Finding a Purpose in Midlife and Beyond - Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
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Finding a Purpose in Midlife and Beyond


Happy Friday friends!

Nothing like taking on a light topic of the day! I have been thinking about this, as i get older, and what gives me a sense of purpose in my life.  I had written a post on Fullfillment -What It Means To You  as well as knowing that the more we keep our mind active, and have social connections,  the stronger we will be later in life.  Once you are retired, or in my case, have an illness or situation which has you unable to work a consistent, steady 9-5 job, how do you find purpose in your life?

Perhaps your kids are out of the house, or you don’t have children.  For my situation, it is myself, my husband, and my 2 puppies. We met later in life and don’t have children. When we met, prior to having EDS, and symptoms, I was a teacher. I received my Masters in Elementary Education and a B.A in Music Performance, and certification in Music Education. Through college, I was immersed in music, at the University, and then later in the band in which I played. I taught lessons in guitar for many years..

I later decided I wanted to teach in the classroom, in both Elementary and in Music. I taught for about 8 years in private and public schools, and several where i would write the curriculum for Music, as the school was brand new. Let’s just say , that kept me busy! I loved the creative nature and devising an enriching music curriculum for my students. I found it so rewarding to teach 5th graders to improvize jazz ( on recorder) and sing and dance in zoot suits…

At 40, when I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos, my focus shifted to not being in pain. I had to stop working, and find out what was wrong with me. After years of doctors, the Mayo Clinic, I would be put on medication and later find a plan that worked at managing my pain. It has taken 10 years for me to be in a better place, but I sometimes think to myself, what is my purpose now? Believe me, I love the blog, the women I have and continue to meet, as well as the community and support of women at midlife. I find helping ladies feel more confident in the way they dress, is something I love to do.

In regard to health, people with purpose tend to have less stress, and in turn less heart and other problems.“Purposeful individuals tend to be less reactive to stressors and more engaged, generally, in their daily lives, which can promote cognitive and physical health,” said Patrick Hill, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Washington University in St. Louis”. I also believe that with purpose, there is more activity, which in turn, cause less health problems, both mentally and physically.

What is your purpose?

What do you wake up excited to do?

Take action. I do believe purpose doesn’t mean to have the ONE thing in life that we are passionate about. If we are searching for purpose, I think taking action in something that drives us, can help us discern what things we find purposeful in life.

I recently came across a story on Facebook about a Hospice and Care home for senior dogs. The story brought me to tears. I thought it was so wonderful, as the home gives these older dogs, whether they are sick, ailing, disabled, a joyful place to live out their lives. I see this having such meaning. I came across a non-profit as well in NC, where the dogs are also senior, and some of them are at the end of their lives.  I love dogs and do see myself volunteering or doing something with them in the future.

I love this quote by Pablo Picasso- ” The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose in life is to give it away.’

Have a great weekend!


I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

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  • smithsuzanne2014
    Posted at 09:26h, 30 April Reply

    I love this post Jess! When I started my blog I had no idea what the purpose of it was, but now I know that I want to empower women to be their best selves and create a community of people who want to support each other because no matter what, sometimes things are hard and we need each other!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:41h, 30 April Reply

      Thank you Suzanne! I do think this purpose in life, along with the Fierce 50 group is wonderful.

  • Amy Christensen
    Posted at 16:52h, 29 April Reply

    It’s good to step back and look at our purpose and what we are passionate about. Sometimes, as you have found, we aren’t able to continue doing the things we love most, but have to take a new path. Sometimes I find myself saying, “I’m too old to start…” That mindset is only holding me back from what I really want to do which is write fiction. I have to keep reminding myself, it is never too late and I am never to old to start something new. Thanks for the reminder. – Amy

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:36h, 30 April Reply

      hi Amy! I think that is wonderful. I enjoy writing, as you can see. I think anyone can start anything at any time..thank you for your input on this topic. xx

  • nschristine
    Posted at 10:36h, 29 April Reply

    I really enjoyed your post. Finding purpose is something I struggle with. Life, needless to say, has not worked out like I planned or worked for. It is very frustrating. You have to take so many things into account in mid-life that you did not when you were younger. That puts the limits on many things. Definitely, would like to hear more about this subject.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:42h, 29 April Reply

      Thank you! I am very glad you enjoyed this post. I hope to explore more midlife issues on the blog, and this was something that i have been thinking about. Unexpected things can happen in life, and it can be disheartening. I didn’t expect to have a serious illness at 40.. so my lifestyle had to change. I think finding purpose is so integral in your happiness, as it is what makes up get up in the morning, and get excited to start the day. I appreciate your input!

  • barrettadeb
    Posted at 10:29h, 28 April Reply

    Love this post sweet Jess😍 I try to keep my mind very active. I took a job where I sit all day & it is very boring at times so I long for my down time. Keeping my mind active is a priority for me.


    • jessica jannenga (@jessicajannenga)
      Posted at 09:44h, 29 April Reply

      Thank you Deb! So true Deb, I think it is so important to do so as it helps in aging and keeping your mind sharp. My hubby has been using Duo lingo, a language program to learn Italian. I appreciate your input! x

  • Hilda Smith
    Posted at 05:59h, 28 April Reply

    Thank you Jess for reminding us to make the most of the lives we have. Love that Pablo Picasso quote. X

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 12:19h, 04 May Reply

      Thank you Hilda for popping by, glad you enjoyed the post. xx

  • Rosemary Davis
    Posted at 20:04h, 27 April Reply

    Thank you Jess for this wonderful and thought provoking post.
    Purpose of life?
    I have found myself asking that question many times throughout my life. And when I think about it, it probably occurs for me about every decade. Usually there has been a major life change or I am on the verge of new personal growth.
    The fact is life is not always fresh and exciting…it is equally tough and hard, but I like to believe that hard comes along the questioning is leading us to the next open door.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    • jessica jannenga (@jessicajannenga)
      Posted at 09:47h, 29 April Reply

      Hi Rosemary!
      Thank you for you comment! i understand , as i have been thinking about this often as my life changed from my condition, it would make sense to think these things at different stages, as you mentioned. Hope you have a great Sunday my friend!xx

  • Tatiana MoskatovaTatiana
    Posted at 11:42h, 27 April Reply

    What a great post, Jess! Thank you so much for this reminder!


  • thisblondesshoppingbag
    Posted at 10:05h, 27 April Reply

    Oh how I love that Pablo Picasso quote, so inspiring! I agree, we have to find our purpose and realize it is ever changing. That’s why I started blogging, it’s a fun hobby, a great creative outlet and I feel like the friendships are the icing on top! Great post my friend, you have most certainly been through a lot in the last 10 years – cheers to the next decade being much better!!!!
    p.s. come to FL so we can share a bottle of wine!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:52h, 27 April Reply

      Thank you Kellyann,
      Yes, I love the quote too. i appreciate the well wishes and even though my life has taken a different direction, I do try and find purpose and meaning in my life.. So true about it evolving-changing. I would love to meet you in Florida! Even though i have known you for a short period, i feel we would be good friends! 🙂 xx

  • Jess Jannenga
    Posted at 10:00h, 27 April Reply

    Thank you Jodie! I did struggle a bit when after my illness, my life and lifestyle had changed. i had to find another way to find purpose and meaning in my life, when I wasn’t able to teach or do some of the things I used to. I am glad you enjoyed the post! xx

  • Jodie
    Posted at 09:27h, 27 April Reply

    I loved reading this Jess. It is important to have purpose…even if it’s just for those around you!!

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