Welcome back Guest Writer Ellen Collins!
By Ellen Collins
I’ve noticed a theme in my life and my friend’s lives. We are in our late thirties and early 40’s and we are in a state of change.
Some of us are striving for discovery/rediscovery of our self. Some of us want to shake things up in our life. Some of us want a little of both.
One friend is changing how she looks (minimally), but it’s something to make her feel good. A change from her usual focus on helping others.
Another friend is trying to reconnect with interests from the past. “Things” that slipped away as time moved forward. Another, who had recently started to find herself again, has had a life altering change and is trying not to lose herself again in this change.
I hit a point in my life a couple of years ago where I realized that I wasn’t listening to music the way I used to. Music used to be such a huge part of my life. I loved going to concerts. I owned (and still have) a large collection of CD’s. Music was always a backdrop for anything I was doing. I started to realize that wasn’t happening anymore, and I was craving it. I love music. I love singing (although not everyone loves listening!), and I love to talk about it, read about it, discover new bands and share it with my friends. I decided I needed it back in my life, so I started the change by getting satellite radio.
It felt great to reconnect with that part of my life. I started to bring music into more areas of my life. I listened to music while fixing dinner, while straightening up the house, in my office – just about anywhere I could. Playing music used to be a part of my life as well, so I decided to take the plunge and try to learn guitar. I’ve also chosen to make a few more changes to my life.
Life happens and we can quickly lose ourselves. I had stopped traveling as often as I did before. I wasn’t doing yoga (or taking care of myself at all, really). So I’m making changes. I’ve had recent trips to dream destinations with plans for many other trips floating around in my brain. I’ve brought yoga back into my life. I have many goals in life, and plan to continue working towards them as part of taking care of me.
I can’t speak for anyone else, although I have engaged in a lot of speculation with my friends. I believe for me, some of this loss of self came from becoming a mom, and becoming invested in my career. My children, obviously, encompass a large part of my world, and I love working, so work took another large chunk. I don’t have regrets about being a working mom (although I do have guilt at times), but I began to realize that I was becoming lost in the process.
I don’t want my life to completely change because it’s a pretty good one. I certainly don’t want to go back to 1999, but I do want to strike a balance between being a mom; a good mom, and having a career.
I’m not fully there yet, but I’m on way, just as many of my friends are too. We support each other through everything, and I guess that’s one thing that I have no desire to change!