Updated: Jan 25, 2020
How are you doing over there? It has been a while since we’ve REALLY connected. As we navigate the mine field of middle age, I hope you’re finding some areas of joy, growth, and satisfaction in your life. There’s a lot going on for all of us right now.
Our kids are working their way through school, growing, experiencing all the emotions and stress of navigating their bright futures, as we contemplate our future as empty-nesters. Are you still doing for them things they can and should be doing for themselves? If they’re teenagers, they can make their own lunch and schedule their own haircuts, I promise. The small efforts will begin to ease the transition.
Our parents are aging, you may have noticed some changes in them. Growth and development don’t stop after the teen years. They are in an appropriate next stage of their life, sorting through where their life had meaning and what their legacy is. This is how humans are designed. Don’t freak out. Look for themes in the stories they share on repeat.
Companies we’ve dedicated our lives to are being bought out and merged, threatening our lifestyle and geographic security. Some of us are shutting down years of active service in one industry and looking ahead to big career changes. This throws us into a tizzy of trying to figure out why exactly we are here, what’s really important and what should we be working towards. You are not alone; we’re all trying to figure this shit out.
Marriages that we entered optimistically 20+ years ago, don’t feel like they quite fit. So many changes have occurred, milestones reached and we are beginning our new Midlife Curiosity. Before jumping ship, make the time to reconnect and reset. You may have more common ground than you think. Or not!
Our 2 Million year old freeze, fight or flight brain, wants to ease our threats with buffering and crutches like that extra glass of wine, or a wink at the person we know we should probably stay clear of. We lean into isolation, starting to retreat from gatherings, which can lead us to a never before experienced level of loneliness. I assure you; this will not serve you as you continue to age (that’s kind of the idea, to age, right?)
You must connect with people, and not just online. Humans are designed to be in community. Check in with your Values here, and be sure your calendar is lined up with things that support them. Reach out, organize, say yes.
Our over scheduled society has been driving home that we need to say “No”, but there’s a chance we’re going too far the other way. When the opportunity to gather with others arises, we begin to seek the comfort of our homes instead of managing weather conditions, small talk or the rehash of the same stories. I’m pretty sure staying home to binge watch Netflix and catch up on Social Media are not what the “just say no” activists had in mind.
Our circle of influence may be changing, our geography may be changing, our kids will leave, our parents will be gone, but we can rest assured that this is all part of our own developmental journey. Hang in there. Very consistently I hear the older we get, there’s a LOT more fun to be had! Let’s buckle up and jump back on the ride together.