Midlife is a Marathon

December 9, 2019

Midlife is a Marathon

May 29, 2023

The Oxford Dictionary defines middle age as 45-65, so that was initially our age requirement at the Modern Elder Academy. But those linguistic scholars don’t live in Silicon Valley, Hollywood, or Madison Avenue, where people begin feeling old in their mid-30s, a fact that is compounded by a corporate culture that is obsessed with DQ (digital intelligence) over EQ (emotional intelligence).

As power in a digital society cascades younger and more of us are going to make it to 100, it might be that midlife lasts from 35-75. Our 50s may not just be midlife but might be mid-career. The fact is, midlife in the modern day can feel like a run-on sentence without punctuation. Perhaps, adding some celebratory and revelatory rituals could add just the punctuation we need to experience our humanity in what’s now a longer story.

We’ve welcomed “compadres” (our name for our students) from age 30-78 with the understanding that MEA was created to help us navigate our midlife transitions. Just as it’s been shown that training and running for a marathon is more effective when you have training partners, MEA offers a safe and nurturing crucible for people to stretch themselves.

Isidra Mencos arrived at MEA grieving the recent loss of her mother and depleted from four months of caregiving a very sick friend. She writes about how MEA offered a new “meaningful path,” almost like a midlife pitstop that gave her a “second wind” and allowed her to embrace the marathon with a new sense of vitality.

How are you preparing for your midlife marathon?

Go deeper with a workshop, in person or online.

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