Ah the mid-life crisis. It’s been around forever. Experienced by so many. So what is this ‘crisis’?
We very easily reference this crisis when viewing a friend, family member or co-worker doing something out of their norm. Something no one expects of them. Whether it be leaving their partner, quitting a job, or maybe just buying that expensive and impractical sports car. We see this and we judge it. We tsk tsk it. And we label it a… ‘crisis’.
Personally, I don’t think that is fair. Is it a crisis to question where we are in life? To want something more or be hungry for adventure? To search for some excitement in a life where up until now, we may have been busy taking care of others and not ourselves?
In my opinion, this is not a ‘crisis’. It is an awakening. It is a realization that the best parts of our lives aren’t over yet. That we have so much more to do and see and conquer. It is an opportunity to face our fears. Take some risks. Live a little bit more and maybe fulfill a potential that we have long since forgotten about.
What we do when we come to this moment in our lives is not always the best choice. True. Buying a shiny red convertible that we can’t afford is not the right way to deal with it. If you can afford it, hey… no judgment here. Go for it. (And come pick me up for a road trip…) But it won’t fix what you are feeling. It won’t fill that void that you are feeling. It is only a temporary but happy little band aid that will eventually fall off and leave you looking once again for… something.
Instead, look a little deeper. Think about what is working and what is not. What is it that YOU need. Do you need to challenge your mind? Do you need to take better care of your health? Do you need to be more adventurous or learn something new?
The ‘crisis’ is that we don’t often look deep enough. It is that we make a rash decision and settle for that band aid and mistakenly think that it will solve our problems. We are an impatient species and have been trained to want everything now. A quick fix. A temporary happy.
Maybe if we just take our time and start looking at this as an awakening, it won’t be a crisis. Maybe if we realize that life is a journey right until the very last day and not just until we hit mid-life, maybe then we wouldn’t find ourselves in this crisis. But instead, find ourselves in a moment of wonder and excitement about what is up next. What is the beautiful next year or decade (or tomorrow) going to bring us?
It’s all in how you look at it. How you label it.
Do you want to have a crisis? Or do you want to have an awakening?
“People may call what happens at midlife ‘a crisis,’ but it’s not. It’s an unraveling – a time when you feel a desperate pull to live the life you want to live, not the one you’re ‘supposed’ to live. The unraveling is a time when you are challenged by the universe to let go of who you think you are supposed to be and to embrace who you are.”Brene Brown