Post #63: Why a mid-life crisis is a good thing…
Do you remember being 18? Maybe going off to college or starting a job? You had your whole life ahead of you and endless possibilities?
By the time I was reaching my 40’s life was really good and I thought that a “mid-life crisis” was for people who weren’t following their intuition and not working in a job they absolutely loved. That was me. I loved my life. I loved my job. I loved my family. But 40 came around, we had another baby, my husband bought a new business, and low and behold I found myself in what could only be called a mid-life crisis. I was in extreme stress and overwhelm not knowing what to do next and feeling like a complete failure.
Fortunately, I still practiced my daily yoga. And I began observing myself in this intense stress and overwhelm. I watched myself try different things, push myself past my comfort zone, and even let go of things that had felt like a part of me. I realized that although this “crisis” was more intense, it seemed like a normal cyclical thing that occurred in my life before. I know there were times before in which I questioned what I was doing. The only difference now was that I was 41 and suddenly life seemed shorter. Those endless possibilities that I remembered from 18 were still there, but now they felt limited by time, money, and other responsibilities.
It took me awhile, but I realized that a mid-life crisis is not a bad thing. It’s really a necessary component to checking in with ourselves at a time in which we realize that we really are aging. We really don’t have forever to fulfill those lifelong dreams. We really will watch our parents pass if they haven’t already. We really will hear ourselves called “ma’am” by cute boys who just yesterday used to flirt with us. (Wth?!)
It’s a wake-up call to make sure that we really are doing exactly what we want to be doing in life. To make sure that we are grateful and loving to our family and children in every moment because this really won’t last forever. To look at those lifelong dreams and realize that we better get on them now because with each passing decade it will only get more difficult. To let go of any lifelong dreams that won’t be fulfilled because we realize that we now have a different focus for what we want our lives to be about.
A mid-life “crisis” should really be called a mid-life “check-in point”. A point in which that 18 year old within us steps back up to the plate with all those young feelings of endless possibilities, invincibility, blind faith, and stubborn courage. We rummage that up and add it to the experience we’ve had over the last 20 plus years to move on to the next phase of our lives.
We pat ourselves on the back for being here, for being loving and kind whenever we can, and for dropping in to the background when necessary to raise kids or support from the sidelines. We pat ourselves on the back because we are all doing the best we can and we can always remind others of the same.
So if any of you out there are in a phase-change at 40 or any age, I challenge you to take this opportunity to check-in with yourself and see if you need to make any shifts. Sometimes those shifts are big and obvious, and sometimes they are simply shifts in perspective necessary to let go of guilt, disappointment, or regret from the past. If you find yourself stuck or overanalyzing, practice yoga and your next step will be laid out for you naturally over time.
So remember, to live “awake” is to love your life! And please stop calling me “ma’am”! 😉