I ran across this post, 30 Things to Let Go of in 2016 earlier this year. The article resonated with me because I often think and talk about letting go. As my feet gain traction in midlife, I circle around the non-negotiables in my life, but also work toward identifying those things that I must actively let go. This particular post pushed me to quantify what letting go looks like in my life. Here are ten things I am actively trying to release my life:

  1. I am letting go of the word, “later.” If it is important, the optimal word is now. I’ve learned waiting on what you want to do means sometimes shelving it permanently. This only leads to regrets.
  2. I am letting go of always taking the blame. In the past, I’ve leaped to take accountability for a conflict, but in the last few years I’ve accepted I am not always the cause of an undesirable outcome.
  3. I am letting go of worrying about what others thinks of me. It’s an antiquated way of thinking, speculating on the speculation of others. The truth is, for the first time in midlife, I am more concerned about whether I like an individual instead of wondering if he or she likes me. This concept is empowering.
  4. I am letting go of always saying yes. I am a firm believer that saying yes to a person or event means saying no to something else. Understand what you’re sacrificing for your yes. Time is finite – it is imperative what you say yes to is important to you.
  5. I am letting go of wanting the perfect anything. One of my favorite quotes is by Leonard Cohen: Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering, There is a crack in everything, That’s how the light gets in. I am learning to embrace the cracks, sometimes the pain of them and acknowledging those are the places I find myself feeling the most alive.
  6. I am letting go of noise. The silence can make you feel uncomfortable, but this is where most work is done. Sitting with yourself, in the light and dark, learning to embrace being alone, is ultimately how you rise up and claim this life.
  7. I am letting go of the script. I spent so much of my twenties planning my life, with the naïve belief, that I am in control. The uncertainty is here to stay.
  8. I am letting go of the notion I can sacrifice the non-negotiables in my life. For me to live well, I need to sleep, exercise, eat healthy, write, embrace solitude and spend my time with the people who matter most to me. Otherwise, I am an unhappy person.
  9. I am letting go of my need to talk. I’ve repeated this statement so many times in the last few years – The more I live, the less I know. I have so much to learn. It’s refreshing to approach midlife like a student again, the eagerness to learn – a comfort.
  10. I am letting go of ignoring red flags. When people show you who they are, believe them.

What are you letting go?