I think I may have mentioned a few times already that one of my heros is Barbara Sher (I Love Barbara Sher) - OK so I might get a bit boring on the subject, but I don't care, she's had a big impact on my thinking over the last months and I'm still re-reading her books and finding lots more that helps me. So I'm happy to sing her praises in case even one other person finds help from her work as I have done.
Anyway, while I'm here still waiting for the Brené Brown books to arrive from The Book Depository, I've taken the time to read again one of Barbara's books that really speaks directly to those of us who're forty plus. It's called 'It's only too late if you don't start now - How to create your second life after forty'.
Now as you'll probably guess from the title of this blog, I'm at that stage in life when things can get complicated. Like oh so many other people - men and women - I've reached a point where the things I felt I knew for certain have suddenly or gradually crumbled. I've started asking myself questions about the future that I would never have had the courage to think about only a few years ago.
But it's sometimes a scary place to be. Deciding that the career path you dedicated thirty years of your life to, has not only lost it's sparkle, but now increasingly feels like a fraud, is not a comfortable place to be.
Knowing that something has to change in order to feel at peace with ourselves is only the first step. We have to find out for ourselves what will give us satisfaction and pleasure so that we can take the mid-life crisis and turn it into the launch pad into a new life. For some it might be easy, if you've always really known what you should be doing, always understood your special gifts and known what direction you should be going in, even though circumstances may have forced you to go a different way until now, then at least you're part of the way down the track towards getting your second life in order.
But in my experience, we're not all that lucky. Some of us reach this stage in life so demoralised and discouraged, that it takes a lot of hard work, soul searching and not a few tears, before we uncover from inside ourselves the essence of what will make us happy.
What I love about Barbara's book is the way she takes you by the hand and walks you through steps and exercises that gently fold back the layers until you get a glimpse of the things that start to give you hope, make you tingle with excitement and ultimately give you the desire to take action towards building your second life.
This is a great book to read if you need a compassionate 'friend' to tell you it's going to be OK - sometimes we need that, especially as we don't all have real friends with whom we can share our mid-life fears. I read it first about a year ago and took various pieces of advice from it, but since then, as is the way with a mid-life crisis, I've been changing. It really does feel like a big emotional journey and today I'm not in the same place I was even a few weeks ago - so I was relieved to find that reading 'It's only too late...' again this week has given me new insights.
So thanks again Barbara. I'm sure this won't be the last time I read through, or indeed bore everyone with my hero worship!