How To Avoid A Midlife Crisis

Midlife_crisis

What even is midlife anymore? As a little girl, I thought 40 was middle aged, but now I’m 50 and I think…am I there yet? The ageing goalposts have definitely moved and I think, overall, it’s a good thing. We are now supposed to be a nation of pro-agers and being ageist is just not tolerated anymore…is it?

I have to admit that I’m not sure if we all truly believe that age has no boundaries anymore. Of course, there are physical boundaries – yes, whatever our age we can keep as fit and healthy as we possibly can with daily walks, active hobbies and being around young people – to keep us young-minded. But we can’t always keep up…there is definitely the odd creaking of bones, aching of joints or even, just a little less energy.

Please note, I’m not dissing anyone here, I know that there are octogenarians running marathons and swimming the channel and I am the first to applaud such vitality and – dare I utter that Americanism….spunk! It’s true. But, unless you’re super competitive and motivated, most of us mere mortals would rather avoid taking the treadmill next to that super lithe 20-something that as been running on an incline for 20 minutes without breaking a sweat.

Kidults

Also, tell me honestly, those of you who are over 45 – do you really feel you can keep up with your teens on the ever changing face of social media, for example? The way my kidults can flip through filters, message 100 friends at time – all in different groups and on different platforms – take professional looking pictures and upload them to Twitter with just the right hashtag in under 2 minutes, makes my head wobble!  Trying to keep up with our family WhatsApp group chat has me and Stressed Husband bewildered – the kids are flying banter and memes back and forth thick and fast before we’ve even typed a misspelt, sausage fingered reply to the question: ‘Who stole the straighteners and where’s my MAC lipstick? I left it on my window sill!’

But…and I mean this positively…keep up we might not, but at least we try! And that, ladies and gents of a certain age, I think is the key to avoiding a midlife crisis…trying. At everything we do. I don’t mean it to be something that is laborious and painstaking. I mean, give everything a go – give it a try! If you like it, great – you’ve found something you like to do. If you hate it, well – forget it, at least you tried.

I just used the example of ever-evolving social media above as something that I try to keep on top of. I’m not bad at it at all and I’d put myself above average at it among my peers, but I do have my limits – just like my 78 year old mum has hers – flicking through Facebook, ‘hearting’ her grandchildren’s posts and even adding the odd ‘lovely picture’ comment 🙂 I’m happy with what I know even if it doesn’t compare to my kidults’ natural skills. In fact, I’d rather be able to understand a little bit of something than not have a clue. I’d rather say I’d tried at something than be left wondering if it’s something I could actually do, or would maybe wind up enjoying. It’s probably down to the fact that I’ve always been nosy inquisitive – so FOMO (fear of missing out, mother) is something I don’t take kindly to.

In a really interesting article on Midlife Crisis, that I read in the South China Morning Post, Australian psychologist Timothy Sharp, founder and Chief Happiness Officer of The Happiness Institute (sounds a fun place to work! 🙂 ) had some great words of wisdom and said:

“If you feel lost or stuck or unsure about the future, you should try to clarify as best you can what your best possible life would look like, and then work towards making that a reality.”

I feel that this is absolutely a great way of looking at midlife. Remember too, It’s essential to not compare your life to anyone else’s because that stops you focussing on what is right for you and your life! I often look at high powered business women in their 50s and beyond and think ‘Wow! If they can do it, so can I’ Their lives look so glamorous and important. But, when it comes down to it, do I really want to be in a business meeting at 8am discussing financial matters and have to get somebody else to walk my dog around the beautiful park I visit every day? No. It’s not really for me. But there is an awful lot that is for me, that I can’t wait to try – surfing and open water swimming being just two!

So I say, if you’re on the trundling, creaky old train bound to Midlife Crisis, hop off and follow the signs to The Life You Want. You might not get all the way there, but you’ll feel uplifted giving it a go –and you’ll have fun trying!

What plans have you got for ‘middle age’- and when exactly do you think it starts? Let me know!

 

After The Playground

13 Comments

  1. Hi there! Visiting from #tweensteensbeyond. Having just read Nicky’s post about turning 50 I found the same sort of spunk oozing from your post. I’m glad so many of us are talking about getting older, but not feeling older, and not wanting to be “done” with anything. I like the quote you shared about your best possible life. It was like Oprah was back on TV. 🙂

    • Haha – thank you so much for reading and commenting and I’m glad you enjoyed it! Ooh and I do love a bit of Oprah, thanks for the compliment. ‘Us lot’ talking about getting older are making it so much more interesting and enjoyable I think! I’m off to read your blog now! Lisa xx #tweensteensbeyond

  2. I love this post and you are so right….look up every once in a while and realise that you can choose the path you want….it’s taken me a while to realise this! I’m on the slippery slope to 50 and am rediscovering so many things that I’d forgotten I enjoyed like nature, gardening, swimming, walking my dog, views…..I always loved these things but have sometimes got caught up in work/kids/home/work and it’s not good for you. I love your family pic…..so natural and I did lol at your WhatsApp group chat! We have a similar one in the old house and it’s hilarious! I have shared this on Twitter. Love it. In fact I will try (to remember!) to blog crush share it at Lucyathome on Friday. #tweenteensbeyond

    • Lovely to find your blog too! Thanks so much for sharing, that’s really kind of you 🙂 I’m glad you understand my thinking on ageing…there’s no getting away from it so we may as well make the best of it! Lisa xx #tweensteensbeyond

  3. I would be more than happy to walk your dog! You are so right, this is the time of life for recognising what makes us happy. Ideally, we should have discovered that by now but if we haven’t, this is an excellent time to do just that! I want to carry on learning, do some gentle exercise and read loads of books. Thanks so much for joining us at #TweensTeensBeyond

    • Thank you for commenting Sharon! I’m glad you’re with me on the keep learning front and I also plan to read lots of books! My dog is gorgeous isn’t he?! have a lovely weekend xx

  4. Oh Lisa there is so much energy oozing out of this post you are clearly not heading for a midlife crisis! I turned 50 in February and am already reflecting on where the year has gone! I set out this time last year to hit my 50th year being the best I could be (whatever that is!). I have stuck by some of my fabulous fifty resolutions and some I have chucked to one side with a touch of done that, didn’t like it, time to move on attitude. Essentially I like where I am with my life and whilst I reminisce about my old corporate life, I count myself lucky to be doing a bit of what I like when I like and not having to answer to anybody. Life is for living and that includes this whole midlife period too! Let’s all enjoy every minute of this second half – however long that might be! #TweensTeensBeyond

    • Hi Jo. That’s such a lovely thing to say – thank you! You wouldn’t say it if you could see me now mind you while I’m wrapped up on sofa having an afternoon snooze! Still, those batteries have to recharge sometimes Happy weekend!!

  5. oh yes, midlife crisis boundaries are shifting the older i get for sure. 40 used to be old, but now I see my mum at 73 and think she’s still rather young
    tweenteensbeyond

    • Thank you for dropping by to my blog and commenting. I agree the boundaries are definitely shifting. So lovely to hear your mum is 73 years YOUNG 🙂 Mine is 78 and I can’t keep up with her when we go shopping – she’s speedy! All the best, Lisa xx #tweensteensbeyond

  6. And don’t we just love that shift Lisa. Nodding along to this wholeheartedly as a big supporter of this age group. And as my dear dad used to say, ‘there is always room in the world for a trier’. On this occasion, that is us – doing our thing at keeping up and trying all those new things, because we can. And we will! If they don’t fit, no matter but those that fit like a glove are where we want to be. At a time when we are surrounded by so many wonderful role models defying the age boundaries, I think where we are is a good place to be, don’t you?! Lovely post. Thanks for sharing with #tweensteensbeyond

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