People talk about a mid life crisis. I prefer to call it a mid life awakening.
Let's look at the facts.
You're turning 40. Your heart starts to beat a little faster when you think about that. You start to analyse everything in your life, your career or lack there of, your relationships, friendships, marriage, your family. What you've achieved compared to what you thought you would achieve. You measure every area of your life. You notice in the mirror that youth is definitely starting to sneak out the back door. Physically you start to change, this has been happening for a while but it's only now you really notice. Your skin is becoming blotchy and lacking lustre, your flesh is starting to go soft and get dragged down by gravity, even your hair is someone else's. But how many of us concentrate more on our external changes rather than our internal? I think here lies the problem. Of course we are ageing, it happens to all of us. We're all going to end up as little old wrinklies, there's nothing we can do about that. The great news is is that we have absolute control of who we become on the inside. Think about how great life can be when we're not distracted by our outward appearance, when our focus isn't about what we look like and who we can attract but more about who we are and how we can help. When there's no external to worry about and we can switch all our attention to the internal. That after all is where all real beauty lies. I know many of us have met stunningly beautiful people who had zero charisma and before you know it they no longer appear beautiful. Meet someone who shines from the inside and that beauty will never die.
So… mid life awakening is how I see it, purely because we begin to really understand what is important for us and what's not. What really needs my attention and what doesn't. So Boris next door on his 40th birthday goes out and buys a shiny red sports car, good on him. If all his life he's realised that a shiny red sports car will bring him great pleasure than what the hell…. he's ticked off one of his life goals which is important to him. Marjory an old friend who always loved to party and be the centre of attention decides to set forth on a 6 month alone hike through the Andes - some will say - mid life crisis…. but how can her own pursuit of happiness be a crisis? It most certainly is an awakening, an awakening to the fact that yes - life is short, yes - we only have a certain amount of time on this earth so now is a good time to embrace it for all it can be, without the paranoia of youth.
Below is a video that shows elderly women at their best. Embracing life. Grateful for the gift of waking in the morning, knowing that they have another day to live, what a gift! Perhaps we need to adopt this way of thinking before we're 99.