* Inspired by a certain someone’s recent BDay, whom is now firmly entrenched in the sweet spot of midlife!
Midlife may just be the most ambiguous, broadest term to define in modern language. In my random, very unscientific survey, I’ve discovered the range spans from 30 to 60 years old…or when you succumb to buying that shiny red Corvette! The answers vary by respondents: a college student thinks age 30 is over the hill while an active 60 year old will feel they are just hitting their prime. It is, of course, all relative and, quite frankly, the precise chronological point we formally enter midlife is of little importance because the better gauge is how we feel in the Mind, Body and Soul.
But there comes a time in each of our lives when we become keenly aware that our clock is ticking. The inevitability of the realization that we are not invincible, nor immortal, as we pause for self-reflection. It is an odd rite of passage that typically arrives without warning. The catalyst may be a major life event like the 3 D’s: Death, Divorce, Disease or just pure futility with the status quo where we simply cannot live another day in our current miserable existence. The tipping point may be subtle or come crashing down like a house of cards; either way, it can be transformational with a positive result if we don’t launch into midlife crisis mode searching for a quick fix. The superficial route with all its cliches – shiny red sports car, face lift, trophy spouse, hair plugs, liposuction (need I continue?) – will only offer fleeting moments of consolation.
The noble path is looking inward and searching for a deeper discovery to find meaning and purpose in midlife. If we are not living our values or expressing our passion in demonstrative ways, we will be living someone’s else dream or expectation of what they think is best for us. Many of us are or have been on that path, only to experience a sense of emptiness and loss. The Soul feels hollow, looking for fulfillment and demanding to be heard. Your very essence pleads for an awakening until, finally, we come to a grinding halt and choose to listen.
So how can we use the messages of our emotions and body to guide us to a richer, fuller and happier life that is our birthright? It begins with self awareness, reflection and self acceptance. It requires the brutal honesty for inner exploration – which can get uncomfortable – to assess your strengths and weaknesses, responsibility for your behaviors, and a connection to your passion which enables you to express your unique gifts in a meaningful way.
Our society does not favor getting older, but transitioning through midlife does not need to be messy. With all the wisdom acquired in the first half of your life, it can be the launching pad into better days ahead. We cannot turn the clock back, but we can gracefully pass through middle age with a mindful eye on our golden years ahead.