Reinventing yourself in midlife

If life has been a bit lackluster lately -stagnant perhaps- it may be time to shake things up a bit. No matter your age, investing your resources: time, energy and finances, in bettering yourself, is crucial to leading a satisfying and joyful life. Maybe even more so as you get older. Here are four areas of your life that you can start making changes in today to completely reinvent not only how you’re perceived by others, but how you feel about yourself.

Reinventing yourself in midlife

At home: Loosen the reins
You’ve been master of your home for as long as you can remember – always on top of the comings and goings, keeping everything in order, making sure everyone is fed and clothed appropriately. But now that your family is growing up, it’s time you gave yourself a break. Instead of doing everything for everyone, start delegating. If you still have kids at home, assign them household responsibilities and make sure your husband is pulling his weight too. And yes, it actually is possible for everyone to stay on top of their own schedules! Living alone? Go ahead and hire a cleaning person. It’s okay to let yourself off the hook so you can spend more time on interests you actually want to pursue.

At work: Master a new specialty
If you’ve been doing the same thing for the past few decades, you’re probably good at it, and you might even still enjoy doing it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t expand your repertoire. Are there any specialties in your field that interest you? Seek out enrichment courses that will help you master them. Then use what you’ve learned to become a bigger asset to your team. Perhaps, you could lead a course for your co-workers or offer to take the lead on a new project? Now’s the time to focus your energies on things that you’re passionate about.

Not so fulfilled with your current career? Don’t let age be a barrier to pursuing something new. Use your free time to explore your options.

Read related: Dressing your age over 50

Reinventing yourself in midlife

For yourself: cure your closet
It’s time to take a good, hard look at your wardrobe – especially if it’s been awhile since you last purged. Hit the Internet and your favorite fashion magazines to get a good idea of what trends you love and can use to update your own wardrobe. Pay attention to what celebrities your age are wearing and to ads for clothing companies that targeting women in your demographic. Then, go through your closet with a fine toothed comb and get rid of anything that you haven’t worn in a year or more, any “trendy” pieces that are no longer in style and any items that are ill-fitting or aren’t your current size. Finally, it’s time to go shopping! Age appropriateness is important because those items will be more flattering on you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in the latest fashions. It just means that you may have to work harder to source the best versions of them. Work with your body to highlight your best features. Same goes for makeup and hair.

Socially: evaluate relationships
It’s important to be in relationships in which the individuals build each other up and inspire each other. Carefully consider yours, and decide whether they are worth maintaining or will only continue to drag you down. Take a firm stance with anyone whom you feel is taking advantage of you or not appreciating you-be honest with them, and if you don’t get the response you need, it may be time to distance yourself. Assert your boundaries and get rid of dead weight.

And of course, take a look at what you can be doing to support and encourage those you care about. Are you actively pursuing the people you love? If you’re not or think you could be doing more, make that a priority in your life. Whether that means scheduling a phone call with a long-distance friend once a week or bringing dinner to a neighbor or relative occasionally. Being in community with others, can be hugely fulfilling.

Shayne Rodriguez Thompson

Shayne is a freelance lifestyle writer with expertise in all things parenting, food and travel. She regularly contributes at MamasLatinas.com, CruiseCritic.com, independenttraveler.com and familyvacationcritic.com. Her career has allowed her to live out her passions while she raises her young family.