According to Wikipedia — “The exact range is disputed and can be considered of arbitrary nature, but the general consensus has placed middle age as the age range from around 40 until 60, with about 5 years of leeway on either side.”
Psychology Today says — “Midlife or middle age is that transitional period of life between young adulthood and old age. Middle-aged people often undergo significant changes in their relationships, jobs, and health and their appearance.”
There’s the rub. How many of us approaching 60 these days feel like we’re anywhere near approaching “old age?” If you had kids a bit later in life, at 60, you might still have teenagers at home; or your 20-something kids might very well have moved back home and are acting like teenagers again.😩 We may only be just beginning to feel like there is time to do the thing we really want to do.
Even into our late 50s many of us still need a sizable income to sustain our lives, are still paying college tuitions (maybe still paying off our own student loans). We may not have the income safety net to retire; or we still have so much expertise and energy to contribute in our fields.
On the other hand, our bodies have started aging — those new aches and pains… Our appearances have changed. For women this can particularly cruel when it feels like the world no longer sees you. The corporate world has long considered us “over the hill” — opening up exciting opportunities for self-employment, but in not-so-comfortable world requiring self-promotion and sophisticated use of social media. We may bit just a bit tired to parenting 😩—especially as our parents need parenting now too.😔 And there’s no denying the existential crisis, the sense that indeed the final “horizon” is feeling closer…
As we live longer, live healthier, start milestones later (having kids, buying a home, changing entire career trajectories), midlife has expanded. How do you manage this expanding sense of freedom and possibility with the biological fact that our lifespan is limited and the horizon is getting closer? Please share below.
3 responses to “Are you still in midlife… and what are you going to do about that?”
Totally feel a drift at the moment. Trying to get to that place, at 63, where I am looking forward to working on my house, my yard and myself but I am still no closer to being to stop working. Life is Good it is just not where I want to be. I appreciated your blog.
I hear you Lucy; I’ve kinda got the opposite problem. Work has suddenly slowed down and my contract may end soon and I struggle each day to feel it was productive, even if I work on my house and yard… feel like that’s not “real” work — though I’m trying to change my mindset. Isn’t that funny. It’s hard to change gears in life.
And Lucy, I appreciate you joining the conversation!