Existential questions in midlife

This quote jumped out at me today.

A goal without a plan is just a wish. (‘Tout objectif sans plan n’est qu’un souhait.)

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

My friend has been hammering this message into my head for years now, and although I listen to her often sometimes, I don’t always take the necessary steps to follow through. Why I do (don’t do) this is complicated, but I allude it to the fact that I live deep within my comfort zone, enjoying the relative safety it provides.

I am not one to rock the boat.

Or am I? Maybe I am now…

I struggle with this whole message, not just in my writing career but also in my personal life. As a Libra, I am deeply attached to equilibrium. I want life to be a balance of risk and security, doubt and certainty, fear and confidence, all nicely organized and equal on both sides.

Yet I feel unbalanced. One side of the scale is always tipped just beyond equilibrium. (I know, I know, it’s like this for everyone…)

There is a reluctance to step out into the unknown that is deeply embedded in me.

But.

I want to rock the boat. I want to rock MY boat. I want to shake things up because I’m tired of same old.

Truth be told, this pandemic lockdown has given me extra time to reflect. I was able to pursue my dream of writing, and have done so with abundant energy and stamina. You may not see it all, since much of it remains unpublished, but that’s just me being me; I need my projects to look and feel perfect before I feel comfortable releasing things out into the world.

I do see enormous potential out there for me, but for some reason I have continued to mostly stick with the familiar, the easy, the comfortable.

I don’t want to do this anymore.

If you’ve read here a while you know that I’ve dabbled in this topic before. My mantra, If Not Now, When? continues to rattle around in my head, as it should.

I’ve already done this with my first book launch, but it’s not enough. I’m not where I want to be; but I am at the very beginning of what promises to be a long, arduous but ultimately satisfactory journey.

Except…

Pandemic.

The COVID fiasco has been a huge obstacle for most of us, and the moronic decision-making by government types have in many cases impeded, or at least slowed down the forward propulsion required for personal development and professional success.

But this virus has not stopped everyone in their tracks. I admit I tripped and stumbled a few times this past year, I even fell a few times, but something internal kept me pushing forward.

I’m still writing, even if it’s just blog posts (lately – the stories/novels/sequels are currently in regeneration mode). It’s a start, right? The words are inside of me, they just need to come out, even if they don’t’ appeal to everyone.

I dabble in topics that have challenge me and pushed my comfort zones, which as a result had some readers run screaming in the opposite direction far way from me. That’s okay. But if you read here you know that I am a multi-faced personality, and I will continue to push my own boundaries. Because I tell myself repeatedly IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

There is an awakening confidence bubbling away inside my psyche and spirit. Question is, will I continue on this journey, or will I let external forces hold me back? Will I stay nice and safe inside my comfort zone, or will I push forward and set a plan in motion just like Antoine de Saint-Exupéry cited above?

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

40 thoughts on “Existential questions in midlife

  1. I really enjoyed this post, as a Life Coach (still in training) the quote you used called out to me 🥰. In terms of the forces holding you back, which are external and which if any are internal… the internal ones are limiting beliefs we may have carried around with us since childhood, i think they are probably the most challenging and need attending to first. In order to reach our full potential. Maslows hierarchy of needs springs to mind. Our Esteem Needs need to be met, this is where self healing and inner child work come in to play… this is where i am now. I wish you great success as a writer 🌺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much for this eloquent comment. I have talked about this and varying themes over and again and in particular most recently where I also struggle with how these things impact us as writers. I appreciate your comment and thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a great post with great points – there are articles out there talking about the impact that COVID has on our mental well-being especially when it comes down to goal-setting. I hope for the best as we all navigate these times!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The personal experiences on my teens is too private to talk about here and drives home this point exactly. The damage is far-reaching and will be long lasting…

      Thank you for reading and commenting. 🙂

      Like

  3. Hi Claudette,
    This is a great post. It is something that I have been thinking about lately, specially after meeting someone that seemed to be full of ideas but no action.
    May you continue to have the strength and audacity to get out of your comfort zone and go in pursuit of your dreams!
    Blessings! ♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post – I am constantly trying new habits, new this, change that. But I think that I need to focus more on finishing. That’s where I fall down. Crossing the finish line…..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Postponed, yes! I have a plan to “run away from home” in about 8 or 9 years, possibly sooner, and just go wherever, whenever. A vagabond on the road, dancing under the moon on the side of the road cuz I feel like it. Yes, I’ll be in my 60s… so what!

    Let the adventure begin!🥳💃🏼

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think striving for balance can be a trap. It limits you because that becomes your whole goal– not to learn or grow or explore. When I hear that word I’m reminded of Accounting 101: debits on the left, credits on the right. I majored in English Lit, I wanted poetry not balance sheets! Still do

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I just read a book called “Walk of a Lifetime “ 500 miles on the Camino de Santiago.
    I have dreamt about doing this walk for many years. The lesson many who have done this and other pilgrimages is to slow down and just be present in the moment. I don’t know how this translates here, or I cannot put it into words. I am not going to beat myself up because I am not getting stuff done that I want to accomplish.
    Sorry I am just blabbering. I liked your post today. Thank you sweetheart ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well the time to travel is not now anyway so your dream is not dead, just postponed. Some of what I want to focus on is also postponed for reasons relating to parenting.

      We can still put the plan in motion though…research reading, even dreaming.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ask Tucker, I am sure he will have some good suggestions. If not now, when? is not a question for us beagles. Its a mantra as we need to see and do stuff now. We may never get to encounter the same things in the future and, as one of my buddies said, we should go out and enjoy every day. Live life.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the “If not now, when?” question. In recent weeks I’ve had Norah Ephron’s quote about blogging printed up on the wall at home – to remind me why I’m still here 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I read an interesting take on the whole balance thing recently. We shouldn’t be striving for balance we should strive for synergy. I’m still thinking this out

    Liked by 3 people

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