There comes a time in everyone’s life where evaluation needs to occur. Some may call it simple growth while others, a mid-life crisis.
What is a mid-life crisis anyway? A middle-aged man who buys a red sports car like portrayed in the movies? According to Wikipedia:
“A midlife crisis is a transition of identity and self-confidence that can occur in middle-aged individuals, typically 45–64 years old. The phenomenon is described as a psychological crisis brought about by events that highlight a person’s growing age, inevitable mortality, and possibly shortcomings of accomplishments in life. This may produce feelings of depression, remorse, and anxiety, or the desire to achieve youthfulness or make drastic changes to current lifestyle.
The term was coined by Elliott Jaques in 1965. More modern research has shown this is not a phase that most middle-aged people actually experience, and some have questioned the existence of this phenomenon.
When it does occur, a midlife crisis is not typically actually experienced during the midpoint of one’s life, which for most average human lifespans would be around the age of 40.”
Well, okay then. There we have it. Every ten years I assess how I have grown, what I need to work on, who I currently am and who I want to be. At 42, however, it’s been a constant conversation in my head. Does this mean I am going through a midlife crisis? Maybe? That’s a pretty broad definition above and crisis is a strong word, therefore, I prefer to coin the term, “midlife assessment”. Seems to fit, don’t you think?
At the end of the day, don’t we all just want to be happy? We all have a different definition of what that means of course. My happy place is filled with laughter, love and respect. It’s all about feeling healthy and strong, special and comfortable in my own skin. It’s about being me and not giving a sh*t what others have to say about it. Happy means making others happy, giving back and being present. It’s about my children smiling, feeling supported and most of all, loved.
These are some tall orders, I know. Have I succeeded at all of them? Of course not. Will I continue to try? Absolutely! Should everyone strive to be a better version of themselves and achieve their “happy”? I believe so.
A midlife evaluation is important and necessary. Did we imagine ourselves where we are today? Does it fit in with the vision we had when we were younger? Is it better? Not even close? Have we settled? Are we living our truth? All these questions help us continue to discover who we are and I believe we are on a constant journey of discovery.
Am I the mom I want to be? The one I imagined as I brushed my baby doll’s hair and gently sang her to sleep? Am I the wife I want to be? The one my husband imagined as his eyes met mine for the first time so many years ago? Am I the businesswoman I want to be? The one I have been creating since I sold poems on the playground in first grade? Am I the friend I want to be? The one I envisioned by my own side? The truth is I don’t know, but I am trying to figure it all out.
I want to be a good person. I want to be good to myself but selfless at the same time. I want to feel unique and fun, yet fit in. I want to feel in control and satisfied with my choices without regret. I want to look and feel young but embrace my wisdom. I want to feel appreciated, noticed and pretty. I want to feel butterflies and excitement. I want to feel free, yet needed. I want to be respected, loved and honest. I want to feel alive and shout it out to the world, yet keep it all to myself. I want to be a role-model but don’t believe others should walk my path. Basically, I am a walking contradiction who wants her cake, although those who know me know it’s a cheese platter that I want to have and eat too.
It’s healthy to self-reflect and when needed, self-correct. Who do I see as I look in the mirror every day and am I content with who is looking back at me? Some days, yes, I am fulfilled. Others, surprised and some, disappointed. At the end of the day, I just want to be happy, whatever that means. The definition is and should always be changing.
Here’s to laughter, love and living life to the fullest! I don’t think for me, it’s a red sports car at this mid-life assessment I am experiencing, but I look forward to figuring out what it is that I am seeking. The good news is every day, I am closer and closer to cracking the code.