Thank you for joining me!
Wasn't it just yesterday that I was 18 and my little yellow car was packed with my few earthly belongings and a box of food (and no phone, of course), and I was headed down the prairie highway from my parents' driveway, very unsure what lay ahead? That was the way it was for a rural girl in the 70's - your parents had done their job and you were expected to be able to figure things out - and we did. (I know, times were different then, but it is still a great topic for future posts.)
Where did time go?
What is midlife? I imagine it is hard to pin down exactly what years of life fall into the ‘midlife’ phase, especially with advancements in health and increasing longevity. All I know for sure is, my trips around the sun are much fewer looking forward than they are looking in the rear view mirror of life!
Much has been written about this phase of life. As we know from our old psychology classes, Erik Erickson (his work is well-known; I referred to verywellmind.com for a refresher) described the ages of 40 to 65 as a time of needing to feel that we have contributed, leading to our life’s final self-reflection and coming to grips with what we have, and have not, achieved. I would suggest that if you have been fortunate in life and are fairly settled, despite life's inherent sadnesses, you might think, "Ahh, I've made it!" Not so.
Throw in many life changes that are a given in this time of life - such as the physical aspects of aging, finances, empty nest syndrome (for some of us), losses through death and hardship, chaotic world events, leaving the workplace, younger people ‘taking over the world’, big decisions to make about our future, and the changing nature or evaluation of some of our long term relationships – and there is no doubt that this can be an ‘interesting’ (made even an unsettling) time of life.
One distinct benefit of this age (and there are many to explore) is that all of life's events (both happy and sad) have taught us a few life lessons, and we come to believe that our opinions hold some validity - although not everyone will agree!
Wherever ‘midlife’ falls in chronological age, I am probably closer to the end of the ruler than the beginning. Years and years before entering this phase of life, I adopted my life-directing phrase, “always have a story to tell and a gig on the go”. If you always have a story to tell and a gig on the go, life is always engaging, and you always have something to look forward to, despite what life might throw at you. The ‘story' and the ‘gig’ don’t have to be amazing. (Of course, the story or gig can most definitely be a European adventure, but it could simply be cooking up a special supper or planning a walk with a friend or choosing a new book to read.)
Welcome to Midlife Musings, my personal journey and my viewpoints about this time of life (midlife) and about ‘this time of life’ (what is happening in the world). Some of it is serious; some is just for interest. I might comment on the state of the world or simply about the new best book I've read.
My musings are my own. You don't have to agree. (Credit is give for sourced material.)
My first few reflections will relate to a major midlife decision - retirement - and then we'll see what comes up from there.
Let’s get started!