Let's reframe midlife...

as an opportunity

I believe midlife needs a reframe, so can we please never, ever, refer to it as a midlife crisis. 

I am not saying midlife has been a walk in the park for me  – or through the Neon Sign Museum in Vegas (above photo). During the last several years, I’ve at times felt as if I was living in a strange new land, a place where some things were familiar but others 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 new perspective – the aspects that made me happy and the parts which I 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. What I’ve discovered is I can’t return to the status quo, even if it feels more “safe”.  You can read more about that in My Emotional Upheaval at Midlife.

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 bring little tremors of change. And some women hardly notice it at all.

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 favourite 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. 

Susan

For more on midlife transformation I’ve written about the 5 specific ways I am finally caring for myself as much as everyone else in: Making Yourself a Priority at Midlife.

Midlife blog posts