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No One is Going to Give You Flowers

So give them to yourself!

Accomplishments in midlife differ from those in our twenties or even thirties. In the past year, I've found myself hitting some major milestones, starting with leaving my job, finishing a Harvard wellness certification program and finishing my Pilates equipment certification, a 2.5-year journey with over 300 hours of teaching and practice and many obstacles along the way. In two weeks, I will sit for and (fingers crossed) will pass the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaches board exam.

These things are a big deal, right? So, why doesn't it feel like I should celebrate?

Because I did it for myself and no one else, that's why. I know this isn't true for everyone; still, we tend to spend our early years doing what we think others think we should do, whether it's cultural norms or simply parents pressuring a kid to be a doctor and sending them to medical school when they want to study Art History.

However, midlife can and should bring choices and the mental clarity to make good ones.

As I've aged, I've found more agency to ask myself, "What do you really want, and how do you want to spend the rest of your life?"

Then, when you achieve these major milestones, it can feel more like a natural progression of your goals vs. a major life event like when you graduated college and partied with your friends until the sun came up...because who has time for that kind of behavior now? Plus, I don't stay up past 10 pm, but I digress...

Still, we deserve to feel accomplished, and we should celebrate, but celebration may look different than it did when we were younger.

When I found out that I had passed my three-hour written Pilates exam, I was elated but still felt a little MEH, so I decided to take a moment and plan for how to celebrate anyway. I wanted to do something that I would truly enjoy, but that would also be easy. So, my husband and I went out to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner at 6 pm. (Don't judge me - there's nothing wrong with eating early and saving money!) I ordered the Prime Rib early bird special along with a glass of Mezcal on the rocks

For me, this was perfect, and it was exactly what I wanted. My husband didn't suggest it or do it for me; I asked for what I wanted, and he was happy to oblige and he certainly made a toast to my success, BUT, I gave myself those flowers --- the flowers I wanted, and the flowers I wanted were meat and liquor.

It got me thinking about that idea, though. The idea that yes, it's great to have others celebrate us and even with us, but what is more important, is making time to celebrate ourselves. So. What does that look like?

If you've got the bandwidth and motivation to throw yourself a party, I say f*ck yeah! Good for you!

In my case, it was dinner. Maybe in your case it is literal flowers - huzzah for that, but it could also be smaller things because God knows, we're all short on time and long on responsibilities.

It could be taking 15 minutes to unsubscribe from annoying emails you've been meaning to get to but haven't found the time. Maybe it's unfollowing or blocking social media accounts that make you feel like your life is hot garbage. Perhaps it's playing hooky from work or asking your partner to get out of the house with the kid(s) all day so you can engage in some serious bed rotting and binge your favorite YA TV show on Netflix.

Not that I know anything about bed rotting; that is a Gen Z thing, but I'm interested in trying it!

THE POINT IS -whatever you've accomplished at this age, big or small, I hope you find a way to give yourself flowers - whether it's actual flowers, Mezcal and meat, bed rotting or mental floss, it's important to make it a priority. Midlife means celebrating yourself. You deserve it!

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