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?