You're so damn privileged!
What do you do when you have it all? What do you do when the sky is the limit, where the world is your oyster, when you have infinite options available to you?
While this situation is not what every galloping housewife will face there is absolutely no doubt that, by simple virtue of being capable of spending some time in the equestrian environment and having survived to middle age, we are all privileged to some extent.
We have a certain level of disposable income. We have intellect and access to education. We have problem solving ability and management skills and support networks and connections and physical fortitude.
Yet privilege does not make us immune to life’s challenges. Privilege itself can be its own burden.
When certain things in life come easily there is less pressure to figure out what we value in our world. We don’t have to make choices, because there is always the opportunity to change our mind. We can change our career, we can move home, we can buy another horse, we can fill the gaps in our happiness with things and experiences.
Often there is a lot of expectation in our lives. That we go to college or get a specific qualification. That we live in a particular area. The we participate in certain activities. That we have a family. That we compete. We may be expected to work in the family business or promote its interests.
Above all we are expected to be grateful for everything we have and for everything we are able to do. We are expected to maximise every single opportunity we have. We’re expected to be successful and beautiful and happy.
All of a sudden, we find we are middle aged. We might be finishing or at least stagnated in a career we’re not sure we chose. Our children are nearly grown and becoming independent. We never did ride at Gatcombe or Madison Square Garden or the Melbourne Royal.
We’re not unhappy exactly, we just feel a bit empty, a bit directionless. We don’t know what to do now. We have things we are interested in, maybe things we care deeply about, we just can’t see a way out of the lives we’ve had created for us to take action.
We know that with privilege comes responsibility. We know that we could do so much with what we have. We want to pay it forward. We have unrequited ambition.
And we’re scared. We’re scared of making a mistake. We’re scared of looking stupid. We’re scared of failure, especially when we are stepping outside of expectations. We are scared of seeming pretentious or uncaring or ungrateful because we are none of those things. We are scared that we will never find the true meaning of our lives. We are scared that if we do decide to take advantage of all we have, we are going to be perceived as spoilt and selfish.
If you have hit middle age and are struggling to find your reason for getting up in the morning or with knowing what to do next, know you are not alone.
Know that you can do anything that you want. Know that your privilege is not your fault, you don’t have to feel guilty for it.
It’s time to stop apologising for your good fortune. It’s time to start living your life.
If you’d like some help with this, the galloping housewife is here to help you Sort Your Shit Out.