Introducing the Handbag List
Have you hit 50, or even 65? Get the feeling that Life is to short? Are you reevaluating your life? Wonder if it’s too late to try new things?
You’re not alone! Each day 10,000 North Americans hit 50! Not to mention the last of the baby boomers are now hitting 65 at staggering numbers, this in itself is redefining society’s attitude towards aging. This attitude change starts with how we evaluate our own personal lives at this this age. So if you’re evaluating your life right now you’re in good company. You may also note that it’s not easy! Then let us share what we as mature women ourselves are doing about it by introducing to you the “Handbag List”!
The “Handbag List” is about personal growth opportunities. It means all the things women put on their wish to do in their lifetime list then tuck that list into their purse for the right time or opportunity to do them. But because women tend to put everything else except them first. Their children, husbands, friends and work/careers that their wish list is never pulled out. Now at 50+ we are encouraging women that it’s their time and to pull that list out of there purses and DO IT!
How did we begin this? When the movie ‘The Bucket List’ came out in 2007, we got to experience through its two main characters (who were terminally ill) to live out each moment remaining of their lives doing everything they’ve always wanted to do before they die. The movie showed the two jumping out of planes, heli-skiing, basically doing dare devil things to challenging themselves to discover more about the kind of men they were, and the thrill of it all. The Handbag list is much like the ‘Bucket List’, but with the obvious difference. It’s not about doing things because we are dying. Turning 50 doesn’t make you terminal albeit we all will die someday. The Handbag list is really about personal growth at a time in life when people were expected to think about retirement instead of trying new experiences during this second chapter of your life.
Thus “The Handbag List” was born! Women encouraging women to redefine themselves by stepping out of the box or comfort zone and pick some of the things they’ve always wanted to do and actualizing it!
Since we’ve started this project, many women have shared their secret list of things they’ve always wanted to try and do. Things like, I wish I could have gone back to school and got a degree or I wish I could have learned to dance, learned to sing, fly an airplane! One woman who has never ever lived alone in her life, wanted just to be able to travel in a far off place alone without anyone going with her, fear held her back, the mere idea of going anywhere by herself let alone get on a plane to some foreign country scared her at the same time she couldn’t stop thinking about doing it the feeling was so strong on going somewhere like Paris or somewhere exotic like Bali! So she set out her plan and gave herself a year to prepare. She said just the planning of it is so exciting!
Virtually everyone has a hidden list of items they’ve wanted to do but tucked away inside their purse for another day. Sound familiar? You’ve probably got a list of your own, one that you’ve altered or may be adding to as time goes by!
It’s not unusual that many of these things never come to fruition and for many honest reasons. Some of the reasons why women haven’t been able to live that secret list hidden in their purse (that we’ve been told); I have kids to raise, my husband would dream of letting me go, I have no money for such things, I couldn’t leave my job, or my career takes all my time. The most common thing we’ve learned is that women tend not to do the things on their handbag list because they often felt their needs came last over family or work obligations. Often the truth is simply, “I’m afraid that I would fail”, “what would my family think of me”!
By the age of 50, the average women has raised their kids to adulthood, changed jobs/careers at least two or nine times, and at this age are less concerned about what other people think of them, much different from when they were young women and worried about what other people may think of them. Many women at by the age have been able to save a few dollars for themselves and thus have virtually run out of excuses!
Much like our theme song “It’s never to Late’ by Jodie Leslie (you can see the song at www.menomission.com) It’s never too late to start to pull out that list and start checking off some of the items? Why now? Why NOT! its known that by experiencing new things we learn more about ourselves therefore become better for it. For example a weekend ago I met a lady who decided to go to college at age 50 and got her EMT (Emergency Medical technician certification). She absolutely loves her new job! Another lady I met went back to university to finish her masters in business communications. She said I don’t need to do it because I’ve already achieved my goals in this line of work, but I wanted to do it for myself because it was important to me to have my masters degree.
More women are stepping out and doing it. Women tend to support and encourage one another to step out and fulfill those dreams you have always had. Support is important to help keep you on track and see you through! Now its time to do it for yourself! There is always a little excitement and sometimes even a little fear stepping out and really doing it! Florence learned how to sing; I learned how to drive a racecar!
HOW DO YOU START YOUR ‘HANDBAG LIST’?
Take stock of where you are at in your life. I believe its important to begin with the positives. If you’re not feeling very positive then we suggest ask a close friend to help you make a list.
- List what things you have achieved in your life, it’s important to learn how incredible you are by affirming the things you’ve done in your life thus far for example. You’re a loving and caring person, a great mother, daughter, aunt, great wife, fabulous cook, community volunteer, great worker, and a fantastic friend, you’ve grown a great career. Now list the things that you like about yourself. Your personality, looks, behaviors etc.
- Now make a list of the things you haven’t achieved in your life, things that you were hoping for. What things would you change about yourself? Are these achievable?
- Now review your list of all those things you’ve always wanted to do in your life
- Prioritize your list to the top 20 things (if you have that many)
- Divide that list in sections according your list of things you want to achieve or change about yourself and your life.
- To start, we suggest to pull out your list and review it. Prioritize your list in sequential order to the most importance, to achievable and the affordable, delete the ones that are no longer important to you and keep which ones can wait a little longer.
Steps to take on your ‘Handbag List’ item
Helpful hints in prioritizing your Handbag list.
- What is possible now
- What is possible later
- What do I need to achieve this
- Why do I want to do this/ my personal goal or objective
- Contract with yourself, this is an important step. Make a written agreement with yourself given a date of when you will execute. Have your trusted friend witness the agreement to help hold you to it if you have the tendency to bail
- Let family and friends know about your plans. It makes it more real.
- Plan the schedule, set the date
- Make all the necessary preparations
What have you learned about yourself?
What new skill or knowledge have you gained from your experience?
Share your journey in living out the items on your “Handbag List” with other women and inspire, encourage and role model for your family and friends and other women.
Share your experience with us at the Menomission
The Menomission team is committed to helping women fulfill their “Handbag” list item. Just write us what your “Handbag” list item is and you may be chosen to by our team to help facilitate your experience.
Those who are chosen will be featured online at the menomission website.