More than once over the past few years, I’ve felt a little lost.
I had many, many thoughts around what’s next, what am I doing, what do I want to do, where do I fit, and do I even care about where I fit? (The answer dear reader, was no, not really).
For someone who was so grounded in who she was as a professional, and who never wanted to be a mother, finding myself bereft of the first and knee-deep in the second was a bit of a shock, and it’s taken me almost two decades to be OK with where I’m at now.
The thing that made all the difference was to finally commit to doing work I felt happiest about doing. Not going back to my career and letting that idea go rather than clinging on to it even a little bit. Not chasing a business idea everyone else thought I should do because it ‘makes sense’. Not following anyone else but instead doing the thing that I was most curious about, that I felt most interested in, and the most passionate about. And not sacrificing everything for my kids, but putting myself first more often.
It meant reading a lot of books. Listening to podcasts. Studying. Researching. Learning. Seeking. Writing. Trying. Failing. Trying again.
And understanding nothing is forever, everything is changeable, and life is too short to stay on the sidelines.
I think it’s common for many of us to feel lost after we’ve had kids, especially as the kids grow and reach an age when they need us less. Combine that with the onset of middle age, and really, it’s no wonder many women ask the same questions I did. What now? Who am I? What is there out there for me?
The good news is, that finding your way can actually be exciting, fun and full of opportunities.
Here’s what you can do if you’re feeling lost:
Read books that inspire and encourage you. Go to the library and borrow any self-help style book you’ve heard of or that sounds interesting and if it’s not right for you, return it and get another one. If you love it, buy a copy and read it again.
Listen to podcasts – seek out interviews that sound interesting to you. Again, just try anything that sounds interesting and see what happens.
Investigate what you’re curious about. Whatever topic, just go seek information and see where it leads you.
Do stuff you don’t normally do. Make something, bake something, go somewhere, meet someone – expand your horizons just for the sake of it. You never know what you might discover.
Journal. Seriously. This is the best way I know how to cut to the chase. Buy a journal – try one of my ritual packs and make it special – and start writing any thoughts you have about what why you feel lost and what you most want to do, even if you think you can’t do that thing. Write it out and use prompts if you need to – here’s some to try.
Try some short courses. Look at Udemy – it’s a terrific platform to learn about a topic that interests you without having to invest a fortune. They regularly have specials where you can purchase an online course for under $20, so just look for the specials.
Take my Complete Life Project quiz and start investigating what’s missing. It might be that what you really need to do is start looking after yourself. Or take up a creative hobby. Or go on a date. This short quiz and workbook can help you decide where to start.
No matter your circumstances, you don’t need to stay lost, but you won’t find yourself standing still. You have to start moving, and the direction will become clearer as you go.