When I was 48, my husband and I became empty nesters. As much as I loved raising our children, I was looking forward to this next stage in my life when I could start living again. This raised the question, though, hadn’t I been living all along? Well, not exactly. I had been living for my children and invested in raising them and caring for my husband, instead of investing in myself. After all, isn’t that what motherhood is all about anyway?
I felt that my ‘job’ was all but finished by the time my fourth child moved out of the house and onto her studies at college. Even though, I realized that I was still going to be needed, my 24/7 gig was behind me and I could then focus on myself and my husband. My husband didn’t share the same ideal of his job being behind him; he still felt that 24/7 responsibility more so than I did. So, while I was ready to move beyond, he was still lagging behind in the parental mode.
Some would refer to that ‘mid-life thing’ to be a crisis, but my girlfriend and I were discussing it and she referred to it as a ‘mid-life awakening’. I prefer awakening so much more than crisis. Because in thinking back, I experienced an awakening to all of the possibilities around me. I began to look at what could be, as opposed to the limitations of time, and physical ability and money.
Many people go through these mid-life awakenings in their lives and they begin to branch out in ways that are uncharacteristic for them up to that point. For instance, I had always wanted a convertible. So, when the situation opened up and I saw it as a possibility rather than the limitation – I got my convertible. While my daughter called it a mid-life crisis – I saw it as a fulfillment of a long time dream. I began to awaken to the opportunity of owning a convertible because I no longer needed the van or an SUV because my children were all out of the house. The fact that my daughter never knew that I had always wanted a convertible gave way to her thinking that I was having something of a crisis and trying to recapture my youth. While the convertible offers me a feeling of freedom when driving with the top down and letting the wind blow through my hair, it in no way recaptures my youth because I can appreciate it so much more with the life experiences I’ve had to this point in my life.
This awakening comes at a point in our lives when what we’ve known for many years is giving way to the unknown future which earns the term – mid-life. Typically, the years between 25 – 50, are given to raising children, and the years following are considered the retirement years. However, retirement customarily doesn’t occur until our sixties sometimes even our seventies. So what do we do between the years of 50 – 60/70, while we’re still working and we don’t have the 24/7 responsibilities at home? We do all the things that we’re able to do while we have the flow of income and our body is still able to do it. Sometimes that looks as though we are trying to recapture something that we’ve missed out on – as though we are having a crisis. Truth is the opportunities just happen to be ripe for the picking……and we’re picking them! Pick the fruit of opportunity in your life while you can!
I hope that you are able to experience a mid-life awakening! Allow yourself to participate in your own life rather than being a spectator, sitting on the sidelines. Go out and make something happen! You’re not having a crisis – you’ve just awakened to your life and all the open doors available to you!
Thanks for stopping in! Be Blessed – but more than that – be a blessing to others!