Inside: Strip away all the clutter and noise to make space for more midlife joy. Consider starting with these 30 things!
Although midlife brings with it new challenges, it’s also true that at least for many, happiness rises in midlife. There are various reasons for this but I believe a few reasons include that we’re no longer willing to sacrifice our wellbeing for the comfort of others or for ‘fitting in’; we have a better sense of who we are and of our core values; and we’ve lived through some hard stuff and have developed a core of resilience and perspective.
I’m doubtful that happiness drops into our laps without work, though. To really embrace midlife joy we must consciously choose to do the hard (and brave) work to strip away all the noise and clutter and then step into greater freedom, wholeness, and joy.
if you want more midlife joy, declutter these 30 things:
For fun the other day, I wrote out this list — maybe a few of these ideas will prompt you to take intentional action to strip away, release, or declutter all the baggage that holds you down and claim more joy for yourself.
- chasing love and belonging from people who don’t reciprocate.
- speaking unkindly to yourself.
- all the extra courses, books, or “shoulds” you signed up for out of fear, urgency, and comparison.
- raising the bar on yourself all the time.
- uber-independence and thinking you have to do it all yourself.
- anyone who violates your well-communicated boundaries.
- working through lunch, weekends, and holidays.
- mindless spending rather than being intentional about where your money goes.
- guilt or shame for simply being human in a messy world.
- holding back from your creative work out of fear or perfectionism.
- staying places where you have to have hide parts of yourself for ‘belonging.’
- gossip and getting in other people’s business instead of keeping your eyes on your own path.
- doing all the cooking, cleaning, bill paying, etc., yourself if you have a life partner.
- comparing your marriage or significant relationship to others or to media.
- not hydrating yourself – Pepsi, wine, and coffee don’t count 😉
- ignoring your feelings and judging them as ‘bad.’
- making big decisions when you’re weary or depleted.
- not naming your days and instead living at the whim of other people’s wants or urgency.
- suppressing your voice and needs for the comfort of others.
- deferring rest, joy or happiness for some magical day in the future (now’s a perfectly fine day to be happy).
- not loving the body you’re in.
- thinking that life should be neat and tidy.
- saying yes to things out of obligation or without pausing first to consider your values and priorities.
- carrying responsibility for the emotional wellbeing of another adult.
- denying your grief, trauma, or pain instead of naming it so you can heal it.
- believing that becoming our true, integrated, beautiful selves has a finish line.
- making everything a binary – or all or nothing thinking (there’s a whole lot of life in between the extremes).
- not letting yourself celebrate, belly laugh, or receive pleasure because there’s suffering in the world or because something bad might lie around the bend.
- outsourcing your wellbeing or not trusting your inner voice of wisdom.
- living a life others expect of you instead of living a life true to yourself (the top regret of the dying).
Midlife is the perfect season to commit to making space for joy. We can strip away all the noise and clutter and consciously expand our capacity for joy. Sign up below for my Monday morning emails if you’re interested in making space for joy amid the messiness of life AND get the printable list of these 30 things to declutter!