If you find yourself blaming what is going on in your life as a midlife crisis; let’s revisit the this so-called crisis and dispel some myths. The stereotypes we are used to hearing about involve men cheating or buying fast sports cars, but what about women’s midlife crisis?
The definition of a midlife crisis:
mid·life cri·sis; noun
an emotional crisis of identity and self-confidence that can occur in early middle age.
From Wikipedia: The phenomenon is described as a psychological crisis brought about by events that highlight a person's growing age, inevitable mortality, and possibly shortcomings of accomplishments in life. This may produce feelings of depression, remorse, and anxiety, or the desire to achieve youthfulness or make drastic changes to current lifestyle.
The term was coined by Elliott Jaques in 1965. More modern research has shown this is not a phase that most middle-aged people actually experience, and some have questioned the existence of this phenomenon.
When it does occur, a midlife crisis is not typically actually experienced during the midpoint of one's life, which for most developed human populations would be at the age of 35 to 40.
I like to refer to the past five years of my life as a shift.
I started To 50 & Beyond to get in the best shape of my life both mentally and physically by the time I reached 50. I was 47 at the time. I stopped drinking during perimenopause which started at 42 because I had days where I couldn’t get out of bed. I felt sad all of the time; I was mourning my mom’s death. Also, our sweet dog, Daisy, died, I had lost a high paying job and started a cleaning company at 40.
I have always battled depression and extreme anxiety + panic attacks in my 20’s and 30’s and even younger if I’m being honest.
My forties were the biggest transformation of my life.
(This photo is me at forty-two. I have a semi-smile on my face but what was underneath that smile was sadness, depression, and zero belief in myself to change.)
When I was growing up a midlife crisis was a man buying a sports car, wearing a toupee, and leaving their 40-year marriages for a younger woman. I never heard anything about a woman’s crisis. So, I dug in and did some research and what I found was women in midlife start to reevaluate their priorities. Our kids have grown and we don’t feel needed as much. We are thinking about our future and what is left for us to do; our dreams that have been put on the back burner (by US,) when are those dreams going to come true?
My conversations with women, and my own journey, have led me to the conclusion that we are all feeling this shift. A heaviness that we cannot explain; a sadness that cannot be swept under the rug. I used to wake up with dread when I was going through perimenopause. It was a feeling that weighed me down and made me feel like pulling covers over my head.
I didn’t know if it was menopause, aging, or feeling like I had nothing to be excited about that caused it, I just knew that I couldn’t live in that state any longer. I created something else for myself through years of personal development and asking myself some deep questions, you know the ones, what is the meaning of my life, what am I doing here, what do I want?
I decided that it was okay to not know the answers all at once; but to make it a priority in my life to find out.
Novelist Hilary Mantel says. "You don't know how you got here, but suddenly you're staring 50 in the face. When you turn and look back down the years, you glimpse the ghosts of other lives you might have led. All your houses are haunted by the person you might have been."
Does this bring chills to you? It does me. I’m committed to a life without regrets and I’m excited to meet the person I will become; time and time again.
To my midlife sisters; please know that you are not alone.
The Middle of Life Crisis rewritten:
We are tired.
Tired of being tired.
Tired of feeling unfulfilled.
Tired of dreaming and not doing.
Tired of disappoints and not living up to our potential.
Tired of the coulda, woulda, shoulda.
We are sad.
Sad because our looks are changing.
Sad because we are not happy in our marriage.
Sad because our parents are ill and dying.
Sad because our kids are leaving our home.
Sad because we have wasted time; time we can’t get back.
We are anxious.
Anxious because our job stresses us out.
Anxious because we sleep 4 hours a night.
Anxious because of money and lack thereof.
Anxious because we are still not sure where we fit in with our friends and peers.
We are disconnected.
Disconnected from our childhood dreams and fantasies.
Disconnected from our bodies + sex.
Disconnected from things that use to spark our interest.
Disconnected from our power as a woman who has lived half of her life and can do all of the things she wants if only she gets out of her own way.
We feel shame.
Shame because of our eating.
Shame because of our drinking.
Shame because of our body.
Shame because of our choices.
We are self-aware.
We know what we want.
We know who we are regardless of other peoples opinions.
We know when we are letting our excuses live our life.
We know when we are resisting change.
We are brave.
Brave because we don’t care about what others think for the first time in our life.
Brave because we are letting go of our inhibitions to live out loud.
Brave because we stand up for what we believe in and own our story.
Brave because we are letting go of years and years of shame and guilt to live the rest of our life full of freedom and no regrets.
We are worthy.
Worthy of self-love
Worthy of self-care
Worthy of relationships that uplift us and empower us.
Worthy of happiness.
Worthy of good health.
Worthy of a life without shame, guilt, and regret.
Worthy of self-respect + honor for ourselves.
We are ready.
Ready to jump without holding ourselves back.
Ready to love the heck out of our aging body.
Ready to explore and follow our curiosities.
Ready to fulfill those childhood dreams and fantasies.
Ready to not settle for anything less than an exceptional life.
I know you are ready to make a change and I would love to hear from you on what you want in your life and what you are ready to let go of to live the life of your dreams.
Please reach out to me or comment here and let me hear your thoughts. Remember, you are not alone and midlife, is an extraordinary time, not a perfect time, but extraordinary for sure!