and why she came up with the name for her blog. What’s a Salty Kiss Made Of?
You can read more about Karen below and also where you can find and follow her on social media.
In her post, Karen will share her insights and thoughts on midlife and as she says “I’d prefer to tackle age, and my life, with determination, chutzpah, and with fire.”
Midlife for me has been an intoxicating ride. I have gained the wisdom from having learned some of life’s lessons. I have come to understand how truly short life is. And I have uncovered a bold new attitude.
As a young woman, I did what I was “supposed to.” I went to college, got a good job, married a good guy and had two kids. I did what was expected. I never veered too far left of center.
When my second child was born, I quit my job and became a stay at home mom. I loved my role as mom and made sure whatever I did, my kids and family were foremost in my mind.
When my kids became teenagers and I was entering my 40s, I panicked a little because my role of mom started changing. My identity was shifting as my kids became more independent and needed me less. If I wasn’t a busy mom, what was I?
This “crisis” was a blessing in disguise because I started to realize, I didn’t have to confine myself to the role of wife and mom, I could reinvent myself to be whatever I chose.
I also decided that I was finished living by other people’s rules; by what I thought others expected. I was determined to start living by my rules. This meant dusting off my passions and dreams. It meant devoting time to things I love and not worrying so much about what anyone else thought.
As I was dedicating more time to me and discovering new passions, I began to open myself up to unfamiliar opportunities and adventures. I vowed to say YES to everything that came my way. I made a conscious decision to squeeze every drop of fun from this life. I took dance classes, pottery classes, traveled, went to concerts, stretched myself physically and professionally. Any new opportunity that came my way I said, “yes!”
I started surfing. I started blogging. I started writing. I started speaking. And now I am starting my own business. Entering midlife helped me gain the confidence to get out of my box, try new things, and experience all life has to offer.
When I entered my 40s, I developed a level of confidence, self-assuredness and a “go for it” attitude that I hadn’t had earlier in life.
I am chasing my dreams and embracing life with both arms stretched wide open.Click To Tweet
Society isn’t always kind to women over 40. It’s constantly telling us what is acceptable for women “our age”; what to do to look younger and what we are or aren’t supposed to wear. Well this is bullsh*t. I refuse to let society tell me, that since I am not in my 20s, I can or cannot do certain things.
As a surfer and beach lover, I will wear a bikini and flip flops until I am no longer breathing. I’m pretty sure both of those are somewhere on a, “List of What Not to Wear for Women Over 40.” And I just don’t care. 🙂
I think my generation of women in midlife are breaking the mold of what middle aged women look like; of what they are “supposed to” act like. We are living our lives large. We are not giving much credence to what others think of us. We aren’t sitting around waiting for grandchildren. We are out taking life by the lapel and giving it a good shake. We are changing the image that comes to mind when you think, “middle aged woman.” We are taking the old stereotype and crushing it.
It is true we live in a society that worships youth. All you need to do is turn on the T.V., your computer, or pick up a magazine to see this. The media is full of tips and tricks on how women can look younger. Products to help us reverse the signs of aging.
One of the phrases I resent when it comes to women in midlife is, “how to age gracefully.” You never hear this said about men as they age.
What if I don’t want to age gracefully?
What if I want to enter midlife coming in hot; frenzied, dauntless, and unflappable?
I don’t necessarily want to age tastefully, in a pleasing and delicate manner. I’d prefer to tackle age, and my life, with determination, chutzpah, and with fire.
Society sends us the message that aging is something to be feared, avoided, and even ashamed of.
I feel quite the opposite. I am embracing my age and the freedom and fun that come with it. I feel like I’m a fine wine; only getting better with age.
I honestly don’t wish to be younger. I have never felt more comfortable in my own skin.
What I do wish is that all women could feel confident, embracing midlife and beyond, and recognize how beautiful and courageous they are, at any age.
Karen has a master’s degree in counseling. She is a mom, surfer, writer, and personal development blogger. She is passionate about helping people leap out of their comfort zones and use their intrinsic gifts to live courageous, authentic lives. She leads classes and workshops and is active in encouraging women in all stages of life to nurture their passions and hold tight to their dreams. Karen is a featured contributor at BestKeptSelf.com and a contributing author to the book, “Legacy of Stoke – A Collection of Stories That Made Us Surfers.”
Website: One Salty Kiss
Facebook: Karen at One Salty Kiss