When is Enough Enough?
At the halftime of life, officially over the age of 40, you may start to wonder, When is enough enough? Many equate having enough mostly with finances and the ability to live comfortably throughout life, and especially after retirement. But there are other parts of life where we can ask the same question. Because when one area is off-balance, that area has a way of affecting other areas.
In this article we’ll approach multiple areas in answering the question When is enough enough? When you have a dream in one area of life and focus solely there, there’s likelihood you’ll mess up the other areas, so looking at them all makes sense. Six areas we will approach here are: work, recreation, relationships, maintenance, exercise and your spiritual life.
When is Enough Enough for Work?
There’s a lot to accomplish in life and one of our jobs is to successfully work enough to retire comfortably. But if you work all your life building a successful career and become someone nobody wants to live with, that’s not healthy for you or for those you care about. Some have worked so hard as to also put a lid on their dreams.
I know many who start to evaluate their work at the halftime of life and realize they now have their ladder up the wrong tree. The halftime of life is actually a great time to make a change and finally pursue that side business, work in a non-profit or even start your own business. Work has a way of keeping people alive, so don’t discount its value in your life, no matter how old. If you’re unhappy, find something you love to do and make a change.
When is Enough Enough for Recreation?
The meaning of ‘recreation’ is ‘re-create.’ The main purpose, according to the original meaning, is to restore and make you more available for work, friends and family. Part of that restoration is to keep the body functional. For many, especially you athletes out there, you know by now that the body goes through changes at the halftime of life, and some of your expectations need to change.
Those changes are sometimes hard to accept when you play six games of full-court basketball and wake up the next day not being able to move. One of the reasons pickleball, invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington, has become so popular is because it’s easier on the body than full-court tennis. It’s not only a hit with seniors, but with multi-generations. There are many activities that keep the body fit as well as provide a great respite. Games and activities are not as boring as stretching and even lifting weights, so explore your options!
With so much emphasis on social media, many feel the more ‘friends’ and ‘contacts’ they have, the better. But calling those contacts ‘friends’ is a misnomer. There are different circles of contacts-I cover this in my book Women at Halftime (chapter seven). I especially encourage an emphasis on your close circle of contacts. This close group will hold you accountable, pray for you and know you better than anyone else.
Your outer circle does include social media contacts, but there are different layers. British anthropologist Robin Dunbar states that humans can comfortably maintain 150 stable relationships. Most know that even when obtaining thousands on your contact list, there is no way to have meaningful connections with them all. How much time you spend with others also depends on your personality, introvert or extravert. Greg (my husband) and I are different in this respect, but we have learned to understand and complement each other’s style.
When is Enough Enough for Maintenance?
Maintenance is a large area that includes your home and finances, but both areas are connected in many ways. Home remodels are wonderful when they’re done, and it’s good to take time to enjoy them. If your home is anything like ours, there is a snowball effect. After re-doing one area, another area seems to need work. Owning any sort of property takes work and maintenance.
This is one of the reasons many are downscaling as they grow older. It becomes more difficult to keep up with the maintenance of large places unless you have the budget and time to manage a large team. If you work at home, maintaining a sense of order has a direct influence on productivity and that takes time and effort. The same principle applies to finances. If you are invested wisely, your money should work for you long-term. Get-rich schemes and high-risk investments are not wise when you don’t have the resources to replace the losses—or even at any other time if you can’t afford to lose what is lost. Losses do happen with market volatility, but there are a lot of benefits to living frugally while enjoying simple aspects of life without huge risks.
When is Enough Enough for Exercise?
Exercise after the age of fifty becomes part of our job at halftime. (see Importance of Exercise) Keeping the body flexible, balanced and able to recreate with others takes consistent work. Including strength training, balance exercises and a reasonable amount of stretching becomes even more important and necessary as the body ages. I have started adding Yoga to my cardio and strength training and am slightly increasing flexibility and balance, which is the purpose.
Break up sitting with standing or walking around. I have a desk I can raise up to stand and work to provide variation. I personally bought a Varidesk some years ago which has helped. Sitting for long periods of time or bing-watching favorite shows is fine once in awhile but can be detrimental on your overall fitness and mobility if a regular practice. If you don’t consistently move and exercise, your recovery from most any activity will grow longer as the years pass.
When is Enough Enough Spiritually?
The spiritual area of life easily gets crowded out with the pursuit of work, recreation and real relationships. Understand that your spirituality has a direct effect on answering life’s most important questions of existence. The questions of Why am I here? Or Is that all there is? are questions commonly asked, especially toward the end of life.
Take time to reflect, journal and worship. Growing in the knowledge of God, a power bigger than ourselves, gives the strength to implement true change and transformation that can’t happen otherwise.
Most of all, realize you are enough. You have everything within you to live a full, productive life through the halftime of life and beyond. You just have to believe it and then act on it!
When one area is off-balance, that area has a way of affecting other areas.
Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author
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