How To Get Wildly Inspired After 40

Not just a medium-amount inspired, but all-out, I gotta DO/BE/TRY-this kind of inspired. Like the first time, if you love music, you heard Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, or looked out over the sea from an airplane, or (am I dating myself here?) the day you saw the first Star Wars in 1977.

I’ve been wildly motivated to make bold decisions a few times in my 63 years, like when:

I knew that my hair has to be silver. I dyed it blond for over 20 years, and saw that it didn’t look healthy. I searched Pinterest for silver-haired curly women over 50. I went on a mission to turn my hair silver; the only real ingredient that’s crucial is . . . patience. Blue shampoos and toners help too. Some cosmetics clerk told me five years ago that if I went silver, I would look older. And I’m finding that’s true, but I wouldn’t trade my silver for all the cost, time, and labor of dying it again.

This St. Vincent fab look can only be maintained for about ten minutes, but it inspires me nonetheless.

I heard my voice teacher sing. I had already decided to take lessons, but I was a raw rookie. I heard Kyle (my first teacher) sing in full voice and tears popped out of my eyes. At that moment, I knew with everything you can know that I had to learn to sing. I’ll never sound like Kyle; he’s in the top echelon. But I keep at it, and make nice noise.

I found out real estate was not my jam. I was successful and yet so miserable when I was selling new homes. I made money, for sure, but my heart was sad. I met a talented therapist who, through technique and magic, helped me make a drastic career change to mental health counseling. I quit the big bucks and went to grad school, then started my own small practice. It was grueling but it’s still one of my top two decisions ever (the other being marrying Sandy, but of course).

inspired psychotherapy

This is what I was meant to do. Image source here.

I walked through Washington Square Park about ten years ago and said, “Someday I have to live here.” I got that rush of adrenaline that makes it feel like destiny. You’re tired of reading how much I love NYC, but here it is again: everything about that place inspires me and makes me feel smarter, younger, more alive.

inspired in NYC

Wild inspiration here, and our new place is just a couple blocks away.

That’s how I think of being “wildly inspired”: something resonates inside you and you have to go forward. You’re listening to your truest voice. And it can be as big as changing careers or as simple as colorful palazzo pants, inspired by Melanie (she offers her services as a personal stylist – go over there and get more info stat!). The trousers break all my norms, but now I want to wear them all the time.

Stay fabulous and please share your wild inspirations, xo

Breeze through these fab pieces:

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  1. Thank you for sharing the things that inspired you to make major changes/moves in your life. I feel like I used to be much bolder in my life and was inspired to try things that I never dreamed I would do. That doesn’t happen very much these days and I miss it.
    The woman in the photo with the curly silver hair is the musician St. Vincent, and I would love to have hair like hers. I have always wanted to have a little place in New York, but I know that is a dream that will always remain a dream given the cost, and the fact that I couldn’t live in a country run by a dictator, no matter how much I love New York.

  2. OK.. and will you ever be living in New York? I have this same feeling with Amsterdam. I belong there. Life is bubbling there. But it is sooooo expensive, we cannot afford it. Unless we sacrifice comfort. And we such suckers for comfort. Dilemma.

  3. Great post! My life-changing moments were: Bridget, the first who was “my dog,” not the family pet; learning to make stained glass; and, about 20 years ago, my first trip to Paris as an adult (I had been as a child, with my parents). I was walking down a street and stopped. It was as if Cupid’s arrow pierced my heart. I looked up at the roofline and said, “I’m home. This is where I’m supposed to be.”

  4. what a lovely and inspiring post!, and totally agree on going grey, it could make me look older, but it’s so good not having to dye my hair anymore, it was a money and time consuming routine!, and now my hair feels so healthy and Myself!
    So inspiring that you change your career, that you decided to make something different. I was educated to look for financial security first and foremost, but now I think that a safe bet is not always the better one.

  5. Yes! I love that feeling. Your truest inner self telling you “This Is IT!” Sometimes it takes a while to trust and follow that voice, but the pay off (for me at least) has always been enriching on some level.

    You may not believe me when I tell you this, Patti, but your silver hair does not age you, at least not from where I stand. I was looking at our photos from Vancouver and just marveled at how vibrant we all look given the decades we have racked up so far. I have to think part of that has to do with listening to the inner voice and following inspiration with a child-like curiosity into new ideas, including palazzo pants! So, you listening to inspiration–it apparently keeps you vibrant, makes your hair look chic (not old), and allows you feel alive and engaged!

    Sending hugs from Seattle–a place that does for me what NYC does for you. ❤️


    • Thanks for your kind words, Sherry! And I don’t mind if my silver makes me look older; I know I’m still a hot tamale inside (like all of us). xox

  6. I get so much inspo from you. I love your silver hair now and I think it’s been an amazing journey watching you fulfill your destiny to live in NY. Thank you for being so visible 😀 with it all—-you are def one of my original model bloggers that made me love blogging so much.

  7. Engage. A good word. It’s that gut feeling that something is right. I cheer that you had the drive to make the changes when you felt it. Not easy. Very scary. The palazzos are a great mini daily dose of engagement. Thanks for the shout-out about my style boosting! Finally, I don’t think your silver hair makes you look older, Patti. And I still look forward to hearing you sing some day! x

  8. Thank you, Patti! It resonates so much with me… Lately, I am feeling a bit in a rut to tell the truth. Like you, I made quite a few bold moves in my 45 years, and I am sure that there are some more in the future. I’m just not built for a quiet life I guess. I love having the inner peace, and at the same time I love moving forward to undiscovered lands… Money never motivate me, only ideas, feelings and experiences. Among my bold changes were changing the country and continent, with which comes language and culture. Leaving my first marriage. Trusting my guts when I met my true love. Moving from the Midwest to the PNW which feels, paradoxically, both like an incredible dream, and also like a long lost home. Founding and leading a Russian speaking community following nothing but my own vision. Leaving it. Starting my current blog and believing that I can write it in English. Believing in myself as a writer and self-publishing my books. It helps to even simply list all those things, because in everyday life I just forget! I know that there is something else for me yet to discover. There is longing for it. And I don’t know what it is yet…

    • Yes, believe in yourself always! To move to a new country was a truly bold, inspired act. xox

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