A Midlife Anti-Crisis: Transform Upheaval Into Renewal

Looking at some statistics on the demographic of my readers, I see that many of you are either approaching midlife or smack in the middle of it. Welcome to my world.

I’m not quite sure what midlife is any more.

When I was born, life expectancy was an average of somewhere around 70 years old. Now it’s around 80. And new advances in science and technology are suggesting that living to 100 or beyond is not so far-fetched anymore.

So if you are anywhere from 35-55, you could be considered middle aged.

When I was a twenty-something, just the word “midlife” made me cringe. It felt like the peak of a downhill slope — like what could only be characterized as the beginning of the end of real living.

No more tight butt and flat stomach. No more carefree fun. No more energy and spontaneity.

I remember my mom reading the book Passages by Gail Sheehy and silently celebrating that I didn’t need a book to help me through my 20’s. I just needed a decent car, nice clothes, and a cute guy.

At some point, the cute guy or girl becomes your spouse. You start a family and immerse yourself in the details of building a career, creating a home, and raising kids. There’s not a whole lot of time for self-reflection and navel gazing. The meaning of life is scraping kid snot off your shoulder and keeping your boss off your back.

We throw ourselves into these activities, hopefully with joy, but in truth there’s a lot of sacrifice and hard work involved. We are building toward something — happy, successful children, financial security, a comfortable lifestyle.

Then one day something happens — a small tremor. Midlife symptoms start to appear with a whimper or possibly a big bang, and not just in the form of love handles and grey hairs.

  • Maybe it’s just the beginning of some restless feelings.
  • Maybe a child leaves home or your job starts to feel dissatisfying.
  • Or maybe something more dramatic happens — a parent dies, you lose your job, your spouse has an affair.

Before you have time to know what’s hit you, you are caught up in a full-blown crisis. The world as you’ve known it has turned upside down and inside out.

Sometimes life events can trigger a full-scale midlife crisis, and sometimes midlife malaise creeps up on you slowly like a low-grade fever. Either way, there’s a high probability that every one of us will encounter some sort of personal, career, emotional, or existential upheaval during this period of life. For those of us with a big red X painted on our foreheads, we might have all of these pound us at the same time!

For me, the most profound sledgehammer was turning 50 and realizing that my life was half over.

I could not claim to be a young person any more. My parents were dead, and I was not anyone’s child any more. My oldest child had left home with two more children not far behind.

My parenting job was winding down. My part-time career in public relations felt stale and unrewarding.

I began to question every aspect of my life. Nothing felt safe or promising. I had no idea who I was or what I was supposed to do with the rest of my life. I was searching for something, but I had no idea what I was searching for.

I was totally unprepared for the onslaught of confusion and turmoil that can show up at midlife.

Looking back, I wish I had read my mom’s copy of Passages. It might have given me a glimmer of what to expect. I was certainly prepared for hot flashes, night sweats, and hormonal imbalance. I wasn’t prepared for the psychic cataclysm that made me feel like someone else was inhabiting my body.

Fortunately, I am inherently curious and driven to survive. I knew that if I could understand what was going on, I could gain some control over the bucking bronco of my psyche.

I started to read everything I could about midlife and midlife upheaval.

What I learned made me realize that this wasn’t the beginning of the end. It was the start of a new beginning.

Here are some of the things I learned that helped me determine to have a midlife anti-crisis:

  • You aren’t alone and you aren’t a freak. A midlife crisis or midlife confusion doesn’t mean you are coming unhinged. It means you are going through a normal life transition — one that affects just about everyone to one degree or another.
  • You aren’t your parents’ middle age. 50 is the new whatever-you-want-it-to-be. Our generation of mid-lifers is more active, healthier, better-educated, more affluent, and generally happier than our parents were at the same age. We can let go of our childhood perceptions of middle age.
  • It will pass. Any angst, confusion, fear, or sadness related to midlife upheaval will fade away. It helps if you have support and information during this time. It also helps if you learn more about yourself and rediscover who you are now at this new stage of life.
  • Change is inevitable, so go with the flow. It’s far easier on you if you don’t resist what’s happening, but rather just go with it. See where the restlessness, fear, uncertainty, and questioning lead you. Don’t plant your feet in the comfort of the status quo, or you will eventually shrivel up and not bloom into the person you are meant to be.
  • Accept there will be some pain and hurt. Midlife transition by definition may involve change that is painful. You may have to let go of your role as a parent. You may have to release your claim on youth. You may end a marriage. But all of the ending points are also beginnings. After you move through grief, you can move into something far more profoundly wonderful than you ever expected.
  • Embrace the benefits of maturity. Most of us are far more confident, wise, and emotionally mature than we were in our youth. We don’t have the same insecurities holding us back. We don’t have as much to prove or the same need to impress. We can just be ourselves. Also, we have more money and possibly more time to enjoy all that life has to offer.
  • Creativity can soar. Without the distractions of raising kids and building a career, we have more time and energy to discover untapped wellsprings of creativity. This is a great time to learn a new skill, begin a hobby, or start a new business venture.
  • Every day counts. With the heightened awareness of life’s brevity, we come to appreciate the beauty and possibility in every single day. Small grievances, frustrations, and worries suddenly take a back seat to squeezing every drop of juice from each moment of the day.
  • Fun is rediscovered. Life can become so serious when you are in the middle of raising kids and building a career. Over-scheduled lives and sheer exhaustion can undermine any hope for having carefree fun. But you can and should reclaim fun at midlife.
  • You can reinvent yourself. Often we live a certain way, believe certain things, and accept the status quo because that’s what we’ve done for years. It feels so comfortable, we may not even question whether or not it is what we really want. What was right for us 30 years ago may not be who we are now. This is a time when you have the luxury of creating your life rather than reacting to it.

What kind of transformation have you experienced at midlife? Please share your midlife anti-crisis in the comments.

Reminder: October 3rd is the beginning of round two of The Habit Course – a simple and loving gift you can give yourself to help guide you towards your potential. Please join us for a month-long journey focused on meaningful habit creation. Build upon everything you already are by creating mindful, lasting habits in your life. I helped create this course with Leo Babauta and Katie Tallo. All three of us will be there to encourage you along the way.

Comments

  1. DiscoveredJoys says:

    In my 50s I lost my parents and my wife’s mother. My two boys went to university and then left home. One is married, one is settled. I also took early retirement from my 33 year career.

    All of these change mark the closing of a stage in my life. Of all the things that happened, I look back and remember being surprised at how much I grieved over giving up my job. It was another ‘death’, but one I had not prepared myself for.

    Never the less being ‘mature’, ‘distinguished’, ‘laid back’, and most importantly ‘free’, these days have been the best days of my life (so far).

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      The grieving part is natural I think. We you spend years of your life as one person and then transition to another, it is painful to release that previous life. But change is always around the corner, and once the grieving is past, you can celebrate all that your new life has to offer. It appears you are doing that now!

    • This is my 50th summer, my mother passed, my children are grown, but one still needs my attention as she is the single mother of a special needs baby. The job I came here for never happened, so I have been on unemployment all summer – very depressing. I usually travel with dollars in my pocket at this time of year – going to my winter destination as a ski instructor. Barely be able to make it there this year funds are so low. So depressed on a daily basis and ready to give up – cry all the time over everything. Just want to be alone, but that also makes me sad. Really don’t know how to shake this horrible sadness – I have always been glass half full person, but not now.

  2. Holy cow, if midlife is 35-55 and I am 57 (almost 58, yikes!) what does that make me? I tend to think of ‘mid-life’ as 50-70. I guees I am really, truly old now.
    Thanks for letting me know that…
    🙁
    Hopefully old age will help with the goal of becoming more bold. Even old people still bloom!

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      No, you are not old! You are a CEO of midlife! It’s really all in your head anyway. 🙂 At some point, you realize that the number does not reflect the person inside.

      • Yes, you are so correct! I love your site. I long to be bold and I plan to bloom.Womwn in my family tend to bloom late in life, after family resposibilities settle down.
        Thanks for your kind reply.
        Lois

  3. This showed up in my email at precisely the right time!!! You put all of my thoughts and feelings into words and you did so so eloquently!!! I am finally “turning around” and realizing that NOW is my chance to BLOOM!
    I have struggled raising six children, going back to school later in life and building a career when others are usually building retirement incomes, dealing with a child with autism and therapists in my home for many years…and the financial picture is very bleak around here…in short…doing everything I had to to make life run on an even keel here at home. “Retirement” isn’t even in my vocabulary!!!
    I have struggled with “guilty feelings” any time I stepped outside the house to do anything for myself for many many years. But now I am realizing that all of that “sacrifice” was the very reason I even HAD a mid-life crisis in the first place! I never ever considered what made ME happy…what brought ME pleasure…or even WHO I WANTED TO BE WHEN I “GREW UP”!
    I am finally beginning to consider myself as being someone worthy of my attention and it is becoming a very liberating experience! I am looking forward to the coming years as being my FREEDOM time! My CREATIVE time! MY TIME TO BLOOM!!!

    • Dear Vicki,
      Your words mirror my own feelings so very well. I spend so many years taking care of everyone else I forgot about myself. So many of us do that. The guilt I still carry haunts me everyday. The only thing that saves me in that respect is that I know if I’m in good shape and I’m happy so are the people around me. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Very weird how taking care of me can affect them so much, but yet it does.

      You deserve the best life can offer you. You deserve to be happy too. Thank you for saying with great words what I was unable to.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Vicki,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story. You have had a lot of responsibility, and I can certainly understand that “guilty feeling.” As moms, there is an invisible steel cord that attaches us to our kids, even when we want to claim some time for ourselves. Fortunately, our kids help us break that cord when they start to grow up. Yes, it is your time to bloom, and I hope you do it gloriously! 🙂

    • So refreshing to know I’m not the only one. I’m stuck in the middle of survival mode and have been for quite some time. I struggle with being a single mom and trying to make everything happen for my kids like it should…you know, being all to all. But I’ve recently discovered that if I don’t fill up my own tank, I don’t have anything left to give back. I’ve begun taking better care of myself, ended an abusive marriage, lost 45 pounds, started a relationship that I didn’t feel I deserved (still struggling with that one..) with a wonderful man who loves and appreciates me for me!! And that’s helping me to see myself with loving eyes too. It’s good to know that this too shall pass, I won’t be here forever and I can use this in-between time to prepare myself for the “bloom”. (I guess I’m being fertilized right now…LOL)

      • Barrie Davenport says:

        You are definitely not the only one Teresa! It is impossible to be all for all, so just be the best person you can be for yourself and that will help you be there for others. I am so happy that you have found someone who reflects your goodness back to you. Now you just need to believe it!

  4. I lost both of my parents in my mid-20’s and don’t have children, so some of the traditional indications of mid-life were missing for me. Except for the hot flashes!

    But I’ve never minded growing older. In fact, for years I wanted to be older than my chronological age. I guess I was in a hurry to gather interesting experiences.

    That has changed as I’ve reached mid-life. I tend to savor experiences now rather than rush on to the next one.

    And I relish the fact that I’m more comfortable in my own skin–even with all it’s inevitable wrinkles and sags–than I’ve even been.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Cheryl,
      Being comfortable in your own skin is one of the best parts of midlife. And slowing down to “savor.” Once you realize that real life is happening right now, you don’t look ahead as much.

  5. Hi Barrie. Once again you have come up with a timely post- at least to me. On Monday Sept. 12 I turned 45. So I am right on the average age for the changes. I have a good share of the signs and symptoms you mention but I have generally managed. One thing that has kept me sane is my concept of time. I like thinking on lunar time scale rather than on a linear one. The latter concept creates fearful thoughts that one is approaching the finish-line and then a free-fall into the world yonder. The former concept has helped me overcome serious setbacks because everyday is a new beginning and the lunar has no beginning or end. I think it has worked for me because many people tell me I could easily pass for a late twenties or early thirties chap! Well, I don’t know whether they are right, it’s been long since I was there! Murigi

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Happy birthday Murigi! Your friends are right — you don’t look 45 at all. I hope you had a wonderful birthday and the start of an amazing year. I love the idea of lunar time rather than linear time. Every day is a new beginning!

  6. Hi Barrie

    Love reading your posts! It’s getting earlier now, mine hit mid-20’s before I had kids. They call it the quarter-life crisis and it’s a growing phenomenon.

    Lola x

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Lola,
      I think their are emotional upheaval milestones throughout life. I haven’t heard of a quarter-life crisis — but it doesn’t surprise me. Just remember, for every period of crisis, a time of peace awaits you! Maybe you will be better prepared for midlife when it arrives. 🙂

  7. Beautiful post Barrie!

    I think all of us go through this phase, and more so soon after our kids turn teenagers! That is the time they have their own circle of friends, their own schools, and own things to manage and take care of. Parents take a back seat and don’t seem to matter very much, although this was not the case when they were young!

    I do dread the day when my kids would venture out of their home, into this big world, all on their own. That fear is something all parents must be undergoing, and we realize that now, when we face the same situation with our own kids. Soon after, the worry starts about their jobs, their marriage, how they deal and handle their relationships, and the never ending lists!

    However, I guess at the end of the day, time waits for no one. And we need to learn to move with the passing time, by accepting and living each day to its fullest. Enjoy the time and moment you have together with each other, value and respect each other, for you can never say about tomorrow!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Harleena,
      It is hard to let them go, but also liberating. You are right, the worry and concern never end as long as you are a parent, but at least it’s not right under your nose! 🙂

  8. i’m new to this site, but i must say that all of your points fit me so well. Especially the last one “reinvent yourself”. As a young child and teenager i was always the free spirited one, i ran on emotions and intuition. I married young into a very conservative old fashioned family. I had to change myself, and mold a new me to fit into that family. We struggled raising 5 children, my husband was a navy man so he wasn’t home much in the first 10 years or so of our marriage. I was never really happy but could never figure out why. When my children started leaving home, i started doing some research on myself because i had sank into a deep depression that i couldn’t seem to get out of. No help from doctors or drugs were working.

    At 50 years old i finally woke up one day and realized what the problem was. I had lost me! In trying to do the right thing and raising my family i tried to fit into a box that wasn’t me. So at 50, i made sure all the bills were paid, took the left over money and I ran away. Yep, ran away. I can’t describe to you how hard that was to do. To leave my children and my husband who i’d been devoted to for 30+ years was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. All of my children at this point were grown and on their own. Except for my grandson who we had adopted, he was 7. I cried for weeks, second guessing my actions, wondering what the hell was I doing. I had always raised my children to follow their hearts, to be true to themselves but I’d never thought about what I was doing, or what kind of example I was for them.

    So here’s how it’s worked out. Now, I am me again. I can be me without any worries as to whether people accept me or not. My children, are in various stages, but all doing well and dealing with me being so far away, as I moved 3/4 of the way across the country from them. We call and talk all the time and share our lives. My youngest is now 9 and lives here with me, he’s very happy. Do I miss my children, well ya, very much so, some days are really hard. As for my husband …. well I told him I needed time to figure out my life, to fix myself because I was a mess. Within a month he was dating one of my best friends. Then a few other women. Within 4 months he had a new woman moved in with him and is now engaged to her while we’re not even divorced yet, lol. To me, that just tells me he wasn’t happy either. I wish him the best of luck with her and his new life.

    Me, I’m very happy now. I am who I am and there’s no pretense. I’m surrounded by people who love me and support me and my dreams. I have a man in my life now who respect me for who I am and doesn’t try to mold me to fit into any damn box. I started my life over at 50 with nothing, I left everything behind my husband got everything except for a few personal items I took when I left. I was even homeless for awhile, that was rough. I survived, and so did they. I guess one of the most surprising things I got when I left was so many people commenting to me “it’s about time, what took you so long to leave?” These comments helped me to see what I was unable to see. So many who knew me already knew what my problem was but were to afraid to tell me. My advice to others … be yourself, be true to that self. I’m out of my box now and ready to rule the world, lol. For the first time in my adult life I can truly say that I’m happy, what a wonderful joyous feeling that is. I have missed out on so much, I’ll never let a good opportunity pass me by again. I’ll face my fears, and live, not just exist as I was at one point.

    My midlife crisis has left me a stronger woman and much happier. My children are thriving in their lives and following their hearts. Every day further from the storm that I created passes just shows to me more sunshine and love from all those around me.
    Living life and loving it at 52.

  9. Barrie Davenport says:

    Hi Sandi,
    What an incredible story — thank you so much for sharing it. I know it took tremendous courage to reinvent yourself and your life. I am so glad you have a good relationship with your kids, and that you have given your blessings to your husband. We want the highest good for everyone involved in our lives, although it is often painful to get there.

  10. Great piece for me – a 57 year old mid-lifer.
    Some of my guiding points:
    We stop caring what others think.
    If not now, when.
    Step out of your comfort zone.
    Make the time to Do, while we still can.
    Learn, grow and experience.

    The quick passing of time is a scary thing. Growing older and knowing we’re headed in the ‘wrong’ direction gives me that pit in my stomache and makes me meloncholy at times.

    But having said that I absolutely live life with vigor and mindfulness; and that keen awareness of life’s fragility makes me live with a sense of urgency. Engage in all of life, Now.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Amen to all of that Harriet. I have felt the same way. You certainly become aware of being closer to the end of life than the beginning of it. That awareness has really empowered me to get clear about my priorities and to slow down and engage.

  11. Great post, Barrie. I do think midlife (like Lois I’m 57 so perhaps almost past the “mid” bit!) can provide great focus and impetus. To me it’s about choice: people age in different ways. We can get frantic about it or we can choose to live creatively with masses of joie de vivre.
    It’s interesting how you and most of the comments talk about children leaving home. It makes me wonder if the experience is different – less clearly defined, perhaps – for those of us who are happily child-free.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Tess,
      Children leaving home is a huge demarcation point — especially if you’ve been a mostly full-time parent. Over the years your identity gets mixed up with your kids. Then they leave and you wonder who the hell you are now. It can be a great time of rediscovery and exploration after a period of grief.

  12. As I quickly approach 50 (just 11 days away!) I am reflecting the midlife anti-crises have been like a gentle roller coaster ride. There’s been some lows, but many highs as well.

    In my early 20s when I was a single mom I started an herb store and continued with that labor of love well into middle age. Then after my first daughter left home the universe began beating me on the head and telling me it was time to let go of my shop and move on. But how scary was that? My entire identity was wrapped up in that little store, and I was well-known in my small community for my contribution via that business.

    But, when I finally sold the shop, it was like a huge load lifted from my shoulders. I was free to pursue other passions and dreams and i returned to college to study journalism, creative writing and women’s studies. I felt like I’d been given a second chance at life.
    Then a couple of years ago, my younger daughter left the nest – smacking me with another hard look at who I was without that “mom” label. (Not that we ever stop being Mom, but it does change once they leave home.)

    It’s been an exhilarating roller coaster ride and I still second-guess myself at times. But I am excited to be merging my passions for writing and natural healing in my new blog and I’m committed to remaining open to the opportunities that each new day may bring.
    Thanks for this timely post as I contemplate this upcoming milestone birthday!

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Sarah,
      Wow, it took a lot of courage to leave your herb shop. Bravo to you for following your intuition and expanding yourself. That’s wonderful. I know you will find a lot of joy in your new life. Wishing you an amazing 50th year!

  13. GREAT post and so timely. My life truly didn’t begin until 50 when I woke up and began really living, in the summer of 2009. I left my home and husband of 24 years to start over with my soulmate, who happens to be the most marvelous woman in the world. I am now learning what real love and intimacy are (better late than never!) and am so grateful to have this second chance to really live my life vs. just existing. It has been scary at times and I have wanted to run back to the “safe and steady” life but thank God I have persevered because I continue to live bold and bloom at 52 and I am so grateful! Thank you for sharing your beautiful writing with us.

  14. Great post, I’ve just turned 30 and I’m not happy with where I am in my life. I work in a dead-end job and I’ve also started reading Transitions: Making Sense Of Life’s Changes by the author William Bridges. Reading this book I’ve realized that I want to change my life, but I just don’t want to make cosmetic changes I would to turn my world in-side out. I want to start Afresh. I completely want to change my life. But the question is “Where do I start?”

  15. I think I am more aware of who I am and who and what I want to include in my life. I find myself letting go of clutter because I do not need what I believe I needed. Instead, I am making room and time—for my creative pursuits, for friends, for walks, for learning, for everything I am passionate about. I realize that I need to take care of me so I that I am healthier and can enjoy life. I am more stingy with my time and what I say “yes” to. There are not a lot of role models so I find myself carving out the path to my next life beginning—and you are right, it is a new beginning and much fun, yet scary at the same time. But everything new is always scary—so I just go with the flow.

  16. Wow. I really like your posts Barrie. You are the only one I have found to really know the problems people are going through. I have been trying to “find myself” for the past 3 yrs. I read all the posts by your followers stating that they are reinventing their lives after the kids move out and they have time now. Well I am now 50, almost 51 and have a 5 yr old. I love my daughter tremendously but have lost myself in the process. I ask the same questions as everyone else; who am I, what is my purpose, why can’t I find any passion in life (other than my daughter)? Depression has set in and I just cannot get past it.
    Anyway, I just wanted to say that I enjoy reading all your posts and replies. It helps me know that I am not the only one dealing with these circumstances and that there is hope somewhere, someday.

  17. I turned 34 last week and I think I’m going through something like a mid-life crisis. I’ve always been an early bloomer so it sort of makes sense to me. All of my crisis’s have happened at once, my partner cheated on me after 10 years of being together, I’ve let go of both of my businesses (no idea why), I’ve just started epilepsy medication (as of a month ago), gained 20 lbs in the last year, and I have absolutely zero self esteem.

    I try constantly to see the positive side of things, but it feels more like grasping at straws. Hate to be a negative nelly on your blog, but I guess it feels good to just write it down sometimes and throw it out to the internet like a message in a bottle.

    It helps me to read your blog because it makes me feel less alone and more sane. And also I’m able to find breadcrumbs in the dense forest I currently find myself lost in.

    Trying to be happy in the woods while waiting on a beam of light is hard and almost impossible for me, as someone who is always in a hurry to “fix” everything and everyone around me. But I’ve been told to sit still and wait, to focus on the “waiting” and “sitting” part.

    And so I will. But I maintain that it sucks.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Bridgette,
      Thank you for the courage to share your story here. You really have been slammed with a lot in the last year. I don’t know if it’s a midlife crisis — maybe just a life crisis! Too many difficult things happening at once. In spite of feeling like crap, take small action. Pick the thing that is bothering you the most, that is most negatively impacting your self-esteem. Then determine one very small thing you can do to improve that situation. If it’s weight, then do one thing — maybe it’s take a walk or cut out a snack food or switch out water for soda. Do one small thing today. Then do it again tomorrow and the next day. Don’t think about it or about the outcome. Get a calendar and give yourself a gold star every time you do that one thing. Believe it or not, that stupid gold star will make you feel good. Then when you feel ready, add one more action. Taking positive action, even if it’s small, in the direction of your dreams, will make you feel much better about yourself. 🙂

  18. Great Post Barrie,

    I have always thought midlife is where you simply start to notice you “clock is ticking”. You don’t have an unlimited amount of time left. And that is when life takes on a whole new meaning. The little things become more important and the big things we haven’t lived yet become undeniable.

    I have reinvented myself twice in “midlife”. The first time was when I quit my medical career at the age of 40. I could no longer tolerate living someone else’s dream – my mother’s in this case. The second was at the age of 52 when my 24 year marriage came to an end and I realized just how quickly what I had lived as “normal” for half my life could all disappear. It was a real wake up call to find myself living in an apartment with borrowed furniture out of the daily routine of seeing my children and friends and starting my career all over again … for the second time.

    With each of these “crises” I could have thrown in the towel … given up on my own dreams. That is a decision that is right in your face sometimes, on those dark nights of the soul. And, each crisis was a turning point to something better. Once I made the decision to continue to grow and move closer and closer to who I really am … break through the expectations and habits developed over time … things became clear.

    The whole stereotype of midlife crisis is a hollywood invention to sell tickets. It is a pet peeve of mine because it stops normal people like us from growing as we get older. The word “crisis” just means decision. We all have times in our lives when we can decide to continue growing and changing and creating a sweeter life. And each time we do we can come from a wiser and more grounded place simply because we are older and have more water under our bridge.

    We can always reinvent ourselves. The decision point that is the true midlife crisis is the place we have to start. Just have to make the decision and take the first step.

    My two cents,
    Dike

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Dike,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story — it is so very inspiring. Every so-called crisis is just a shroud for an opportunity to grow. Reinvention is a much better option that stagnating. It is hard to believe that on those dark nights that you mention, but at some point the fog lifts and you can see sunlight again!

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  20. I am 45 this year and I am having the time of my life. I have never been happier, more centered and confident. I am nowhere near as pretty or as thin as I used to be, but my career is booming and I am so happily married and all of the fears and insecurities I had in my 20’s are gone. I feel wise and confident at this age, and I enjoy working because of my experience and talent, and not trying to get places with my beauty, which is fading. I am relying upon my brains and my experiences, and it is such a fun time. If I only knew then what I know now!

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Sol, how wonderful! It is so nice to hear that you are seizing and creating your life rather than “accepting” the inevitable cliches of aging. I so agree — if only we knew then . . . But I guess that is one of the benefits of getting older. You know so much more!