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GUEST WRITER: Birgitta Udd - Follow your dreams when you are 50 plus and divorced

My name is Birgitta Udd, 53 years old, live in Karis in the south of Finland. Things that bring me joy and inspiration are: being outside doing anything and everything, people, starting new things, baking, needle- work and writing. My topic for this guest writing is Follow your dreams when you are 50 plus and divorced. Welcome and join me when I share some pieces of my life story. My professions are: Bachelor of Social Services in Social Care and Youth Work Leader in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, and a supervisor.

When I was 20 I had just finished my degree and I was fed up living in Finland. I ended up as a volunteer at Corrymeela in Northern Ireland. A fantastic year! It mad me hunger for more. But later about that. The best in my life is being a mother to the 5 most beloved children i the whole world! If I would meet myself when I was 20 years old I´d say: Don´t take life so seriously, laugh a lot, you can learn a lot about life and yourself through other people - let that happen but remember that it´s you who live your life!

Being 50 plus – an age when I need to start counting down? No, I don´t think so. There are things that have passed, things that I need to work harder to achieve and my body changes. But I´m convinced that there are millions of things ahead of me! I heard once an old man, who was about 80 plus and he said to another man who just had turned 70: ”O, life isn´t over now, it just started!” so I´ll hang on to that!

Getting older and also having more years of life experience to look back onto, I sometimes ask myself; How do I know to make the right choices in life? I´ll answer the question this way: Sometimes I do the right choices and sometimes I don´t. When I fail and notice that I do, I try to see what I learn from it. I can start the learning process by crying or getting angry but often I can se that I learn from it. Maybe not always clearly, maybe only through a fragment of light and sometimes not even that, but I do believe that I learn from it. I have also learnt that I don´t need to go through life on my own. I have God, a family, friends and I also see a supervisor regularly – to have somebody to talk with where I can be in the center is important because I am the tool in my work. I also believe that people are here in the world to share things with each other, to share joy and sorrow, ups and downs and a cup of caffe latte in between.

The hardest decision I have made was to get a divorce – what would be the best for the relationship, for the children, for me? A most difficult time over some years when I luckily had friends, my writing and my belief to hang on to – all that helped me in the end, although I was the one who had to make the decision. And I came through – I can and I will say that I´m happy now! When you are in a relationship you compromise. When you become a mother you also put some of your dreams on hold – that´s how it should be. I lived in a co-dependent relationship and I had to put a lot of myself on hold. The dreams that I had to put hold for some years, I can now embrace them.

My dream: live abroad, write, open a café and B&B, provide work guidance and be a mental coach to people. I spent 3 weeks in Las Palmas when i turned 50 and it was around that time when I dared to start to listen to my dreams again. Through these two passed years I have met so many people that in one or the other way have some connections to Spain. After my year in Northern Ireland. when I was 20, I have dreamt of moving abroad again. Now it´s time. I´m going to take some time off from my work and move to Spain. Time off to see what my dreams will make of me and where they will take me. Next year this time I´ll be in Spain! A dream can be big or small. Dreams are not connected to an special age.

Last but not least, I would like to end with my favorite quote, which is: Think outside the box!

Dare to follow your dreams!

If you want to find out more about me, you can find me on Instagram at @birgittaelisabethudd. For you who speak Swedish you can follow my blog www.nouw.com/birgittaelisabeth Thank you for joining me - remember that you are the most important person in your life!