We are encouraged from a young age to “give it everything you’ve got” when it comes to schoolwork, sports, work, and more. Later in life, we bring that same all-in commitment to all sorts of endeavors, from raising children to saving for retirement, caring for a beloved pet, or growing a bountiful vegetable garden to feed your own family and many others thanks to the potatoes, lettuce, and kale you donate to a local food bank.
All of these acts can involve unconditional love and 24/7 responsibility. And they all take energy. By midlife, many of us feel that we are spread too thin; there is too much going on. We can’t keep up, and sometimes we crash.
One of the many wonderful things about the aging process is that it helps us to focus on what is really important. When it gets harder to hear, we focus on the sounds most valuable to us—meaningful conversations with our near and dear, or the jazz music we love.
Pick a weekly theme like getting your house ready for winter, or sorting through a closet full of old clothes. Maybe one week is all about getting routine physical tests completed. These can be stressful, with follow-up tasks and questions that go beyond just getting to and from the appointment.
On challenging weeks, allow yourself breathing room. Prep what you can in advance; arrange for extra help and support. Don’t forget to add fun and rewards, too!