Funnily enough, when I was in my 20’s and 30’s, I would hear about people reaching midlife and having what we all called a “crisis” – where they would make a dramatic change to their world, buy a motorbike, get a new relationship, leave work, grow a beard, go on a road trip that never seemed to end… and I would be like, I do not understand how someone spend years living a life that they are desperately wanting to escape from..I just did not get it.
But, as I reached 40, then 50 I somehow woke up. Life had not always been kind to me, and after some super tough challenges, I had finally stumbled on a better life – and a weird theory on how to get everything I wanted.
Initially I asked to be able to find the funds to pay all of my bills, and that happened. I asked for a job that paid 20k more than I was earning, and I got that. I asked for 50k more, yep got that. Eventually I was receiving more than 200 000 a year, I had a phone, a car, a laptop, superannuation paid for every hour that I worked, every single thing I asked for, I received.
After a few years, it started to feel empty, hollow somehow. I was making huge headway into this career, yet it was important to me. Every day I would get up before the sun, travel an hour to work, to be bullied and emotionally battered by men who were old enough to know better. Old men unhappy with their lot in life, and mean to anyone wishing to make a change for the better.
One day I just decided that enough was enough. I took 5 weeks off and went to Paris. Upon my return, my position had been restructured and I was made redundant. I could not have been happier. Again, I had asked for help from the Universe and it had delivered it to me.
At the time I wanted a career where the people were pleasant, where they were receptive to change, where there was laughter and fun and co-operation. In the downturn, jobs were hard to find, so I created myself one. I started offering my experience as a business mentor and life coach for people in the throes of business start up.
And I loved it. It lit me up, helping people achieve their dreams and follow their passion to success was so empowering for me. This is the feeling I was looking for.
Around about this same time, I met a man, gentle, caring, compassionate. Someone intelligent and some who brought to the table a calming influence to the chaos that the kids and I called Family life.
Once again the universe delivered. I asked for a man who would never make me cry, who was kind hearted, generous of spirit and who would love my kids as their own. The Universe went all out on this delivery. This man is perfect, so perfect that I married him. And yes, he does look like George Clooney (if you squint a little, maybe after a glass of wine or two).
The point to that story is, that I too suffered a midlife crisis. A time in my life where I realised that where I was, was not where I wanted to stay – so I changed it.
I went from being a lonely, unsupported, overworked stress head, to a woman who was loved, cared for, supported and I had never been happier in my life. I worked with people that I loved, I was surrounded by happiness and life was wonderful.
180 degree’s polar opposite to what I had been living.
Because my kids were getting older and I was no longer needed in the same, day-to-day way, I found that I truly wanted a different life — a life that was mine — based on what I value and what I loved to do.
I didn’t want to just push down what wasn’t working. I wanted to bring it out and resolve it, or let it go. Do it, or ditch it. Now I get it — a “midlife crisis” isn’t a cliché. It’s real and it’s powerful, and almost everyone has these feelings.
I have since spoken to thousands of women, at my workshops, who’ve awakened in midlife to realizing that what they’ve created in their 20s and 30s just doesn’t fit who they’ve now become.
Midlife truly IS a time of major transition – over the years, I’ve observed that the following experiences contribute to our re-awakening in midlife and wanting change:
1) Time for re-evaluation — Realizing that your life is potentially more than half over is a jarring experience, and brings with it a sense of urgency to live more authentically and more joyfully. At 50, we just want different things than we did at 30. The death of a parent, or of close friends bring this feeling to light in dramatic fashion, and the feeling of it could be us next, starts to hit home.
2) Kids have bolted – leaving their parents at home, with time on their hands. There is more room to think, to ponder the possibilities of life, and even space to allow yourself to dream about a future that’s purely yours.
3) Longings begin to surface – Often we spend years working so hard to craft a “successful” life, and it is midlife when we start to get tired of the race to nowhere. Success starts to mean different things to us – Instead of some outward version of “success,” we long to pursue what gives us joy, excitement, passion, peace — we want to live life more fully, on our terms.
4) We have learned how to speak up – We won’t be talked down to anymore. We’ve lived through that, and we’ve learned how to stand up, speak up and power up. We won’t tolerate put-downs, manipulation or pressure like we used to. We have a voice and we are not afraid of using it.
5) Finally, after all we’ve strived for, accomplished, created and endured, you know what you’re capable of. You start to feel like you have earned this time for yourself. The feeling of not accepting anything less than what you deserve. You finally have the confidence and the courage to embrace the idea that you have been toying with for a very long time. You know that THIS cannot be all there is. You have a longing for more and you’re emotionally ready to help create it.
It seems to me now, that midlife is a natural, perfectly normal life progression that doesn’t have to represent chaos and anxiety, as I once presumed in my early years. If you’re in midlife and wondering why everything looks and feels different, don’t be alarmed. It’s normal. The key is to not resist the changes, embrace them with passion— walk directly into this new life.
Look deep into the chasms of your heart, mind, and soul to find clues of what your passion in, on who you want to become now, and what you want to build in this next supercharged chapter of life. It is time for the fun, for the laughter to come back into your life, time to live with ignited passions and reclaim your power – put away that superhero cape and learn to relax and enjoy yourself instead.
It’s a new time, inviting you to create a new, more expansive you. Do a declutter of your old life, remove any negative influences, change up your Social Media friends, remove any old junk or paperwork from around your home. It’s out with the old, in with the new time! Midlife really can pave the way to an exciting new life. It’s time to breakthrough, if you are brave enough to make the leap.