I’m not sure I’ve been more ecstatic than I’m feeling this morning. Life just seems to get better and better and better.
Is this a midlife crisis
or the result of a successful one?
I’ve had A LOT of happy mornings like this one where I get out of bed and think, sometimes say outloud: I love my life! I’m so happy! Life. Is. Good.
Just last night, another mid-lifer and I were discussing how successfully navigating the midlife psychosocial crisis absolutely sets us up for “the best of life for the rest of life.”
(It has become one of the transformation projections I make with my clients. because I’ve seen it happen so many times! Maybe you’ve heard it as a tag line on my podcast.)
An eavesdropping listener asked if I’ve had a midlife crisis. I answered, “yes! Of course. We all have one; some of us just notice it more than others.
The midlife crisis gets a bad rap
for all the examples we first imagine:
a man growing out his hair and mustache, buying a motorcycle, and leaving his wife and children for a young babe.
OR a mom turning into a micro-skirt-wearing cougar and dating her daughter’s boyfriend or leaving the family. Ouch!
Sure, sometimes people do freak out in similar fashion, hence the clichéd stereotype. But like all stereotypes, applying them to everyone or thinking, ah, so that’s a midlife crisis, is just, well, a narrow definition. Not helpful. And not realistic.
Did you know we all have one?
A midlife psychosocial crisis, that is, not the stereotypical one.
We are all programmed to transition from one stage of life: our active, prime adult stage where we have been focused on work, procreating, pair-bonding- do you like those terms for adulting- to the next stage, which has been so expertly named “midlife.” And guess what, the stage can last 15 -25 years by some delineations. (It better, I say. I’m not declaring myself an “elder adult” until I’m 75 at least. But I digress.)
Of course, not everyone has children. Not everyone gets married. But financial survival, decisions and responsibilities regarding work and parenting children as well as navigating intimate relationships…these all occur in the active adult stage.
Then mid-life hits.
We become aware we are literally half way (or more) through our life on the planet and it inspires reflection. (And sometimes panic, sometimes intense panic.)
For some it’s a quick look back. For others that glance is filled with regret. For some, it’s filled with so much unpleasantness, they avoid doing it…for as long as possible.
The psychosocial crisis involves navigating between stagnation (and a fixed mindset) or regeneration (that state of renewal, re-focus, and movement) which will guide the rest of life.
Sometimes people’s unwillingness to process the past and their life so far actually lands them in the stagnation camp. They live out the rest of their days resisting reflection, personal responsibility, and growth forward.
Sometimes people get stuck in the past, fixated on its wounds without processing them and they can’t move forward (and that lands them in the stagnation camp.)
Most people long to go toward health.
That is why they will move toward regeneration: a contemplation of all that has gone on before, a renewal and reconsideration of values, and readjustment based on what one now knows.
After all, we DO know so much more at 50 than we knew at 30. By age 30, most of us had made significant decisions regarding what we would do for work, whether we would parent, who we would love. Then we proceeded to spend the next 15-20 years doing those things. After that amount of time, we realize -in a big way- that we are not going to be on the planet forever so we might want to make the most of the rest of our time here.
We might freak out a little over all the ways we’ve spent our time and energy up to this point. We might have regrets. Or grief.
Or something like that.
Midlife contemplation is inevitable.
All the fallout from a messy midlife contemplation is not inevitable though.
Whether you are the one floating in these rough waters or a loved one who affects you and your life is grappling with it, focused attention to all the aspects of this time of life can be much smoother with a counselor or coach.
But ya gotta find one who knows what she’s doing. 😉
I’m not the only one out there, but of course I’m recommending myself. Call or text me. Send and email. Just connect and let’s get started.CONNECT
Even if what you really need right now is to ask a question. Click the button and connect. I’m happy to help.