I am on a mission! A mission to redefine what I believe to be an old and outdated phrase with a new, more positive one that reflects what I think is really going on. Have you ever wondered why it’s called a mid-life crisis? When I hear that phrase I picture an older man leaving his wife, buying a red corvette and picking up a 22 year old blonde bombshell as his new companion. But in real-life, how many people do you know that have actually done that? Now, I am not claiming there aren’t any. I’m sure that does happen, and with the roles reversed too, older woman leaving spouse for younger man. But I think more often than not, what is actually happening when a lot of us hit our later 40’s and early 50’s is this: The kids have finally left the house, which means life has naturally slowed down a bit, and we are left wondering, “what the heck now?” Read on to learn why I believe we can throw mid-life crisis out the window and embrace the mid-life discovery!
The Early Days: You know, that time when you are in your 20’s, still dreaming and planning your future, and some of us already working hard to make it happen. At this point in your life you have endless energy, very few responsibilities other than to yourself, and although I am not suggesting there are no struggles or hardships, it’s really a time of possibility, vision, and often times, a lot of fun. Life hasn’t become so routine just yet, and your enthusiasm and curiosity are at their peak!
Young-ish: You’ve been at this gig for a while now. Routine is routine. Your life likely looks something like this. Monday-Friday, wake up, get kids dressed, ready, and off to school, or if you don’t have kids, skip straight to this next part. Work 8-5,maybe 6, then head home for any of the following scenarios: Soccer practice, homework,dinner, cleanup, fall into bed exhausted. Or, workout, shower, dinner, more work, maybe some TV (or truthfully you’re both scrolling through your phones), fall into bed exhausted. On the weekends, it’s clean-up, catch-up, and maybe dinner and drinks with friends. Is this fun? Sure. Is it fabulous? Truth be told, you don’t even know any different. Life gets so busy and you just keep going, just keep doing, until 15-20 years go by and one day you have time to breathe.
Mid-Life Discovery: Notice I did not say crisis here! Here’s the thing, I think it can “feel” like a crisis. You’re a little older, hopefully a little wiser, and you start to find yourself thinking “there has to be more than this”. At this point, I think people start to panic. They feel lost. They realize that they have been so busy being spouse/parent/employee that they don’t even really know who they even are anymore. They realize that their not exactly feeling happy, and that’s scary! Does that mean your marriage is a mess or your job is awful? Not necessarily (although for some people they may find this is the case). Take a deep breath though before you decide to toss it all aside and go buy yourself a sports car! This is just a new opportunity. A new phase of your life. A time when you can REALLY step into who you are and what REALLY matters to you! And if you don’t know? Well what a fun adventure! You are at a point in your life when you don’t have to answer to your parents, if you have children, they are well on their way, and it’s finally YOU TIME! So avert the crisis and deep dive into discovering you! The next few decades are out there waiting!
-next week I will share some tips on how to get started on that deep dive