Reinventing oneself has become quite a popular topic for the over 50 crowd.
At this stage of the game we’re going through so many transitions: empty nest, aging parents, divorce, remarriage, kids moving back in, grandkids, no longer wasting time on things that don’t matter, menopause, career changes, and the desire to make the most of every last minute.
Do you feel the urge to do something different and to do some things differently? Do these transitions have you feeling it’s time to change some things up?
Do you feel the urge to reinvent yourself?
Later in this post are the comments of some of the women in the private Journey Wisely Facebook group, when I posed a question about reinvention.
My own “reinvention.”
When I turned 50 and took my trek to Colorado for eight months, I came back totally convinced I had reinvented myself. And in some ways, I did. My confidence, my self-esteem and self-worth surfaced. My mindset changed from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. I learned how to better handle my emotions. All this inside work and all ways of work for me that needed to change. So, you could call these aspects reinvented, as these had changed so much they were new for me!
However, I soon realized that journey was more about rediscovery instead of reinvention.
What is reinvention?
Just what does reinvention mean? According to dictionary.com reinvention is the action or process through which something is changed so much that it appears to be entirely new.
When I think about this whole reinvention movement in the context of the definition, it’s telling me that my life, my whole accumulated experiences are to be discarded. To make such a drastic change requires throwing out the old right?
The television show, What Not to Wear, discarded a person’s entire wardrobe to be replaced with a new one. They were reinventing a person’s outward appearance. By the end of the show, with the new makeup, hair, and clothes the individual held her head a little higher.
Our outward reinvention can make us more confident, but it’s not a reinvention of our entire self.
I read dozens of reinvention articles and most are really talking about two things: rediscovery and changing up the way we operate in the world.
To reinvent oneself you can (according to the blogsphere):
Spruce up your wardrobe
Acquire new skills
Wake up early
Set your to do list and stick to it
Visualize your future
Find your passion and purpose
If these are articles really aren’t talking about true reinvention, what’s the harm?
The implication of the phrase “Reinvent Yourself.”
The harm comes when new catch phrases like “50 is the new 40 or even the new 30!” enter the arena. Why can’t 50 just be 50? Why can’t we just allow the passage of time, while doing everything we can to be healthy and happy?
The harm comes in believing that aging is un-natural and to be stopped at all costs. When we buy into the notion that aging is bad, we give power to society, the media, the beauty companies to continue to perpetuate the myth that getting older is just bad for business.
My partner Steve’s Aunt Ester would always tell him, “Don’t get old and dilapidated, it’s bad business.” Steve says his Aunt Ester, died on the run. Her quote was not about stopping the natural chronological aging, but the idea that aging is a reason to just stop living your life.
Yes, we can have vanity grandmother names, (my grandkids call me Onja) and dress stylish, color our hair, get rid of wrinkles, and at the same time embrace the wisdom and life experiences that we have worked hard for all our lives. If we women over 50 don’t embrace aging, don’t whine when society doesn’t accept it either. 50 is 50 folks
We don’t toss out our life’s work due to the pop culture notion of reinvention.
The women in the Journey Wisely Facebook group say it best:
Or how about rejoicing in ourselves! I’m not reinventing either Shelly. I like who I am! I earned my way here. ~ Loretta (Check out my friend Loretta’s blog. She has a few things to say about this phase of life.)
Some of us need to (re)discover ourselves. I also love the thought of rejoicing. ~Judy
Ready to rediscover and rejoice? Sign up for the free 4 Steps to Midlife Greatness.
Say no to reinvention. Instead – rediscover and rejoice
When I was in Colorado, I had mistaken reinvention for rediscovering. You’ve read the articles, if you want to reinvent yourself after 50, go back to your childhood and remember what you loved doing the most.
This exercise I took to heart and felt I came up short. I racked my brain to remember what I loved doing as a child. Now I realize the problem was my scope of “passion finding” was too narrow. Just this past year I came upon an aha moment regarding finding my passion and just lately how that intertwines with rediscovering myself.
The journey of rediscovering me will be discussed in another blog post….so stay tuned!
Before I leave you, I want to share what others in the Journey Wisely private Facebook group had to say about reinvention.
I like the idea better of learning to accept and love ourselves with working on improving our life through prayers, meditation, exercise, giving back to our communities, volunteering. Paying it forward. Be the best you can be.~ Alexandra
Went shopping with my sister to our favorite thrift store. Every shirt I bought was full of color (most of my old things are neutrals)…New town, new job where no one knows me. Yes, my smile is the same, but things are a changin’~ Arps
I would like to rejoice in the parts of myself I like and also discover ways to improve the things I’d like to change. I feel that I am still a work in progress, always growing. ~ Lora
I am rediscovering who I am, or rather who I was, before I was a teacher, wife and mother. Those roles have all gone now. My son has flown the nest and sadly I have lost my role as a daughter too. Strange as it may sound, amidst all these changes and loss there is some reemergence of the excited and hopeful teenage 18 year old who had so many dreams and who was at the start of her journey. Once again, I am free to do whatever I want to do. Another blank canvas to create the life that I want. While ‘rediscovering myself’, I rejoice for what was and for where I’m at now and I shall continue being a work in progress too! It’s amazing how we forget who we were before we took on the many roles that we women take on during our lives. So here’s to rediscovering, rejoicing and growing into the best version of ourselves. X ~ Giovanna
I love these gals!
What are your thoughts on reinvention? Do you feel the need to reinvent yourself?
Would love to hear!
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