How to Move from Midlife Crisis to Midlife Mastery
Do you view midlife as a new beginning? Are you wondering what's next? Here's how to make the most of this extraordinary chapter in your life.
Throughout our lives, we are called upon to evolve into the best version of ourselves. This may show up as a vague dissatisfaction nudging us toward change, or an urgent need to reboot and make a fresh start. As we move through each stage of adulthood, the cumulative effect of lessons learned (and not learned) shapes and guides us along our path to personal growth.
For many, midlife can be a time of significant change and transition marked by unique opportunities and challenges. Baby boomers claim that sixty is the new fifty and fifty is the new forty. While our parent’s generation viewed midlife as the last hurrah, we view it as a new beginning. Why then, do so many of us experience a sense of dis-ease at midlife and beyond?
For starters, it’s dawning on us that we may not be around for as long as we’ve been around. A sobering thought giving new meaning to the phrase carpe diem. At midlife, we begin to take inventory. Those of us with children may be facing an empty nest and life beyond parenting. Others may be ready for a career change or considering retirement, albeit a very different version than our parent’s. We begin to ask ourselves, what’s next?
As women, we go through “the change” in more ways than one. We may be torn between the needs of aging parents and adult children. Some of us will still be going strong in committed relationships, whereas others will be going solo, either by choice or by chance. Sadly, we may begin to lose friends and family members.
If you find yourself on the verge or in the midst of midlife change and transition, ask yourself ‘what is going well in my life right now?’ Acknowledge it and be grateful. Then ask yourself, ‘what is not going well in my life right now?’ Acknowledge it and be grateful because the present is perfect. Things are exactly as they should be, challenges and all. Now is the time to begin sorting it out.
Most of the stress we experience at midlife and beyond is due to fear of the unknown. We’ve got adulthood down, but now there’s a fork in the road. What do you want your life to look like going forward? Ask your 80-year-old self what she would regret having done or not done. Ask her how she would like you to start living today.
Contrary to popular belief, getting older has its perks. You’re more accepting of who you are, less concerned with what others think and more willing to speak your truth. And yes, it is better than the alternative! More than any previous generation, we are reinventing ourselves, exploring new interests, lifestyles and designing an active, engaging and satisfying retirement. We’re learning to love the face in the mirror and celebrate the hard-won wisdom of our life journey. It may be half-time, but there’s a whole lot of game left…Go for it!