Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Having A Good Midlife Crisis
Have you had your midlife crisis yet? If not, here's an idea for you: make it a positive experience. A December 23 Wall Street Journal article by Sue Shellenbarger titled, "Have A Nice Midlife Crisis," offers examples and suggestions on how to do this.
The term "midlife crisis" has come to describe a time of transition or turbulence between the ages of 35-53. The popular notion is that a midlife crisis involves "reckless, self-indulgent behavior, from infidelity to splurging on sports cars," according to Shellenbarger.
However, some younger baby boomers are having their midlife crisis in a new way: they are turning it into something positive. If they are fired from a job, they are pursuing the career they really want. One woman, described in the article, decided to pursue a life of community service and founded a nonprofit during her midlife crisis.
Here are some of Shellenbarger's suggestions: (1) Plan a step-by-step transition, (2) Integrate old passions, (3) Assert yourself, and (4) Honor your creative side.
I believe there can be a spiritual component to a midlife crisis. Because it is a time of change, even upheaval, there is an opportunity to connect with the spiritual dimension of life. As we struggle with questions of meaning and purpose, we are more open to spirituality.
Midlife is often a time when we change directions and become the persons we really want to be. It is also a time for discovering or rediscovering our calling, our vocation. To make midlife a positive experience, we need to be open and receptive to our deepest selves, our souls.