I often find myself telling people that they have the opportunity to reinvent themselves and as we have just crossed the 40 something line (my husband a couple of years ahead of me) we are asking ourselves if this is what it is? Is this as good as it get? We talk about touring around Australia with the kids, we dream about him working fewer hours and spending more time at home. We talk a lot, and we dream, but that is where it stops. Madness is when you keep doing the same thing but keep expecting different outcomes.
Things to remember when reinventing yourself:
- What will I regret not having done? What are your strengths, weaknesses and passions? If your goals are true to who you are and what you want to achieve you will be more likely to make steady progress even in the face of obstacles. Understand that no experience is ever wasted. You may not see the purpose in it at this moment in time, but it may just be that one thing that you will need to know when you expect it the least.This is a big question.
- Do not underestimate the effort or the toll that it will take. Any new parent will tell you that they did not have an idea of the level of exhaustion that they felt during the early days after the birth of their baby. You have to not only dream it, you have to practise it. Do your research, talk to people who have done it, get your information.
- A while ago my personal trainer asked me what I see when I look in the mirror at the gym. I responded that I see a stronger than average 40 year old women. (I enjoy weightlifting.) He mentioned that he sees me as an athlete. That flipped a switch for me. Now, when I make a decision on my meals I do it with an athlete in mind. When you can identify with your future self you can also make decisions that will be better for your future self.
- Schedule your changes. Remember that Rome was not built in a day. Reinvention does not happen with the snap of a finger. Neither was Rome built by one person only. Involve people who will support you in this journey you are undertaking.
- Track your accomplishments. Every time I go to the gym I log the weights that I did and try to increase it. What are your goals? Have you written it down? In detail? Do that now.
- There will be obstacles, deal with it, get over it and move on. Sometimes dreams change, admit it. You do not have to stay on one road forever; sometimes it is the detours that bring you to a new journey. When I started my studies I had this extravagant dream of being a high powered attorney. Then I did my honours in Latin and was exposed to different people and suddenly this attorney thing did not seem so important anymore. I started with my articles but decided on detours. Looking back, law was not really my passion, but it prepared me for where I am today. No experience is ever wasted, remember that.
Most expats who decide to move to Australia do so because of the opportunities that they see for their children. I want to encourage you – these opportunities are there for you as well. You are not too old to learn new things. You just have to believe that you can and know what you want. Hard work is the least of our obstacles, we are used to it.
Come on mate, what will it be?