Why do these two words have to go together? The term is even in the dictionary:
“A period of emotional turmoil in middle age…characterized especially by a strong desire for change.”
It’s hard for me to believe that 78 million of us (that’s how many people were born during the post-World War II baby boom) are making changes in our lives…because of CRISIS.
Change, yes. I’d like to think we’re always changing and growing. Change is good. It gets us to a better place. So is desire; it propels us forward to make those changes.
But why turmoil – does change have to be fueled by turmoil? Or, does this word apply to change only when it occurs during midlife?
There have been crises in my life. Breast cancer at 34 – that’s a crisis. On a smaller scale, a knock-down drag-out ugly argument with a sibling that results in estrangement…that’s another kind of crisis. I’m sure you all have your own to add; illness, death, foreclosure, bankruptcy, sick children…the list is as varied as it is endless.
I know lots of people who have made changes around midlife. And why not? It’s a time of reflection, know-how, confidence and conviction. Our past experiences have paved the way for us to better read our inner compass and head in the right – or a different – direction. What clarity eyesight might have diminished is more than made up for with life experience.
Fear takes a backseat to desire, knowing it’s now or never.
So, Webster’s Dictionary: it’s time to update your book. How about Midlife Change. Or Midlife Modification, Transformation, Revision.
Get rid of the word “Crisis” and perhaps those of us traveling through this so-called midlife won’t feel conflict, anxiety or sadness about growing older.
How about you – have you made changes in midlife? Or are you contemplating any that might not have occurred to you or have been possible before?
Midlife Jobhunter says
I share your desire to make midlife comforting, calm and happy. Life for me changed as my children were growing up and I had more time to discover my desires, thoughts, ambitions. But my leisurely jaunt came to an abrupt end. Crisis forced the issue — employment complications, parent illnesses, growing college costs — and sent it in another direction completely. All this time I thought I had to embrace my new life didn’t quite materialize. I continue to seek the solace. I wish I were better at movement not based on a forced changed before me.
Thanks for your thoughts. And so sorry these changes were forced upon you. That’s tough, I know. I hope you are able to find the solace you seek. We certainly do face a lot of obstacles as things get more complicated.
Jane Boursaw says
Oh thank you for this post and this lovely site! It looks fabulous, and I’m looking forward to sharing in your midlife adventures.
Thanks, Jane, and happy to have you here to share with me, too!
Melanie @ Frugal Kiwi says
I like your concept. Why go with crisis when you can choose a more positive word.
Hey, any time there’s an opportunity to be (more) positive, I’m taking it!
Divorce. In my case, I lived in France and wanted to return to the USA. My ex husband did not. That was the easy part. Since we have children together, and he still refuses to talk to me, the ramifications have lasted quite a while. Not a crisis, but certainly change. Fortunately, I embraced it.
That’s a tough one, Alexandra. That certainly is a big change…but kudos to you for embracing the change!!!
As I approach midlife (inching ever closer), I’m looking forward to seeing how my professional freelance life evolves. I’ve constantly felt conflict and anxiety about my role in the corporate world, but I’m starting to feel more confident about my strengths and expertise – now I really feel like I have something to share!
Casey, Loved reading what you had to say about feeling more confident about your strengths and expertise. That is the most empowering feeling, don’t you think? And it gives us freedom from the nagging doubts that can drag us down.
Crisis does seem like the wrong word. It seems like you’re finally growing comfortable in your own skin in midlife. Would “rebirth” be a better word?
“Rebirth” is a very fitting word, yes! Thanks.
Love to read the posts on your blog. Crisis and change certainly aren’t synonymous.
Thanks, Irene. Happy to share.
audrey van petegem says
Can I hear a hell yeah!!! Just turning 50 I see no crisis in site. A few hot flashes, a bit of insomnia and some acne but definitely no crisis!
Happy Birthday, Audrey, whenever it is. No crisis is what I love to hear – enjoy!
Great posts, beautiful site and can’t wait to read more.
Thanks, Chris, and looking forward to seeing you here again.
Paula @ Simply Sandwich says
So glad I found your blog! I am right there with you and my challenge (not crisis) is being a member of the Sandwich Generation. I think the only way we can make sure our difficulties are not turmoil is to stay positive along the journey. Looking forward to reading more! 🙂
thanks for finding me, Paula. I agree it’s really tough being in the Sandwich Generation – but you sound as if you are handling it with grace!
Vera Marie Badertscher says
Its not a crisis, its a liberation!
Well said, Vera!
Kris @ Attainable Sustainable says
As I get very near midlife myself I find myself having to redefine myself. I’m no longer focused on mothering as I have been for the past 20 years, and can again think about what brings me joy. It’s an adjustment, yes, but crisis? I don’t think so.
Living Large says
I don’t like the word crisis either. I think there are certain challenges no matter what time of life we’re in. It’s a journey, not a destination and there will always be the smooth patches and the rough spots as well.
Alisa Bowman says
I feel like mid life has been accompanied by a need to make my life count for something. Earlier in life, I was mostly just career focused–trying to become *important.* Now I want to help others, give back, be more loving. I wouldn’t call it a crisis. If anything, I’m happier than ever.
sarah henry says
Kudos, Sheryl, for kick starting this new blog at the prime of your life. I look forward to reading more here.
Nice post – it changes the conversation on the topic, so to speak.
Amy Turner says
Your post is very empowering and inspires me a good deal. Illness, death, sour relationships–I can relate to all the bitter sweet experiences in this earthly life. I had to face all the challenges bestowed on me. Positive outlook. This is what keeps me going, when there are times I feel like giving up. We can’t surrender to defeat, just keep on holding to hope and faith.
Thanks for visiting, Amy! I think surrendering to defeat is easy…it is the perseverance and standing up every time a challenge tries to knock you down that is tough..but worthwhile.