Midlife Crisis or Mid-Course Correction?
One difference between being 25 and 50 is that the older you are, the more life you've lived and the more patterns you've witnessed. Teasing out our life narrative from the disparate experiences we've encountered helps create some meaning in our lives. If we're listening and attentive, hopefully, that life wisdom will serve us in the future.
This is why I struggle with the term "midlife crisis." A crisis is defined as "a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger." Brené Brown writes, "If you look at each midlife 'event' as a random, stand-alone struggle, you might be lured into believing you're only up against a small constellation of ‘crises.’ This narrative suggests you are the victim of your crises.”
Yep, midlife is full of hormonal, professional, circumstantial transitions, and they're often quite normal. My midlife transitions rocked me to my core and helped me see that I wasn't the victim in a crisis but the captain of my own ship. And it was time to make some mid-course corrections in where I was sailing. I sold my company. I ended my long-term relationship and some friendships that weren't nourishing. I started considering my love of writing as a real career. I decided to have children. I explored the world of "collective effervescence" by becoming one of the world's experts on festivals. I scheduled more chill time in my calendar, often in nature.
In short, I altered my life story. I used my growing pattern recognition to make corrections in my life. I broke habits that didn't serve me. And most important, I felt a sense of "agency" in my life like never before.
So, the next time someone tells you you're going through your midlife crisis (as if each of us is distributed one around age 45 or 50), tell them you're excited about your "mid-course correction" as you're choosing to chart your sailboat to new and exciting destinations.