One day you’re on a fast track career, great social life, fabulous holidays, tickets to see the best gigs in town and always out on a Saturday night and then one day it’s all behind you. How did that happen? It’s not as if I want to wind the clock back and re-live that period of my life but I do object, really object, to my children convincing themselves that life is invented by them and that I was somehow born to a life of servitude for their convenience. It’s as if their sun is rising and, whilst mine is nowhere near even ready to contemplate setting, it’s in danger of becoming eclipsed!
No one is actually daring to use the term ‘midlife crisis’ within earshot, although my eighteen year old did suggest that maybe I was experiencing a ‘ Prime Life Conundrum’ which, considering his usual sensitivity on the subject of age, was very profound!
But why is it so scary to be ‘mid’ life. The middle is, obviously, equi-distance between birth and death. I guess it’s the ‘d’ word that scares us. Being half way there is drawing our attention to our own mortality, sending us spiralling into panic about our lost youth, time running out and life changing.
Change Can Be Good
The danger here is, I think, in our approach. Change in life is to be expected. Our problem comes in expecting otherwise. By transitioning through each life stage, for example from adolescents to early adulthood, through to grown up and then on to mature adulthood – and all this before even becoming at all old – we can, perhaps, feel more comfortable about the changes and begin to look at the benefits and natural highs of each era.
Being a ‘grown up’ brings with it wisdom, choice, and a sense of purpose. We no longer feel we need to hurtle at life at full speed and cease to care so much about being judged. We may not want ‘sex and drugs and rock and roll’ as a whole package, but as the baby boomer generation enjoys their middle years have we really decided what it is we do want?
This is not a time to look back but to look forward with eager anticipation. Our sun is still shining brightly and we need to be basking in its rays. I’m happy to share the limelight but I will not be eclipsed!
So, pass the remote, I think it’s time for ‘Come Dancing’!