Let's reframe midlife...

as an opportunity

I believe midlife needs a reframe — what feels like a crisis might just be an opportunity. 

I am not saying midlife has been a walk in the park, or through the Neon Sign Museum in Vegas (above photo).  I’ve sometimes felt like I was living in a strange new land, a place where things that were once familiar no longer made sense.

I’ve ping-ponged between feeling excited and sad, frustrated and optimistic. Eventually, I realized that this “midlife vertigo” came with an opportunity. I write about that in: My Emotional Upheaval at Midlife

Midlife opportunity, not midlife crisis

I like to imagine that I have a midlife fairy godmother who appeared at just the right time. Instead of glass slippers, a wave of her wand conjured a special pair of glasses.  When I put them on, I saw my life with a new perspective — there were the aspects that felt like they still fit and the parts which needed to change.

The thing about fairy godmothers is they leave a lot for you to figure out on your own. And I am still in that process. I’ve discovered that I can’t return to the status quo, even if it feels more “safe”.  And I’ve had to prioritize myself in new ways. 

Susan Heinrich walking through a garden with headphones on
I realized it was a midlife opportunity, not a midlife crisis

In speaking to other women about this, I’ve heard that for some, midlife feels like an earthquake. For others, it’s little tremors, and some women hardly notice it.

In any case, we get to design what comes next, with all the wisdom we’ve earned, with what we see with new clarity through those midlife glasses. And that’s the opposite of a crisis — it’s a gift!

I love a good adventure so this is one of my favorite quotes about midlife, from Brené Brown:

"There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can't live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. The time has come to let go of who you think you are supposed to be and embrace who you are." -BRENE BROWN

No mention of a crisis. I’m with Brené Brown and midlife fairy godmothers: it’s time to put the clarity glasses on, embrace who we are and embark on unexplored adventures. 


Midlife blog posts