My son graduated from college last Spring. It was an exciting time for him but it brought up mixed emotions for me.
All of a sudden I’m flooded with the crazy feelings I had when I graduated college. A time when I was SOOO excited about the wide-open future – my daily mantra was “I am limited by my own potential!” (it kinda still is…)
Then the spiral begins – I start to reminisce about my life up to this point – content with the fact I’ve always made big life decisions using a practical, responsible approach – all while keep my insatiable gypsy-spirit happy.
~ that all seems to have dwindled in this last decade.
MIDLIFE CRISIS or IDENTITY CRISIS?
No big new adventures – no lofty goals or plans – and BOOM! …. just like that … I’m totally dissatisfied with my life.
When our responsibilities start to finally ease up – you may find yourself in a constant state of searching for more….
It’s like your soul is begging to be rediscovered!
HOW A MIDLIFE CRISIS FEELS
Dealing with feelings of being Bored, Restless, Confused, Irritable, Compulsive – Sad, every damn day.
You should think of these feelings as little nudges telling you “you’re not done yet,” “this is your time,” “stop shrinking.”
It means you’ve simply reached your saturation level of taking care of everyone else’s needs and putting your dreams on hold. All those dreams you’ve stuffed down inside are bursting to come out!
??? How come we label it a “crisis” if we have these feelings in midlife?
definition of CRISIS (noun) =
a crucial stage or turning point in the course of something – “after the crisis the patient either dies or gets better”
If you experience these same feelings of discontentment in your 30’s – what’s that called?
NEW DEFINITION OF MIDLIFE CRISIS
What would it be like if we Googled “midlife crisis” and found:
“time of great transformation,”
Maybe midlife should become a rite of passage to be celebrated just like a Quinceanera – announcing to the world –
WATCH OUT – BIG THINGS ARE ABOUT TO HAPPEN-
GET OUT OF THE WAY – THIS ONES ON THE “DO-OVER” PATH
it could be called your “Crisis-cenerae” or “REbirth day party”
The only way this time of change becomes a real crisis – is when we choose to ignore those internal signals – which will only become more intense if we do nothing.
~because your intuition knows – your heart knows……that’s the path you should follow.
This period of rediscovery causes a wide range of emotions. That range swings from total excitement about new opportunities & newfound (time) freedom ~ to complete frustration.
You’ll feel a little sad, a little directionless and a lot determined. That brave girl inside, who always looked for the next challenge once she got bored – is craving a new adventure.
JUST DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY
Uh – how are you supposed to figure that out? Like you need that extra pressure……
Doesn’t it sound cool to “create a new norm” – or does it sound exhausting? Thinking about all your new options can be overwhelming especially if you’ve lost touch with your internal compass.
Do you cringe at the word “purpose” – like it’s something you’ll never find or discover.
Make your NEW plan for happiness one that is focused on figuring out those things that energize and excite you. You KNOW your passion is inside – you just need to get those feelings back.
MIDLIFE TRANSITION – how to get out of the funk
Well, STEP #1 …. I can tell you for sure – is to get out of your head and into your body. Take action – ANY action – get moving.
STEP #2 – Start asking questions like:
- What did I dream of doing when I thought I could do anything
- What does an “ideal day” look like for me?
- What is a skill or hobby I always wanted to try/learn/do?
- What was I doing (where was I) that last time I really felt “complete bliss”
- What makes me laugh?
- Who do I want to spend time around?
- Where can I make a difference?
- Where can I help others with my knowledge, skills or experiences?
STEP #3 – create a simple plan to get you to more of the things you discovered in step #2
- Challenge yourself to sign up for an art or dance class (just try 1 session?) – reignite your creativity
- Schedule a time when you can “practice” your ideal day
- Volunteer at a Thrift Store or the Hospital or Animal Shelter!! Being in some sort of “service” changes your mindset.
- Get tickets to a comedy show or funny movie.
- How can you reconnect with an old friend?
- How can you put more effort into making new friendships?
- What course can you enroll in to learn that new skill?
- Spend the afternoon in a bookstore – see what titles/topics you’re naturally drawn to.
Your best plan of action is to take some time, have fun and rediscover what makes your heart full.
Put yourself out there ~ you never know what interests or passion might be sparked!
REINVENTING YOURSELF MIDLIFE
Try to keep yourself motivated by knowing there is still “so much more” ahead.
The good news is we DO get “do-overs” – as many as we want…..we get to keep dabbling until we find our “thing” our sweet spot – that place where there is no struggle between our head and heart.
Now’s the time you can make up for missed workouts – learn new recipes – start a new career – but all of that can be paralyzing to think about.
You have also worked hard, played hard and some days you might just want to rest hard.
I’m going to start by getting back on track with my fitness plan. Which will spill over into everything I focus on: FEELING good, THINKING good thoughts, and LOOKING good (which loops back to how I feel, etc.)
FINAL THOUGHTS ON MIDLIFE TRANSFORMATION:
You should be grateful for the “un-comfortableness” this time of change is causing. It’s a constant reminder that the clock is ticking – and our limited time is truly precious.
… there are still days you won’t be motivated to do anything productive – which is OK. There’s no real rush – just as long as you’re continually using your brain for something other than spiraling.
Here’s a great reminder of how simple it can be to change:
“Any day we wish, we can discipline ourselves to make important changes in our lives. Any day we wish, we can open the book that will open our mind to new knowledge. Any day we wish, we can start a new activity. Any day we wish, we can start the process of life change. We can do it immediately, or next week, or next month, or next year.
We can also do nothing. We can pretend rather than perform. And if the idea of having to change ourselves makes us uncomfortable, we can remain as we are. We can choose rest over labor, entertainment over education, delusion over truth and doubt over confidence. The choices are ours to make. Jim Rohn
It’s perfectly normal to be confused and unsure –
the BIG question is will you just put up with it or decide “enough is enough” and do something?
Which path will you choose?
With a simple change in perspective – you can choose to use this time of change to your advantage.
Remember what a blessing it is to live long enough to experience a “next chapter of life” … not everyone gets that chance.
Be generous with sharing your “do-over” or come-back story……. so we can all learn and grow.
I’d be Forever Generoused!