Now is the time to do the thing you've always wanted to do.

How A Change Can Make You Happier“I want to create something new in my life. I might leave my job and do something I’ve always wanted to do. I might even move. Nothing is holding me where I am,” Kimberly, almost fifty, told me. “I can go anywhere and start fresh. ”

Kimberly’s youngest child is going off to college in the fall. She raised two wonderful daughters as a single mom. She’s been working a job in interior design that she used to adore but which now she finds uninspiring and no longer a challenge. Now, at midlife, she feels in her bones that a change is long overdue. She is hungry for a new challenge and a new lifestyle.

Duty Calls – and Calls and Calls

Often, at fifty-ish, a woman begins to feel, and rightly so, that she has “done her duty”. She has been the “good girl”, the dutiful wife, the dutiful mother, the dutiful employee, the dutiful daughter, the dutiful homemaker.

When a woman moves into her 50’s and 60’s, the desire for sweeping life changes becomes urgent. Desire begins to grow in a woman at midlife. She develops the urge to create, grow, experience new things, meet new people and become someone new. She may feel called to serve a higher purpose than ever before.

Careful – Explosive!

For many women in midlife, the need for “new”, change and even reinvention seeps into every crevice like air into a balloon. If something doesn’t change, and quick, she feels she may explode.

Women at midlife suddenly leave their husbands, quit their jobs, get a new wardrobe, develop a new hobby or make a variety of big, sweeping gestures to bring the fresh scent of “new” into their lives. Those around them are often left scratching their heads wondering “What got into her?!”

A woman’s urgent need for change, when it arises in midlife, is powerful and demands quick, decisive and bold action. Others, the uninitiated, may see a woman making big changes as “flipping out” or going crazy. But those women brave enough to heed the call for change are usually richly rewarded in ways they could never have imagined.

When the Call for Change Goes Unanswered

Sadly, a woman often will suppress these feelings. Having been functioning in her various roles as employee, parent, wife, “upsetting the apple cart” seems too disruptive to her life and the lives of the ones she loves and cares for.  She will ignore these feelings because she believes she needs permission, tacit or otherwise, from those who depend on her before making any life-altering changes.

This woman will suffer needlessly with unfulfilled life dreams and dashed hopes.

Permission Granted

The “need” for permission is usually a smoke screen for fear. Change can be good for everyone!

When a woman regains that sparkle in her eyes and sees herself in a whole new light and begins to perceive herself as valuable and worthy, her contribution to others grows ten-fold.  Simply by virtue of being an inspiration for others, she can effect positive changes in those around her.

Everyone secretly wishes for a shining star they can latch onto to take them blazing across the sky. A woman in midlife has the experience and self-awareness to become that shining star if only she is willing and brave enough to give herself permission to shine. Self-permission is the only permission anyone truly needs.

Life-Altering Changes at Midlife Can Start With Baby Steps

Happiness is self-created. Every person is responsible for his or her own happiness. If you are not happy; if you are not fulfilled; if you are not pursuing the purpose you feel called to perform, that is a choice you have made. And that is a decision you have the power to overrule.

You have the privilege of changing your mind and choosing differently at any given moment in time. Even if it is possible, in your own mind, to make only small changes, any change will begin to lead you in the direction you want to go. The world awaits your gifts of light and love.

Choose boldly! Shine brightly!

What changes have you secretly been wanting to make? What’s holding you back? What does happiness look like to you? Tell me your thoughts below!Linda Barnby Hello Sweet Life lifestyle blog women over 50