A nice little piece from The Age this morning…
I don’t know about you, but I believe midlife and the change involved is something that you constantly go through, not just as a one off event. For me, it all started when I took 6-months leave-without-pay and travelled Africa. If you know my story, then you also know what happened upon my return. For those who do not, my life did a complete 180 degree turnaround; from being an international management consultant to being single, unemployed, homeless and pregnant, at the ripe old age of 36! Suffice to say, change was required, and has been constantly required ever since.
My view on midlife “crisis” so to speak is not that at all but rather that of disappointment. Midlife disappointment, that’s what it is. Disappointment around all the stuff you have had on your dream list, and have yet to tick it off. Better get started then!!
Don’t put any of it off a day longer. Mind you, it doesn’t mean all has to be done tomorrow, but by the time you time is up, you want to have ticked off that list, or as many as has been realistically possible. Work out what design you want your life to take, and then start living the design. Not difficult, just needs some considered planning, and taking the time out to consider it in the first place.
If you need some help to get you started, just let me know…
“Midlife is when you reach the top of the ladder and find that it was against the wrong wall,” the late American scholar and author, Joseph Campbell, said.
If you have reached middle age without pausing to contemplate the fact that you are, at best, probably halfway through your life’s journey, you are unusual.
There are several things that typically happen somewhere around life’s halfway point: physical attractiveness begins to wane; energy levels drop; health problems arise; parents are ageing; responsibility at work increases; children are becoming more independent; and relationships often break down.
What’s not to have a crisis about?
Despite the classic stereotype of a greying, ageing man at the helm of a shiny, red sports car, the midlife crisis is not a solely male domain. In January last year, researchers at Britain’s University of Warwick and the US’s Dartmouth College studied data from two million people from 80 countries and concluded that for both men and women, the probability of depression peaks at about 44 years of age.
“Some people suffer more than others but in our data the average effect is large,” says Professor Andrew Oswald from the University of Warwick. “It happens to men and women, to single and married people, to rich and poor, and to those with and without children.
“It looks from the data like something happens deep inside humans.”