Do you need a midlife plan?
Last night I spent far too many hours looking at tattoo designs, so many hours in fact, that the other half asked me if I was having a ‘midlife crisis’. And we’ve all been there right? How often have you seen a friend/colleague/family member suddenly going vegan, signing up for an iron-man or a 50 mile trek through the Sahara, buying tickets to Glastonbury or getting their first tattoo aged 47?
Is this us trying to hang on to a youth that we feel slipping away? Well, yes, perhaps. But I think its also a good sign. A sign that we’re grabbing life by the balls and making the most of it.
Perhaps after years of living a linear life (paying the mortgage, raising kids, holding down a job, being a ‘grown up’) it’s time for some ‘me time’. Time to revisit those dreams and aspirations we once had; are they still the same, or do you want something different out of life now; time to ask ourselves ‘who am I now, and what do I want?’. After years of being someone else’s ‘other’ (husband / partner / mother / son / boss), isn’t it time for YOU?
Life can throw a lot our way, and of course everyone’s going to experience things at different paces, times and intensities depending on your circumstances, but there are some common themes in midlife; empty nest syndrome, bereavement, illness, retirement, menopause, divorce to name a few.
All these things, in their infinite variations can really knock you sideways, and often our knee jerk response is to get that tattoo, run that marathon or leave our spouse – the classic midlife crisis.
If someone we know is exhibiting the classic signs of a midlife crisis, and we respond with ridicule or jest, perhaps its time to stop and think about the darkness that might lie behind their behaviour. It’s perfectly ok to wobble, to feel confused or directionless. As our ‘life’ roles and identities change we need to give ourselves the space and time to accept and adapt to these changes.
Wikipedia describes a midlife crisis as “a transition of identity and self-confidence that can occur in middle-aged individuals, typically 45 to 55 years old, a psychological crisis brought about by events that highlight a person’s growing age, inevitable mortality, and possibly lack of accomplishments in life. This may produce feelings of intense depression, remorse, high levels of anxiety, or the desire to make drastic changes to their current lifestyle”
And Life seldom plays out the way you expect it to – so it’s perfectly ok to ask for help.
The good news is that there is plenty of professional help available (you only have to head to our FIND section to see the army of support available; personal trainers, menopause support, career advisors; life coaches; nutritionists to name just a few – all who have a specialist focus on midlife).
At The Midlife Hub we’re big fans of ‘making a plan’.
In fact the impetuous of building the hub in the first place came from a ‘quit bitchin; and do something about it’ ‘conversation where Deb and I were discussing the multiple changes (emotional / hormonal) that we’d each experienced and how hard they were to navigate, and Deb asking me “what are we going to do about it?”
Sometimes when you get into a life-sink-hole it can be overwhelming and hard to know where to start. So if the answer is YES to ‘do you need a midlife plan?’ you’ve come to the right place. Because we’ve created the midlife MAP – a personalised midlife planning service,
This can help you tune in to thinking about what’s really important to you. And here we stress what’s important to YOU. YOU as a person, not in the roles you play as the ‘other’ to your family /partner / friends. What is and isn’t working for you? (across the full spectrum of your life) What do you want to build on and nurture, and what changes do you want to make?
We all know that new years resolution feeling. We’re going to lose 6 stone, buy new trainers so we can take up jogging, drink 6 pints of water a day, get a new job, and start volunteering at the local cat shelter. And by the 10th January, we’re back to Netflix and the trainers haven’t been taken out of their box.
If you want an external perspective to help get you started, we offer a FREE 30 minute session to help you create a midlife MAP.
And, in the spirit of sharing, here’s my current midlife goals:
- Do a pilates class at least once a week (‘cos you’ve got to be kind to your pelvic floor)
- Get my finances in order (really need to sort my pension out)
- Stop judging photos of myself so harshly (easier said than done)
Oh, and get a tattoo (well, maybe)
Enjoyed this article? Why not read Why should you invest in YOU?.