What does it mean to be Fierce in Midlife? Midlife has its opportunities and challenges. We look at things differently, and we react to them differently. I’d call it a Midlife Paradigm Shift. For better or for worse, things aren’t the way they were for us in our 20, 30s or 40s. We’re ignored by many retailers although our buying power is higher than ever. Advertisers overlook us even though we’re possibly the largest demographic in the world. We’ve decided we’ve had enough, and we’ve started a Midlife Revolution!
Today, the 50th day of the year, is Forever Fierce Day. Today 50 Midlife bloggers are bringing you stories of Midlife women who don’t blog. They may not use a website to chat on, but they still have a voice and we want to hear it! You’ll find the link to the rest of the Midlife bloggers and the women they’re featuring at the end of this post. For my part, I’m featuring two very special women in today’s post.
I’m very blessed to have two very Fierce Midlife women in my own family. They are both sisters-in-law: one is sister to my husband, the other is married to my brother. Both were handed unexpected challenges while in or approaching Midlife. How they dealt with their own paradigm shifts amazes me. I hope their stories will encourage you.
First is my newest sister-in-law, Kristin. As a woman in her thirties, Kristin was diagnozed with cancer. The treatments were pretty brutal, as were the corrective surgeries afterward. After Surgery #4, her then-husband decided cancer had changed her and he wanted out of the marriage. Dealing with heartache while suffering through the effects of cancer and its treatments as well as the reality of your own mortality is a trifecta I cannot imagine. The woman who emerged from that crucible is a strong, fun, lover of life who captured my brother’s heart and became my sister last year. She is incredibly Fierce and defines what that means to her below.
In Kristin’s words:
When I think of the word fierce I think it can be best defined as an acronym. Being fierce means having a strong and deep faith. The knowledge that no matter what you face, no matter what joy, what sorrow you experience, you will be OK because there is something greater in the world looking out for you. As a fierce woman, it is so important that you learn to have intimate relationships. Learning to be intimate happens at so many levels and with various people. Be it friends, family, or a partner this intimacy helps foster ferocity for the things that have the most meaning. For many years I’ve been blessed to surround myself with exceptional people. People who stand beside me, walk behind me and push me ahead, and walk in front of me and drag me along at the different great and difficult moments that have impacted my life. These relationships ignited a confidence that has enable me to step forward and grab a hold of whatever life gives me, be it good or bad. Having a tight- knit circle of friends is much like the younger women who now call it “their squad or their tribe”. A circle of friends creates a closeness and a confidence knowing there is always someone there who will catch you when you fall and cheer you on along the sideline. Lastly, but what I believe most importantly is striving daily to do something excellent by being authentic and true to who you are and what you believe; never looking to the left or right, but by grabbing life by the horns and forging ahead.
Laura has been my sister-in-law for over 35 years. We’ve been through a lot of family ups and downs, but it was an event ten years ago that brought us closer together. Watching her since that time constantly impresses me. She probably wouldn’t consider herself Fierce, but I’d say she’s as Fierce as the come.
One day everything was normal, orderly, neat – the way I like it. The next day, my husband was gone and everything was in complete chaos. I was 50 years old and just like that life turned completely inside out. Beside my own job, I was now responsible for our air conditioning business. I didn’t even know how to work the TV remote! My husband handled that, like he handled so many things. What was I supposed to do?
Really, there was a lot to do. I didn’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I got up, got dressed, got on with my day. Over time you learn how to cope with the changes in your life. It doesn’t get easier, just different. To me, being Fierce means powering through the obstacles life gives me. Changing my goals but never giving up. Instead of dwelling on what could have been, I spend time with family, doing the things that make me happy.
Aren’t these women fabulous? Thank you so much for reading their stories. Check out more Fierce voices at the website of Forever Fierce founder Catherine Grace O
Happy Forever Fierce Day!