Pleasure and fun.
Have you forgotten them?
Do you remember the delicious freedom to plan a weekend, a day or even for goodness sake, an hour? To prepare delights tailored to anything and everything that makes your heart sing?
Or have midlife obligations and concerns squashed every atom of juice out of your time and shoved mindless pleasure back into the realms of the far and distant past?
For many of us, we’ve spent so long looking after others and putting our own needs and desires on the back burner, that it can be hard to remember what we do like doing, where our own version of fun lies.
It can take an effort of willpower to sit down and remind our self where our joy lies and plan some time to do it.
But it can be done.
I took up ice skating and for a few hours a week, thought of nothing else other than conquering my fear and feeling the thrill of learning and mastering something new.
I did feel guilty, for a while, feeling that the money should be going towards something more family orientated, that the time could be spent doing something practical and goal focused.
But now I know that it makes me feel so amazing that it has become non-negotiable.
And there are many things I would love to do but finances, school timetables and daughter hobbies simply don’t allow at the moment.
The wild part of me would love to pack a rucksack and hike in the Highlands of Scotland for a while, or sea kayak around some deserted island. I yearn to take off to live in a foreign country for a few months or ride bareback across the plains of Mongolia.
But for now, I content myself with sleeping in the back garden with my 12 year old daughter and hiking with my family early in the morning to enjoy breakfast on a Neolithic mound.
And it’s been fun. We’ve created magical memories and satisfied my need for a little something out of the ordinary.
Gradually I’ve been flexing mine (and my family’s) adventure muscle, being creative, coming up with new ways to inject these into our life.
Because I realise that I’d become complacent with my pleasures, and used restraints as an excuse.
But the truth is that fun, pleasure (and in my case, adventure as well) are a state of mind.
There’s always a way to carve out a little pleasure and fun and these don’t have to be money draining or time consuming.
Sometimes, they involve my family. Sometimes they’re purely for me.
It’s the picnic in the garden, or in front of the fire on a cold day, it’s the walk under the moonlight, or the slow, indulgent bath.
It’s whatever you want it to be.
It’s allowing yourself to have more fun in your life in whatever form that takes.
So yes, continue to do what you need to do in midlife. Carry on looking after the family, working, caring for others, all the 101 things that we do.
But it’s also encouraging yourself to have midlife fun, rediscover interests long forgotten and try out something new.
Treat yourself every day to doing something you love, no matter how small and see where it takes you.
I’ll see you in the queue for the skydiving!
What do you love to do?
What do you need to do more of / less of?
What would you love to start doing? How can you inject more fun and pleasure into your life, NOW?
If you know now is the time to have more fun and pleasure and you know you want to do more with your midlife (and beyond) even if at the moment you haven’t the foggiest what that might look like, get on a free Flourish call with me.
Together we’ll explore what your version of a great midlife looks like and we’ll get you moving forward.
My guarantee: You will make progress during our conversation.
We'll also talk about whether 1:1 coaching with me is the right next step for you.For details of my current coaching package there is more info here.
I look forward to talking to you.