I’ve heard about the dreaded “Mid-Life” my whole life. My parents talked about it like it was a disease. I’ve had friends who have reached it. But the big question is, “When do I reach it, or have I”?
My parents and their friends, all almost forty years my senior, equated “Mid-Life” with menopause (his and hers). Now that my friends and I have reached our forties, and beyond, we look for the dreaded “Mid-Life Crisis”. I know those ten years plus my age still considered “Mid-Life” to be a woman’s menopausal years, but with men it was when they bought the red sports cars, divorced their wives and dated their secretaries and assistants twenty years their junior. I have begun to look at it as a turning point.
After watching many of my friends divorce in their mid to late forties, find new careers, and see their kids all grown, it gave me a new meaning to “Mid-Life”. Not every “Mid-Life” moment is a crisis. My husband retired from the military at thirty-nine. He started a new career with Homeland Security thanks to 911 – 09/11/01 was his original retirement ceremony and was rescheduled due to the terror that day. He found a new career, we moved and started over. I think that time in his life could be considered his “Mid-Life”. Of course, five years later he dreamt of a motorcycle, tattoo, and helped his daughter buy a red sports car that ended up in our driveway. He had a relapse….but no crisis, unless you want to count the car payment we added to our budget.
I have a friend that divorced her husband of over twenty years, has bought her own house and is going back to school for a new career. The only crisis is that she was forced out of her old job but it has helped her take a leap of faith into a new career.
I have another friend that suffered in a difficult marriage for many years for the sake of her children. Once they were grown, she was able to free herself of the bondage she was in to find true, selfless love with the man she was meant to be with.
So why does “Mid-Life” have such a negative connotation? Maybe because many figure out they need to go down a path that their spouse doesn’t want to follow. For many that may mean a divorce. No one ever said life would always be the same or easy.
Have I stepped into “Mid-Life”? I think those that know me the best would say, by my definition, I have. I have lost some weight (not as much as I would like – yet), I’ve started a couple new careers (writing being one of them), and my outlook on life has changed. Is it causing difficulty in my daily routine? Have the changes I’m making made an impact? Oh yeah. Now what do I do? Not rock the boat or go where I am lead? Lead and see who follows….