We all know the stereo typed signs of a mid life crisis… man goes off shags woman young enough to be his daughter, buys a red sports car and a develops a taste for the sort of music that he would have listened to in his youth if his mum had let him turn the volume up to 11 in his bedroom.
I remember when Jane started to transition I muttered it could be part of a mid life crisis…. I soon learnt not to say that… transition was WAY too serious and important and life changing to be just mid life crisis.
But I was reading this today…. it refers not to a crisis but a transformation…. a point in life where many of us “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”.
I’d say that describes the place where Jane has been… and still is to some degree. But I guess she’s transformed totally and most of us find other less literal solutions.
It’s where I am (the article I linked to recommends stepping back and going on a retreat – admittedly to Hawaii not Whitby…but yanno)
“Change isn’t easy, and the prospects of change often paralyzes the strongest person. Ironically when this is the case then the solution is often to take a simple retreat to pause and to reflect on one’s life. Sometimes to take pause in awareness itself is the change people need! Often times pausing means to stop the actions which were fostering the crisis. As a result, Pause isn’t to do nothing, pause is an active process of examining potentials and considering which options would fit best in life!”
I don’t know what hormonal things happen in men of a certain age… but maybe thats why women have such a shit time …all those hormonal shifts combined with trying to find a better place for themselves in their life.
When I look around I see lots of friends in crisis… very few who are transforming gently. After all I’m on retreat with a friend who is like me a lady of a certain age whose (ex)husband pretty much ticks every box on the signs of crisis checklist…. as do I, as did Jane…. as does my cigar smoking bear…. as do so many of us.
Maybe the bowlderisation of the midlife crisis is something we all need to be a bit more sensitive about and the first step could well be to see it as a natural stage in life and a chance for positive transformation as opposed to a life shattering crisis that often impacts most on those closest to them.