Family Dynamics

Mid-life mindset: Making time for my own new interests

I know that for some of us, mid-life is about pursuing new interests or spending time re-engaging in past interests we would like to try again. We have a new found freedom that perhaps we didn’t have in previous years, and it’s definitely liberating! Those of us who have children relish the thought of no longer being on a schedule that includes drop offs and pick ups at all different times and days of the week. Our personal calendar has more flexibility than in many years why not take advantage of it!

As mid-life women, we tend to look at the years ahead a bit differently than men-most of us embrace the opportunity to find new activities that excite us and bring new purpose to our lives. But what if some of those newfound interests don’t include your spouse? Is it OK to spend more time pursuing this new passion/activity/interest and less time with your spouse?

I say yes! I think it’s natural for those of us who have been married or in a committed relationship for many years to be looking for more out of life-that’s what keeps us vital! And that is also what allows us to be content in a relationship with someone who shares some of the same interests, but certainly not all. I mean, let’s face it, most men are not craving the same amount of social interaction as we women do! And I can only spend so much time sitting around a big flat screen TV.

I appreciate the fact that my husband has always been supportive of the various interests that I have pursued throughout our relationship. And now that our kids have moved on to the next phases of their lives, he and I spend plenty of time together-and we do enjoy that time for the most part. (truth) But as work becomes secondary in my life, my interests are what will keep me stimulated and on purpose.

Here are some ideas to consider when you are trying to maintain a good balance of time spent with and without your spouse:

  1. Set aside time with your spouse at least twice a week to just “catch up”. I find that even though we spend time together, there are a lot of things we forget to tell each other -either we are too busy or we just honestly “forget”.
  2. Try to find a new activity that you would both enjoy doing-whether it’s a cooking class or volunteering together, it should be something that is new to both of you.
  3. Take walks-something as simple as walking your dog or yourselves is a stress free and great way to spend time together.
  4. Identify the new interests you would like to pursue and then make time to get involved. You don’t have to wait until a friend or colleague wants to join you-just go do it on your own time.
  5. Look at meet-ups-they seem to have a meetup for almost any activity you may want to consider-it’s a great way to meet people while doing something new.
  6. If you don’t have a new interest, then volunteer. It’s a great way to give back, meet new people and have fun.

Above all, do what makes you happy..

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