How to Cure a Mid Life Crisis!

Like most mothers, when my children finally left home I had a moment. Well, if I’m honest, quite a few moments really. When my daughter left home to move 460 miles away I felt like a bereavement was imminent. I remember our postman of 20 plus years coming to the door with a parcel and asking what was wrong ( I had a wee torn face on) and telling him that our oldest child was moving out that day.

Oh no“, he said,” I remember her first day at school, I’ll miss her“.

That was it, the dam burst. Cue floods of tears all over poor postie who swiftly backed away down the path, making soothing noises! I wasn’t much better when we left our son at Leeds University. I was fine just until the moment of parting when I announced that now I was going to cry, and promptly did. Job done, what now?

Change Happens

But it doesn’t have to be children leaving that prompts an attack of middle aged angst. Changes at work, relationships altering, the ageing process, can all make us stop and think, well, is this it?

Change happens all the time but there are times when it affects us more than others, when we need to take stock and do a mini audit. There is a myth abroad that the older we get the more difficult we find change. In my experience this is not true. Anyone over 40 today has experienced and survived enormous changes in their lifetime (see this article for more on change).

But if you let yourself be a victim of events you’ll have no control at all; your life will ‘happen’ without you conducting it. A significant life change is a good time to sit down and take stock.

Stock Taking

Try answering these life stock taking questions:

Look at your life in these areas – family, work & career, social life, health and sense of well being. As you mentally filtered those areas through your mind which bit caused you a stirring. At which point did you think I’m not staying with that thought?  My guess is that’s the one you need to pay attention to, however uncomfortable it feels.

If, for example, you are unhappy in your relationship, you may have become adept at hiding it, even from yourself. Fear of what you might discover if you really looked at it may be holding you back and keeping you trapped in an unhappy place. That fear is making an assumption that what will follow will be worse that is, but that’s down to you. Working on your relationship may improve it and all of your life!

Work

Or maybe you are stuck in a job that pays all the bills but sucks the life out of you? How long are you going to stay with the daily dehydration? What impact is that having on your life and well being? Can you see yourself NOT doing this job? How different would your life be? Sometimes redundancy has been the best thing to happen to folk as it has forced them to think again about the work they do. How many of the bills that the job pays are important in the long term?

Small Steps

Conducting an exercise such as this may fill you with awe at the amount you want to change in your life. (Or you may just have realised that all is much better than you thought – well done).

If the former, break down what you want to do in smaller goals, the achievement of which will take you closer to where you want to be! Don’t give up on your dreams, never do that, but dreams are realised with a first small step. What small step can you take today?


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Posted on November 9th, 2010 by

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