I’m a romantic at heart. I’ll even confess to watching all of the warm fuzzy movies on the Lifetime and Hallmark channels. Under the guise of romance these movies are really about courage and change. The messages are upbeat and inspiring, and they make you feel that all is right with the world. This last weekend the movie “Mary and Rhoda” was on and I loved it. You remember Mary and Rhoda from the Mary Tyler Moore days don’t you? It was not only a trip down memory lane but a chance to see Mary and Rhoda as grown-ups. Okay, not just grown-ups but “older grown-ups,” just like the rest of us.
The two women were reunited under difficult circumstances, but the magic was still there. They both found themselves living alone and financially distressed. Their children were spreading their wings and didn’t want to be mothered anymore, and the two women were forced to look for work in order to make it on their own. They felt old and invisible as they struggled to learn new things (the workplace has changed a great deal) while holding on to their core principles. The issues were the same ones faced by many seniors who are forced to change. Life is not over at 60 or 70 or wherever you happen to be. Starting over is never easy, but you have done it before and can do it again.
The movie message tied in with an article that I discovered by Ariane de Bonvoisin in (Town and Country February 2009). The author talked about how she not only changed her own life, but how she was went about starting her own company. Recognizing a need, she found a way to help other people remake their lives. She wrote a book called “The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Any Change,” and has a website (www.First30Days.com) which I encourage you to explore. She feels that the first thirty days are the most important and works from that premise.
I thought a lot about her article after overhearing a group of senior’s talking the other day. Instead of talking about making changes they spoke of being “too old to change.” This expression came up much more often than it should have. The truth is that our lives have always been filled with changes, and we made them without batting an eye, until now.
It all boils down to recognizing that you still have time to change and to stop making excuses (you know, your age, your family, or even feeling that you aren’t smart enough to push forward). The author staunchly reminds her readers that they are smarter, more intuitive and stronger than they think. It is mostly about how you feel about yourself. You may need a self-help book or even a Life Coach to get you started, but you have to start somewhere. Think about who you are today. You are no longer just someone’s mom, or just someone’s spouse. In the movie Rhoda said she had to find out who Rhoda was now. So stop using age, family, and society’s expectations or any other excuse that stands in the way of change. You have a lot of really good years left and you can change.