When you were a child, you looked forward to doing things like your older sibling(s), who seemed to have so many advantages. And you couldn’t wait until that was your experience, too. Yes, we all looked forward to being a teenager.
Then when we got to be a teenager, we started looking forward to being an adult. Going to college, pursuing a career, finding a life partner, everything!
Then comes the prospect of mid-life. We’ve done it. We made it to adulthood. Got the goods. Got the career. Got the family. And then things begin to change. Progressing beyond this point just doesn’t seem to be so attractive. In fact, for many, mid-life isn’t very attractive at all. I mean, how many people do you know in their 20’s who are looking forward to turning 40?
At mid-life, something happens. We start looking at getting older not as something to celebrate and look forward to, but as something to avoid, deny, or turn away from. We begin to notice our health changing. Our attitudes changing. Our relationships changing. And the possessions we spent the first half of our lives acquiring or building up seem to lose their value or begin to fall apart. Our spirit wanes.
Not long ago, American researchers coined a new term. “Middlescents” are those people between 40 and 60 who have burned themselves out. It is a critical time for people and they often have to rethink their whole life. Should they be less ambitious? Or work harder? Should they spend more time with their family? Or begin to work on their legacies? The critical time for this reflection used to be well into your 50’s, now it’s getting younger. And in some cases, much younger.
It’s what used to be called a mid-life crisis, but it seems to be happening earlier now. Highly educated people who live in this world of abundance we enjoy today have more opportunities for identity crises throughout their lives. But, for some, this is a good juncture because it’s usually a crisis that forces you to assess your life and find new meaning and passion.
What I enjoy about my profession are the exciting opportunities to work with people who want to embrace mid-life, not as “the beginning of the end,” but as “the beginning of new beginnings.” The transitions at mid-life present us with several invitations. Invitations that take us deeper into ourselves. Deeper into our possibilities. Deeper into our relationships. And deeper into the value and beauty of life. This is a gift we often miss in the first half of our life, but stands ready to envelope us during mid-life and beyond.
If you are approaching or in mid-life, consider for a moment what you think about this time of life. What could it mean for you?
Both adolescence and mid-life are times for exploration. Teens and middlescents reevaluate their ideals, beliefs, and behaviors. While adolescents turn from the values of their parents to their own, adults at mid-life turn from the role they performed in their “first adulthood,” to exploring the parts of themselves that still desire expression.
And look at all the time left! Today there is not only life after youth, but life after the empty nest. There is life after layoff and early retirement. There is life after widowhood, the coronary, and often after cancer. There’s more to dream about, plan for, invest in, and to anticipate now.
Having passed through “half-time,” this new phase is when and where adults seek meaning, fulfillment and spiritual growth over performance. We wonder what our purpose is from this point on, whether we like who we’ve become, and whether we can still change.
As someone who enjoys working with transformation (i.e., the process of creating possibilities then realizing them), I am uniquely qualified and inspired to help navigate people through the bounty that is middlescence.
Perhaps you would value working with a Professional Coach to:
Find the courage to change. (Hint: you already have it!)
- Discover resources to learn more about yourself and to live fully.
- Determine…How fascinating is your purpose?
- Understand mid-life development and way to shift from crisis to opportunity.
- Transition out of mid-life rebellion and move forward with a clear vision.
- Lower your stress levels.
- Jump start a new career.
- Pursue that life-long calling or dream.
One thing is for certain, we can only move forward. For those who choose to affirm mid-life and its potential, they (you?) will find themselves marching into a world with new meaning and depth.
Are you ready?