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Finding Life's Sweet Spot

Autumn is my favorite time of the year. But, I’m not one of those pumpkin spice adoring autumn lovers. I like the cooler temps (which means “Sweater Weather” and less need to shave my legs), the leaves changing (then falling to the ground and requiring clean-up… this part I don’t like), and last but not least… October is my birthday month 🥳 - along with a lot of other people I know, which makes me think January must be either really boring or really cold in a lot of parts of the world.

I’m turning 45 in a couple weeks. This doesn’t seem possible because I feel like I’m 25 - except when my hip hurts or when I go to bed a 9:30 PM. I love to celebrate birthdays for one specific reason - not everyone gets the chance to have as many as I’ve had, and it’s important for me to recognize how lucky I am.

Maybe I’m weird, but I don’t view aging as a bad thing. For instance, I know I’m a hell of a lot stronger (mentally and physically) than I was at 25. Sure, I have fine lines appearing on my face which a pit stop at the med spa has helped smooth (I’m not embarrassed to admit that, and remember - this is a no judgement zone - you do you!), but I can take on way more than I could when I was young. And why is that, you ask… because I’ve experienced life and learned from it which has helped me build resilience instead of living off endurance. Building resilience is vital to managing the unpredictability of life, by strengthening our ability to bounce back from all the crap life throws at us - good and bad. Think of it like the recovery day between workouts, where you roll out your muscles and stretch instead of grinding out another cardio session - It’s uncomfortable, but hurts so good.

Don’t be fooled. It’s super easy to backslide into the endurance zone - you know, when the mind thinks stamina will continue to be perform at top notch levels even though it’s fatigued and stressed out. It’s easy to say, “I’ll finish just one more thing” because time is of the essence and two hours later you find yourself cranking out yet another load of laundry or finishing up emails that can wait till tomorrow when you should be catching up on sleep or spending time with your family. If you suspect you’re running on endurance, it might be a good time give yourself a chance to reset and get back into resilience mode. Here are a few strategies to get back on track…

  1. Surround yourself with a positive support network I literally can’t say this loud enough. Whether it’s needing to grab a coffee to vent or bouncing an idea off someone with experience, having a trusted tribe is the best way to empower yourself. Together you lift each other up, never have to worry about walking around with spinach in your teeth and there will always be someone wanting to celebrate the shit out of your collective accomplishments. Don’t ever sell yourself short because you’re bringing something massive to the relationship - YOU. These people need you too, and damn doesn’t it feel good to be part of something bigger than just yourself.

  2. Focus on what you can control Instead of trying to wrangle all the things and wasting energy on what ifs, focus your energy on stuff that’s actually in your sphere of influence. Ask yourself what can I control? I hate to break it to you, friend, but you can control a hell of a lot - from choosing the way you respond to situations to the choices you make or what you take away from your mistakes. Here’s a great client example - Jenny was constantly running on empty by the end of each day and always stressed over the daily dilemma of “What am I going to make for dinner?” She took back control of her dinnertime mayhem by meal planning for the entire week. With a little pre-prepping, she no longer felt consumed with stress related to making dinner and began to actually enjoy the time in the kitchen.

  3. Practice fierce self-care This doesn’t have to mean bubble baths and mani-pedis (but if that sounds like heaven to you - damnit, do it). I’m thinking more about reconnecting with yourself - like giving yourself permission to pause or doing something that energizes you from the inside out. Take that nap, practice the mindfulness you keep forgetting, lift the heavy weights, bake a decadent cake or set that boundary you’ve been meaning to put in place - the possibilities are endless. When you start putting a self-care plan in place, it might feel selfish at first. But over time you’ll notice it feels less like being greedy and more like being the very best version of you. And, that’s pretty badass, don’t you think?

As I tip the scale closer to 50 (which apparently is the new 4o for anyone who is in denial about getting older), there is one thing I’m sure of — I no longer have the bandwidth to deal with bullshit. This bullshit consists of a lot of things, but one of them is running on empty. I know living in endurance mode for too long will eventually come back to bite me in the ass, and the fallout from it won’t be pretty. Of course, life will always have moments of endurance - but I know the feeling of resilience’s sweet spot, and that’s the place I aim to exist in. As long as I keep my focus on that sweet spot, I’ll most likely hit it more often than not… and I’m betting you will too.

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