I certainly had this fear when at 45, with most likely over half my life behind me, I had decades under my belt feeling resentful, unfulfilled, bored, and on top of it all – ungrateful because my life was actually pretty fucking great (from the outside).
Can we say “miserable cow” lol?
I remember very clearly seeing 2 possible paths in front of me – that of a bitter, grumpy old woman or that of a vibrant, cheeky, feisty, lovely old woman who was still getting into all sorts of shenanigans.
I so badly wanted to be the vibrant one but I knew my current trajectory was that of the bitter, grumpy old lady one.
And that scared the living hell out of me.
I’m not A Course in Miracles or The Secret or Law of Attraction sort of person but I do know scientifically that our brains find evidence to support our thoughts (it’s called confirmation bias).
And my thoughts were dark, unhelpful, unkind – bordering on self-loathing.
The opposite of hopeful – pessimistic.
Woe is me.
How is this my life?
Is this really all there is? I’ve worked so hard for…this?
Can I just run away and start over?
I wasn’t present in any area of my life – for my family, my work, my self – nothing. It was absolutely not who I wanted to be and yet…there I was.
Enough about me though…I only share because if you are secretly worried about turning into a grumpy old woman, I want you to know you are NOT ALONE and I have a solution for you.
Something happened one day that had me truly wake up, look around, and go – WTF, Jen? What are you doing?!?!?!?!
It happened to be an email from my mom sweeping all the abuse under the rug but that’s not really relevant to this post.
I thought – hm…I wonder what advice my 80-yo self – the one living and loving her life – would have for today me.
I mean…somehow she (me) had figured out how to be happy and feel deep contentment + fulfillment so she (me) surely had the answers.
I brought my 80-yo future self to life. I gave her a persona and created a Pinterest board that represented her.
I got in the habit of asking the question, “Is this making future me happy/proud/feeling fulfilled/deeply content?”.
And yes – it was a habit. I had to be intentional until it became second nature.
And not only intentional with my thoughts, but I had to pair them with ACTION. Lots and lots of inspired action driven by tiny moments of courage and wanting more for myself.
Over time, I began to turn my thoughts around and created a loving relationship with myself which allowed me to mend my marriage, get vulnerable and open myself up to girlfriends to form deeper connections, and heal my childhood ish.
As of this writing, I’m 52 and I can’t even remember the last time I was even remotely worried about becoming a bitter grumpy old woman.
Why? Because I have such a strong connection + relationship with my future self and seek her council often.
Recently, she’s asked me to add more color to my wardrobe and get back on my yoga mat because she does NOT want to be crickety-crackety before her time.
I guess I’ve still kind of made this about me but only as a case study and testament to putting in the time and effort to do the work starting with creating a relationship with your wisest, badassest future self.
This work isn’t about doing it perfectly. Quite the opposite actually.
My life’s far from perfect. I still sometimes feel lonely. My husband and I still annoy the hell out of each other sometimes. I still sit on my ass far more than my 80-yo is comfortable with. I go through depression cycles. I have mini-existential crises. I isolate sometimes.
The difference though?
I have my own back.
I know how to get my needs met and don’t put expectations on others to meet them.
I don’t question if I’m a good, kind human being.
I’m a much MUCH better mom.
I no longer spend mental energy dreaming + scheming about how to best run away from my life and start over. THIS IS HUGE.
I know that I am valuable, lovable, and loved (<== my mantra when my thoughts turn really dark only now I believe it).
Creating a relationship with my 80-yo self is the only thing that worked for me after trying everything else – personal development books, courses, workshops, masterminds, even coaches and therapists.
It gave me a game-changing paradigm shift and it’s how I now support other women like me.
Women who for all intents and purposes “have it all” and have done everything “right” but inside feel a bit lost, over and underwhelmed, bored, unfulfilled, and knowing they are made for more – fulfillment, impact, pleasure, purpose, meaning, contentment, joy, etc.
If you’re curious about this work, I invite you to a no-obligation non-salesy (ew) 30-min free conversation to see if now is the right time for you and if we’re the right fit.
Don’t spend another second secretly worrying you might turn into a grumpy old woman. Life’s too short and you’re too awesome.
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I'm a magical mix of coach, perspective-shifting mentor, hair-holder, consultant, wing woman, get shit done'r, silver lining finder, & slightly annoying cheerleader
I used to roll my eyes at the notion of self love and loving my life because it felt so far outside the realm of possibilities. I thought both were saved for those who'd escaped childhood unscathed.
But a perfect storm in 2015 had me wake TF up and heal my childhood ish. Along the way, I started to not only love but LIKE myself and I stopped wanting to escape from my life and instead, intentionally create my exciting future. That's saying a lot when you read my stories!
And now? I get to help women all around the world fall in love with themselves, their lives, and create the future THEY want. How cool is that?!?