Posted by: Admin | April 2, 2011

THE SATURDAY INTERVIEW – 15

I caught up with Karen when she was visiting her daughter and grandson from her home in Ontario, Canada. Slim and petite with a gorgeous complexion, Karen doesn’t look as though she’s about to celebrate her 50th birthday. As always with these interviews, I asked her how she feels about it.

with daughter, Natalie

“I’m not happy about it,” she told me. “I feel as if I’ve reached a crossroads and I just don’t know where the roads lead.”

Karen freely admits she has a good life. Her partner, who owns a restaurant/takeaway in Ontario, is supportive and they travel widely together, more recently to Florida, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. And yet she describes herself as being “in limbo”.

As we talk, it becomes clear that Karen, like so many of us, is feeling a little tired and frayed around the edges. Having left a job where she was in a position of responsibility, she lost confidence, which wasn’t helped by a health scare that saw her have surgery before, thankfully, being given the all clear.

“It just feels as though there’s something missing – something I’m missing, perhaps. As if there’s something else I should be doing with my life. I suppose what I’m saying is that I’m bored! That sounds so ungrateful, doesn’t it?”

with grandson, Brody

Actually, I tell her, that sounds so familiar. From my own experience and talking to so many other people our age, 50 can be an age where we take stock, run a personal audit on our lives so far and, if we haven’t achieved all we want to, start to panic that we’re running out of time. I ask Karen what she wants to do. It takes her a few minutes to think about it.

“Learn Spanish. Learn how to play the guitar…” she suggests tentatively.

Well, those aren’t huge, unobtainable things, I comment – what’s stopping her? She laughs and shakes her head. I get the feeling that Karen has much bigger ambitions that taking up new hobbies. We talk for a while about dreams and barriers and self sabotage. The menopause is a funny thing, we agree. Hot flushes and brain fog, aches and pains and irritability – all are merely symptoms of a much greater, less visible inner turmoil. And if depression takes hold, chemical support is essential and not something to be ashamed of.

Karen returned to Canada the day after our meeting with a plan of action that was so ambitious, I’m not going to share it here in case she changed her mind on the plane! The point is, we have to give our hopes and dreams a shot, for if not now, when? And if not us, then who?

I hope you’re taking those small steps towards your dreams, Karen and, if you’re not, that you’re not beating yourself up about it! You have so much to give and you deserve to be happy . Whichever route you eventually decide to take, make it happen!

😉

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