Are you a Gen Xer who’s ready to reinvent herself?
Me too. I’ve been going through a lot of change recently, but in my heart I know it’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot more to come.
And the data confirms that the older we get, the more we feel the urge to reinvent ourselves.
We want to reinvent the way we work.
We are more likely to start up new businesses than men, and when we do, we’re more likely to launch for a better lifestyle. We want to help – it’s how we’re built. And we’re finally ready to lean into our passions and make them a big part of our lives.
We want to reinvent our homes and fill our lives in a meaningful way.
Gone are the “buy-buy” days of the 1980s and 1990s when a lot of us were coming of age, marrying, starting families, and trying to build fulfilling lives. We’ve reached “the point” where we expected we’d have it all figured out, only to discover we’re more confused than ever. We’re starting to discover a new dream – minimalism – to truly appreciate everything we fill our homes with. And more importantly, to redefine what “home” really is.
We want to reinvent relationships.
As Americans, we work … A LOT. More than 85 percent of males and 66 percent of females work beyond a 40 hour workweek. We work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers. With all that work, you’d think we need more vacations. Nope. We’re afraid to take leave, and consider vacation time to be a premium we just can’t afford to use. How do you grow and nurture a relationship when you barely see each other? Is it any wonder that up to 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce? Suddenly, we find ourselves looking at the person on the other side of the table and wondering who they are.
But maybe we’re starting to figure it out. One day I looked up and made a decision I wanted to lean into this person, the one I’d chosen to spend “forever” with, and do what it took to become as close as we once were. The more I discovered about myself, the more value I discovered in our relationship. Most people desire to have closeness – no matter how you define it – with a few other people in this world. Whatever that means to you, it’s important to nurture that and give it everything you’ve got.
We want to reinvent health.
Health is a wakeup call. I would argue it’s your most important thing. If you aren’t healthy, you have nothing left to give. You can’t build a business, work on your passion, create healthy relationships, or create fulfilling lives if you aren’t in your best shape. A study published by the Mayo Clinic showed less than 3 percent of all Americans meet the qualifications for a healthy lifestyle. You might be able to hide it in your twenties and thirties. But at midlife, it’ll smack you over the head and wake you up once and for all.
We want to reinvent our experiences.
This is what makes us human. This is what makes us a part of one of the greatest time periods ever. We can travel anywhere in the world and learn about new cultures. We can gain more knowledge from one website than what our ancestors learned in their lifetimes. Why should we spend all of our time working to catch up, when we have so much living to do to discover who we are?
Does that define your life? Mine too. In fact, that’s what started me out on this crazy journey I’ve been on for the past few years.
Here’s my truth:
This is a time where we have more information than we know what to do with.
I know the bookshelves are obsessed with diet and weight loss books. Yet the world is more obese than ever.
I know people read startup and work-from-home guides in abundance. Yet most people work 9 to 5 – with overtime – and rely on one income to get by.
I know there are countless resources about traveling the world, getting happy, finding your passion, and doing exactly what you want to do. Yet when most make any attempt to reach for even one of these things, they make a whole lot of excuses. (Ever said: Maybe someday, when I’m _(fill in the blank)_.)
It’s not about lack. It’s not about desire.
That’s all there in abundance.
So what is it that keeps us “trapped”?
It’s about accepting you’re meant for better things. I know for a fact:
I’m meant to be the best ME I can be!
And that’s not something we focus on … ever.
We talk about it being a ME society, but they’re wrong.
We’re a ME society in the very worst way.
Our current ME society is about getting everything you can COMPARED to everyone else’s definition. It starts before the day you were born.
I loved that series of books. I had it for the first few years of my daughter’s life. But every paragraph, every page, every chapter had me comparing my daughter’s growth and development with someone else.
Is she crawling on time?
Did she say her first words when they said?
Milestone after milestone, I checked off like it was my job.
That morphed as I put her into the best schools I could find, ensured she took AP courses, and applied for the best college programs around.
Did all of that have an implication on me? Of course! To be the BEST parent, I had to have the BEST child!
Why does it matter?
So she could be a stressed out adult running around the rat race with the rest of us? Only much sooner in her life because of what I’d taught her?
Good thing I finally figured it all out. (Well, as much as a person can. I’m still a work in progress.) 😉
Come On, Lean With Me
You’re what? How could you do that to me?
When I told someone close to me I was selling my forever home to travel the world, she looked at me with astonishment and uttered those words.
Years ago I learned about the Theory of Crabs in a Bucket. It simply states that if I can’t have it, neither can you.
If you put multiple crabs into a bucket, they could quite easily help each other out and escape. But instead, the opposite happens. If one tries to climb out, the others pull him back in.
We’re taught to live this crazy life, and rarely think much about it.
Until one day, you do.
And then all hell breaks loose.
And it’s time to change.
What if I did “this”?
What if I went “there”?
Lean into those questions.
Because those questions can take you far.