The moment we question ourselves.
A new partner.
A different job.
The clichés of having a midlife crisis are sky high. Some psychologists prefer to call it a midlife ‘concern’ and not so much a crisis. ‘It’s very normal to question our achievements, when we are half way our life span’. But it doesn’t necessarily have to carry that bitter flavor of regret or burnout!
Time is ticking…
Everyone gets a piece of the cake:
Quarterlifers could be described as young adults who look back at their (carefree) high school years, comparing themselves with others of 25+. Who’s got a baby? Who bought a house? Who’s got a dream job with a nice company car? They question themselves because they desire to meet the social expectations that were exposed to them.
Midlifers have a totally different angle for questioning themselves, because they have generally reached the age where they aren’t afraid of putting themselves first. ‘What do I want, for myself?’ Their inner compass defines more and more the coordinates of their life journey, not so much the social expectations anymore. Becoming more aware of what they feel and who they truly are inside, triggers the urge to change paths. But should this be seen as a midlife ‘crisis’? It can be seen as a gift. A challenge that holds undiscovered opportunities.
The power of perception.
The way we choose to look at things, makes all the difference. Do you look back at your achievements, rather feeling down or disappointed? Yep. Call it a midlife crisis then. But if you decide to look back in time, and to be proud of where you were back then and where you are right now, despite the rough times or challenges you had: then it’s rather a midlife ‘concern’.
Once we cross that 50 years-milestone, we are confronted with physical limitations we don’t accept that well or like that much. Along with that, comes the realization how precious time is! There is more time behind, than in front of us. Maybe the loss of a parent wakes us up abruptly, that we aren’t immortal despite of 21st century technology and science. I want to go after my dream!
Midlife-concern is about thinking ahead: what’s on my bucket list? What are my new goals? What dream do I want to realize? These moments of reflections come with a feeling excitement and passion. The ‘fuel’ for a positive change in your life after 50!
Midlife-crisis is about looking back, remaining stuck in ‘what was’. What opportunities have I missed? What went wrong and why didn’t it work out for me? This negative perception generates bad feelings such as regret and sadness. It’s the perfect soil for growing weeds in your head, weeds that stop you from achieving beautiful things in life.
Midlife questioning doesn’t have to be something negative: it could mean more time for you and your partner, now the children have left the house. Or start those new studies to go after that dream job you have always wanted but never did. Maybe buying a jaw-dropping motorbike to realize your childhood dream. Or take time off and travel a few months!
Hey, it’s okay. Just be you.