The other day when I wrote about middle-aged women ‘going wild’ a friend of mine sent me a website link. The link was titled Signs of a Midlife Transformation, from the website Personal Tao, created bt Tao Master Casey Kochmer.
My blog is partly dedicated to my life as a mother and wife, but another important aspect of my blog is to discuss my midlife issues. I have coined the term midlife something as the process I am in. It is not a crisis, but it is something. The article uses the term midlife transformation. I like that definition as well.
I believe my midlife something began two years ago after a life changing event occurred. Prior to the life event, I had been blissfully going about my life, not really thinking what would lie ahead when my children headed off to school. However, afterwards I was completely changed. The event shocked me to the core, making me question where my life was and where I wanted the next steps to go. In the course of two years I have slowly been putting pieces back together, that were shattered.
Not everyone has a traumatic event that leads to midlife issues, but it was the case for me. I realized the career I had prior to becoming a mother would no longer fit the person I am now. I had originally planned to go right back into Early Childhood Education after the children went to school. But now, the only career path I have ever known no longer seemed to fit. Suddenly, I realized I did not have a clue what my next step would be.
My blog is my attempt to sort out what lies ahead for me. Writing has transformed me not only to improve my skills as a writer, but to try something new and become successful at it. The act of doing something I had never done before has been life changing. I am still not sure what exactly I will do career wise, but I worry much less about it.
Today I would like to share with you some information from the article, Signs of a Midlife Transformation by Tao Master Casey Kochmer.
A Midlife crisis is actually the attempt to restart life to better fit a person’s heart. Due to existing personal commitments, it often isn’t easy to self resolve the inner conflict a person’s feels. As a result many times a person in mid-life crisis will act confused or lost while trying to sort out the contradictions they feel and now have in their life. Also many times a person is trying to improve their life while not really understanding why they are acting in the manner they are. This mixture of conscious to unconscious actions often makes a person in midlife crisis unpredictable.
What interests me most about this statement, is that a midlife crisis is an attempt to find a life that is a better fit for a person’s heart. I would have never predicted my ideas would have changed as for what type of career path I would take. I now feel because I have changed, I must find a new path that will be suitable for my new views in life. Some people deal with career issues, but others deal with personal ones such as no longer feeling the need to be married or changing religions. Whatever the case, I realize people do change. Identifying the changes as they happen or even before can prevent a full-blown crisis.
The following is a list of symptoms that illustrate how defining a mid-life crisis is truly relative to the person experiencing the changes. Again, taken from the article Signs of a Midlife Transformation.
Signs of a Midlife Crisis
- Looking into the mirror and you no longer recognize yourself.
- Desiring to quit a good job.
- Unexplained bouts of depression when doing tasks that used to make you happy.
- Changing or investigating new religions, churches or new age philosophy.
- Change of habits. Activities which used to bring pleasure now are boring. Unable to complete or concentrate on tasks which used to be easy.
- It feels good to get hurt.
- Wanting to run away from everything.
- A desire to get into physical shape.
- Irritability or unexpected anger.
- Change in allergies.
- Desire for physical -Free Flowing- movement (Running, Biking, Dance, Fast red sports cars, Sky diving, etc).
- Exploring new musical tastes.
- Sudden desire to learn how to play an instrument.
- Sudden interest in drawing, painting, writing books or poetry.
- Shifting sleep patterns (Typically to less).
- Thinking about death, wondering about the nature of death.
- Changes to the balance of vitamins you take. Or taking dietary supplements for the purposes of extending life.
- Extreme changes to what you eat.
- Excessively buying new clothes and taking more time to look good.
- Hair changes. (Natural changes in thickness, luster, color or Assisted changes in dying hair suddenly or shaving your head bald)
- A desire to surround yourself with different settings.
- Hanging out with a different generation as their energy and ideas stimulate you.
- Restarting things, which you dropped 20 years earlier.
- Upset at where society is going. Experience a desire to change the world for the better.
- Feeling trapped or tied down by fiscal responsibilities.
- Leaving (Mentally or Physically) family or feeling trapped in current family relationships.
- A desire to teach others or become a healer.
- Desiring a simple life.
- Excessively looking back to one’s childhood.
- Playing again just to play!
- Keep re-asking yourself: “Where am I going with my life?”
- Getting fixated on new “wonder” solutions to problems.
- Recently experiencing something extremely stressful. Stress can trigger a Midlife transformation. Some examples include: Changing Jobs, Divorce, Death of someone close, Chemical/Toxic exposure upon the body or experiencing a major illness.
- Doing things that get you into trouble when it surprises everyone as being out of character.
- Someone unexpectedly exclaims: “You are going through a midlife crisis!”
In reviewing the list I have 19 of the listed symptoms. That is a lot if you ask me. However, I have known I was in the middle of my midlife something for some time so it is no surprise. What is surprising is how many people younger than I do not think they will experience issues in midlife. As you recall, I was blissfully going forward without much thought of what lied ahead then …boom. Suddenly everything changed. I was naïve to think my life would stay the same for the next 20 years.
My process of transformation has been difficult. It has happened very slowly. I am not the same person I was two years ago, but the core of me is the same. I still have much work to do, but allow the changes to occur naturally. I read, write and surround myself with people who are supportive of the changes I am going through. I am fortunate I have the support I need, without judgements. It makes the process easier.
I am on my way. I am happier now with my life than I have been in a long time. Have I come up with all the answers to what the second half of my life will bring? No, but I am okay with that.
The answers will come. And if they don’t, I guess I will have to come up with new questions.