A Year of Living Fabulously
“Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age. And dreams are forever.”~ Walt Disney
On December 7, 2020, the Fabulous Boomer Sisters launched its first official blog post amid great fanfare. Well, the excitement was mostly from family and incredible friends, but still… it was fanfare.
This year of blogging has not been quite what I expected. The launch, while thrilling, was the culmination of months of arduous work and a lot of challenges. It was worth it, though, even during the tough times.
What started out as two (boomer) sisters became one baby boomer determined to forge ahead with a dream a few months after launch. The end of a partnership is never easy, and it hit me hard. I had many doubts about continuing on alone in this project. I still had my full-time (paid) job, and I was not ready to give up the security of a steady paycheque. Could I do this — write blog posts regularly, host a podcast, learn to make reels, nail TikTok, build a community around ageing out loud, and use social media — Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, effectively as platforms for making those connections?
What about the bigger dreams I had for FBS? Collaborating and networking with other women who are in the process of reinventing themselves. How would I accomplish all of that on my own?
I miss my partner-in-blogging. I miss brainstorming ideas, the shared joys and frustrations, the feeling of working together toward a shared vision. I even miss the struggles and disagreements — I learned a lot from those. I believe we could have developed a harmonious working style and built something fabulous together — if we had both listened more to each other and been a little more flexible. Sigh…
The year has flown by, and I am still here. I am still trying to create a dialogue or community. To be honest, I have lowered my expectations a little and, I am learning to be gentle with myself. I try not to stress when I fail to publish a blog post every week. When I lose a follower or two on Instagram, I try not to freak out. I am getting good at ignoring my negative self-critic even when I let another few days or weeks go by without writing so much as a sentence.
The best part of the Fabulous Boomer Sisters project is the joy I have when I hit the publish button after laboriously finishing a blog post, hoping that it will be of interest out in the cyber world. My creative self loves to put together quotes, captions and images that resonate with others like me on Instagram.
I love the connections I have made on that platform. It was a delightful surprise to find so many women out there who have had the same experiences as I have. Women who understand the struggle to be visible in a world that would rather not see wrinkled faces, grey hair, or sagging jowls. It is uplifting and empowering to know that older women are speaking up, showing up, becoming visible and vocal everywhere. I love that there is a network of like-minded, beautiful, intelligent and life-loving women that supports each other.
Time to change my strategies for getting things done. Or maybe, develop some strategies for doing so.
Maybe setting realistic timelines for publishing posts and interacting with followers and commenters on the blog will work. Developing consistent habits of creating interesting captions and images for Instagram would also be a good tactic. As well, it would be helpful to keep a positive outlook while working on accomplishing my goals. Making plans to gain new skills, recognize new concepts and forge new connections will undoubtedly build my confidence. Remembering to be kind to me will help avoid my tendency towards self-sabotage.
As I was planning this blog post, I came across many articles offering advice on rules to live by for women over 50. Each post was different, but they all had a common thread — rules for navigating this strange, new, and often perplexing chapter of our lives. After reading a good many of them, I came up with a set of mantras or affirmations to keep my inner critic at bay.
Banish negative self-talk
It’s time for my inner cheerleader to lead the way.
It may sound corny, but positive self-talk can change your life. For some people, self-doubt, fear of failure, and lack of trust in our intuition are the norm. One way to counteract this is to repeatedly tell yourself the opposite. Say it with conviction: I am strong, I am intelligent, I am capable, I am enough, I am kind, I am worthy … these are some of the positive affirmations that I am adopting. I believe in the adage, “fake it until you make it.” I am working on this.
I know that these positive intonations won’t work miracles. I am sure, however, that repeating them to myself will dispel most, if not all, of my ingrained self-doubts. These confidence-building techniques certainly won’t hurt.
Break old habits.
As I mentioned above, I am trying to establish new routines to end the cycle of procrastination and avoidance. I am working on setting (and adhering to) a dedicated time every day to write. Trusting myself and accepting imperfection are two mindset changes I can make. It is daunting to put myself out there, but I realize that it does not matter if my writing is “good enough” or if anyone likes or even reads it. What matters is my desire to keep writing and to build a community of “fabulous boomer sisters.” And there is only one way to accomplish that!
Take care of myself
Lately, my self-care routines have diminished somewhat. Too many late nights, a little too much junky food, too much sitting and not enough moving have taken a toll. I determined to change that.
Making time for simple pleasures like reading, sewing, and long walks in the woods is back on my list.
Getting back to healthy cooking, drinking more water and getting a good night’s sleep are also musts for my day-to-day routine. Remembering to show gratitude, practice mindfulness, and take time to play are also practices I want to return to. It’s funny how when I am stressed or anxious, I stop doing the very things that help me feel good.
More ways to feel good, be more productive and love my life.
As I reestablish my good habits, I want to create new ones. Some of these goals may be a little challenging, but worth the effort, I am sure. I am looking forward to exploring new, creative endeavours, building a diverse group of friends, staying curious, ageing boldly, disrupting ageism, and living my best life. Exactly how I will accomplish all this remains to be seen.
Now is the time to get busy and make my dreams come true.
How are you living your dreams? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments. Or send me a message in the contact form.