Stephanie Slate lives in Toronto where she is a full-time university student pursuing a masters degree in education. She divides her time between courses at the university, an internship as a teacher candidate in a kindergarten class, and spending quality time with her husband and three children. Stephanie is in her early 40s.
What would you say has been the biggest shift in your life since turning 40?
Coinciding with my 40s has been the change to my children all being in school full days. Because I knew they were becoming more independent, I decided to register for school, a decision which turned life as I knew it upside down.
When do you feel you are most powerful?
I feel most powerful when I’m learning. I joke sometimes that when I graduate I will apply to another program, and then another and another. I love testing my limits, challenging my misconceptions, and, as we say in kindergarten, “growing my brain.”
What are the top 3 most important things to you right now?
Love. Kindness. Happiness.
How do you make sure your actions are aligned with what’s most important to you?
I remember once reading that Tina Fey had a “say yes and figure it out afterward” approach to life. That’s me, too. I take opportunities as they arise when they feel right for me and I know I will figure out a way to make them work. Going back to school was never part of my life plan and how I actually got here is a very long story. To shorten it greatly, it was a series of “yes-es” that brought me here and a lot of “figuring it out,” that keeps me here. I’m so glad now that I didn’t say no when all signs once pointed to the impossibility of what I’m currently doing.
What seeds are you planting today for the future?
My children asked me yesterday if I’m going to be a teacher when I graduate. I told them I don’t know. Yes, I’m planting the seeds to be a teacher and, yes, it’s where I think I’m going, but I’m also planting the seeds to be and do so many other things. What I enjoy most about taking this journey at my age is that I remain open to so many possibilities, some of which I may not have even considered, yet. I’m not worried about reaching a specific final destination like I might have been in my twenties. Instead, I’m enjoying the experience as I go and allowing it to open doors to so many new adventures along the way.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in redesigning midlife?