‘What brings purpose & meaning to your life After 50?’ – Part 2

March 13, 2019
Women Over 50 Lifestyle

For #MakingMarchMeaningful I asked some of my favourite Over 50 Midlife Bloggers what brought purpose and meaning to their lives.  As always they inspire me and I’m excited to share their answers with you.  This is Part 2 of a three-part series.  If you missed Part 1 you can read more thoughts from fabulous Women Over 50 HERE.

Reflecting on ‘Rose’ Moments

purpose and  meaning

Debbie Harris – Deb’s World

If I’m being honest, since my retirement over 2 years ago, which wasn’t at a time of my choosing I must say, I have often struggled with the question ‘what is my purpose’.

When I worked I had a purpose every day and when I was a mother with growing children at home I had a purpose but now I’m retired, (and loving it by the way), each day takes on a different feel.  Sure, I am busy and I ‘do’ lots of things – I’m active, I’m social, I’m caring, I’m creative, I volunteer, I’m useful – but

what is my actual purpose??  How do I make my life meaningful?

I know I don’t feel as productive anymore, which is silly when I see what I manage to fit into a day or a month, but do I actually need to feel  productive?

I’m discovering more and more that I can sit and read a book or go for a walk without feeling too guilty.

But I still can feel guilty if I’m ‘caught’ at the computer reading things, writing things, wasting time, and I don’t even spend that much time scrolling aimlessly!

I’m reminded of a time in my days as a young mother of our three little girls.  I had a friend who also had three similar aged children and we entered into an arrangement whereby we would look after each other’s children on a regular basis giving each other some valuable alone time.

So what did we each do on our days off?

My friend would spend the day cleaning her house like a mad woman, enjoying the quality time in her home, cooking, cleaning, washing – she had a ball but was then exhausted when she got the kids back home and they promptly set about undoing everything she had just done.

Me?  I went to the movies on my own or shopping or I sat outside in the garden and read a book or I simply did nothing!  Did I feel guilty in those days, hell NO!!!!  I felt in control and happy and I was always pleased to get my munchkins back at the end of the day – my purpose then was to be a good mother which meant I took care of myself.

My friend and I both had the same goal and we were both happy, but we went about it differently, which is very often the case.  So what happened in the intervening years to make me feel guilty if I took time to stop and smell the roses, read a book or spend all day blogging?  Life has changed and we’re all programmed to be busy and make life meaningful. It is meaningful as it is and we need to accept that, cut ourselves some slack – make the days count not count the days.

I listened to a podcast recently, which mentioned a quick and easy way to look back at each day – the rose, thorn, bud reflection exercise and I have implemented it each night before I go to sleep.

I reflect on the ‘rose’ moments – highlights, successes, positives from the day. The ‘thorn’ moments are any challenges, issues that have arisen, negatives and then I finish with the ‘bud’ moments – new ideas, things to look forward to tomorrow and new experiences.

In all it doesn’t take very long to reflect and somehow it has allowed me to find meaning in the day and my purpose becomes clearer.

Thanks Sue for allowing me to share my thoughts with you.

Knowing God created me for a purpose

Purpose & Meaning

Christine Blundell – My Private Stylist

That is a question I have asked myself numerous times over many decades, and I guess the answer to that has changed depending on what stage of my life I am in. Now in my mid 60s, I realise more and more just how important that question is and the answer even more so.

For me, first and foremost is my relationship with God and knowing that He created me for a purpose. Whereas in my younger days, probably like a lot of people, I drifted through the days and years believing that I had all the time in the world to live out my life, but now, living each day with intention, meaning and purpose has now become my priority. My children and now my grandchildren bring so much joy, love and purpose to my life, yet I miss out on too much of their daily lives and hugs due to geographic distance, so one purpose I have for this year is to plan more visits to both Melbourne and Gold Coast to spend precious time with them.

Another major purpose in my life is that I have always had a passion for Colour and Style and to see women become the beautiful individuals they were created to be, both inside and out, realising we are each precious and special and have so much to offer. I have loved being given opportunities to work on a volunteer basis with many women’s groups and this year am designing workshops called “Uniquely You” with the Cancer Council.

Life is so precious and can be snapped away in a heartbeat, so I am thrilled that Sue is inspiring and encouraging us to Making March More Meaningful and helping us on the path to living each moment  more mindfully.

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way

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  • Reply Debbie March 13, 2019 at 18:59

    Thanks for asking me to join you in this series Sue, it’s so interesting to read everyone’s thoughts. Sharing now!

    • Reply Joanne Tracey March 14, 2019 at 14:23

      I love your rose, thorn & bud idea Debbie… Thanks for contributing.

      • Reply Debbie March 17, 2019 at 08:05

        Thanks Jo, it is a quick exercise to do and quite a fun way to reflect on the day.

    • Reply Leslie Susan Clingan March 22, 2019 at 12:17

      Oh, Debbie, how I can relate to everything you shared. I retired earlier than I planned and wasn’t ready emotionally for the changes that retirement brings. I have never thought of it before, but I really ‘get’ the guilty feelings. In fact, my sister will suggest I do something fun and I wind up cleaning house, doing laundry, ironing and then realizing, ooops, there was no time for fun.
      Really like the rose, thorn and bud reflection exercise. Will try it. I still struggle with figuring out my purpose but yet everyday is full and blessed.

  • Reply Nancy Dobbins March 14, 2019 at 00:33

    Hi Sue,
    Love seeing Deb and Christine here…it’s so enlightening to read how others bring meaning to their lives. Much is the same, but everyone has their own priorities, interests, and twists. That’s what makes this so interesting. It also is food for personal thought…what can I learn from how these women bring meaning and apply it to my life.
    Thanks again, Sue!

    • Reply Debbie March 17, 2019 at 08:07

      Thanks for your comment Nancy, it’s always interesting to read how others do things isn’t it? We learn so much more.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 18, 2019 at 08:50

      Hi Nancy, I love learning from all of you fabulous women! Everyone has the same ideas but different perspectives it is great! x

  • Reply Donna March 14, 2019 at 03:34

    Hi, Sue – I greatly enjoyed this series. I loved the different perspectives shared. Wonderful seeing Deb and Christine here. I always love reading what they have to say. Thanks for all that you do to inspire others.

    • Reply Debbie March 17, 2019 at 08:08

      It’s always good to be a guest on Sue’s blog and I love the tribe she has going!! You are inspiring to me 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 18, 2019 at 08:50

      Hi Donna, sorry for my late reply but I’m so pleased you are enjoying the series. One more to go! x

  • Reply Joanne Tracey March 14, 2019 at 14:24

    Another great post – with meaning. Thanks, Sue. I especially love Debbie’s idea re rose, thorn & bud.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 18, 2019 at 08:45

      Hi Jo, yes I loved Deb’s idea as well. It really is a great visual I think x

  • Reply Min @ Write of the Middle March 14, 2019 at 16:17

    Two more fabulous women with wonderful perspectives shared – thanks Sue. Thanks to Debbie & Christine! Deb’s example of how she and her friend spent their child free time so differently, highlights how different and unique we all are but we all wish for the same outcome – purpose, meaning and happiness! I love that Christine enjoys helping women to feel beautiful. We should all be able to feel beautiful don’t you think? I sure think we deserve it. #TeamLovinLife

    • Reply Debbie March 17, 2019 at 08:10

      Thanks Min, I thought it was a good time to share that story about how we both wanted the same outcome but went about it differently. We’re all so unique as you say 🙂 . Thanks again for your comment.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 18, 2019 at 08:45

      We do deserve it Min and lately I haven’t been feeling that beautiful on the outside. I need an excuse to get dressed up and with makeup and hair done to pep myself up. I know it is on the inside that counts but some days we need to look at ourselves and go ‘yeah! you look good’! I loved Deb’s Rose/Thorn/Bud idea as well. x

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl March 14, 2019 at 16:30

    Thank you for sharing the inspiring stories of Christine and Debbie today, Sue!

    SSG xxx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 18, 2019 at 08:43

      Thanks SSG, so many Over 50 Women with wonderful ideas. x

  • Reply suzanne March 15, 2019 at 07:03

    I think the fact that we don’t have a ‘singular’ purpose during our retirement years is what contrasts most with other phases of our lives. I like to think that I am no longer defined by one purpose, and free to thrive with many. What gets me out of bed tomorrow may be very different next month.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 18, 2019 at 08:41

      I love that idea Suzanne! Not having a singular purpose and knowing that it could be different at any given time. Just love that idea, thanks! xx

  • Reply suzanne March 15, 2019 at 07:07

    P.S. Excellent points from both of your guest writers today. Congratulations ladies.

    • Reply Debbie March 17, 2019 at 08:11

      Thanks for your comment and encouragement Suzanne! I’m always happy to be included in Sue’s posts 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 18, 2019 at 08:40

      Thanks Suzanne! The third and final post is this coming week. x

  • Reply Trisha Faye March 17, 2019 at 08:06

    I love reading how other women are embracing life and savoring the moments.
    Thank you, Deb, for sharing the rose/thorn/bud idea with us! I really, really like that idea and plan to add it to my own daily journaling and reflection. What I especially like with this idea, is that it acknowledges the thorns in every day life – which we all have, it’s part of life. But it doesn’t try to hide it, tamp it down, or pretend that it doesn’t exist. It also doesn’t focus on the aggravation that comes along with the thorn. It just is. It’s there, right along with the rose and the bud. They all three have a place in our life. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Reply Debbie March 17, 2019 at 08:12

      Thanks Trisha, that’s exactly why I like it too! We all have thorns in our days so we must acknowledge them. I’m so glad you enjoyed my thoughts. Thanks for your comment.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 18, 2019 at 08:38

      That is so true Trisha no one wants to be seen as not having the ‘perfect social media life’ I loved Deb’s Rose/Thorn/Bud idea too. x

  • Reply Janet Mary Cobb March 17, 2019 at 23:56

    Another thought-provoking post! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au March 18, 2019 at 14:09

    Sue I’m catching up and I just LOVE this series! So many words of wisdom from such lovely women (and I feel so honoured to be included in their midst!) Debbie’s thoughts today really resonate because they reflect my conundrum with what to do with the years ahead now I’ve stopped work. It’s the push/pull of trying to find purpose when the footings have shifted. Christine’s comment about finding herself in God also touched my heart – it’s something I need to focus on more in this time of change. Looking forward to reading the next in the series xx

    • Reply Debbie March 18, 2019 at 17:06

      Thanks Leanne, I’m so pleased that my words resonated with you, even if just a little bit. We all approach these things differently and that’s why Sue’s series has been so interesting, we’re constantly learning from each other. You’ve been in my thoughts lately and I wish you well with this next phase. Thanks again Sue for letting us all join in like this.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 23, 2019 at 05:06

      Hi Leanne, I’ve loved the series too. I really like asking a question and then reading the perspectives from different women. The same question and yet a variety of answers. I keep learning and growing through you all. xx

  • Reply Miriam March 18, 2019 at 16:07

    Hi Sue, I loved reading both Deb and Christine’s thoughts here on what gives their life meaning and purpose. I think it definitely changes as we get older and as we embrace the different stages and challenges of our life. Love the flower analogy too. Here’s to blooming as we grow. xx

    • Reply Debbie March 18, 2019 at 17:08

      Hi Miriam, it’s great to have your thoughts on Sue’s post. You’re right as we age, life constantly changes and we have to keep moving along. We are all blooming as we grow xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 23, 2019 at 05:10

      Hi Miriam, I loved Deb’s analogy about the rose and I’m so inspired by all of the women I have met through blogging who are really embracing life. I learn so much from you all. Have a beautiful weekend. x

  • Reply Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit March 21, 2019 at 05:11

    What is my purpose is a good one. I work with helping women find a way to continue adding value (and feeling valuable) as they age. So often they associate their work with their worth. When it’s gone, who are they now? That’s when I work with them at adding value in other areas of a volunteer nature. So fulfilling. So good to give back.

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