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The Queen of My Self

 

This article is by my friend and colleague, Barbara Bizou.  

 

Redefining Midlife Part 1

“Since you don’t know when the end is going to be how can you figure out what mid-life is.

– Julia Riva

We, as a culture, worship youth. We try and tighten our abs, botox our faces and dye our hair all on the eternal quest to stay young. Looking good is not a bad thing, but dismissing the wisdom of experience because of our fear of aging is destructive and sad.

Moving into midlife (whenever that is) can be a freeing and exhilarating experience.Around the age of 45 we begin to move into the halfway point of our lives. For some of us it is closer to 50. The actual chronological age is not important, what is important is the feeling that we have come to a turning point in our lives.

The essence of mid-life change is the reevaluation of the present with an eye toward an uncertain future. It represents both the end and the beginning of a cycle. Some of us may recall forgotten dreams and wonder whether it too is late to realize them. Many of us have to give up our fantasies of how we thought our life would be. Facing this reality may leave us feeling vulnerable and unsure of ourselves.

Those who have the hardest time with mid-life are usually those who realize they have lived a life programmed for them by others rather than the life they wish to lead. It is common to see them begin to search for satisfaction in different ways — possibly pursuing their “life’s work” or looking for some larger “purpose” to their life. Many times, people get a wakeup call when faced with a personal crisis that prompts them to look deeply at their life (sudden loss of job or home, death of a loved one, illness).

This time is a gift for it allows us to correct the flow of emotional energy in our life. It is important to acknowledge any grief and sadness that we may have so we can become more available for joy in our life. This is not about regrets — everything we have ever done has added to who we are today. It is important to take the time we need to retreat from our daily lives so we can heal.

Be prepared to encounter resistance from others who are used to us always being available. Building strong relationships of mutual trust and caring will play an important part in this healing journey.

Whenever we start something new we may feel uncertain. We no longer know what is expected of us and we can lose the self-confidence and certainty that we have built up over years.

Tomorrow: Redefining Midlife Part 2

*****

Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

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