Last night I spent far too many hours looking at tattoo designs. So many hours in fact, that the other half asked me if I was having a ‘midlife crisis’. And we’ve all been there, haven’t we?
How often have you seen a friend / colleague / family member suddenly signing up for an iron-man or a 50-mile trek through the Sahara, going vegan, buying tickets to Glastonbury, or getting their first tattoo aged 49?
Perhaps we’re trying to hang on to a youth that we feel is slipping away?
Maybe. But At The Midlife Hub, we think it’s actually a good sign. After years of living a linear life (holding down a job, paying the mortgage, raising kids, being a ‘grown up’) maybe its time for some ‘me time’. Time to revisit those dreams and aspirations we had on our twenties.
Are they still the same dreams, or do you want something different out of life now? After years of being someone else’s ‘other’ (husband / partner / mother / son / boss), isn’t it time for YOU?. Time to ask yourself ‘who am I now, and what do I want?’
Life can throw a lot our way, and everyone is different. We might experience things at different paces, times and intensities depending on our circumstances, but there are some common themes in midlife; empty nest syndrome, bereavement, illness, retirement, menopause, divorce to name a few.
All these things, in their infinite variation could really knock you sideways – and the knee jerk reaction is to get that tattoo, run that marathon or leave our spouse – the classic midlife crisis. If someone we know is exhibiting the what we might recognise as a midlife crisis, and we respond with ridicule or jest, perhaps its time to stop and think about what might lie behind their behaviour.
It’s perfectly ok to have a wobble, to feel confused or directionless. As our ‘life’ roles and identities change, we need to give ourselves the space and time to accept and adapt to these changes.
At The Midlife Hub we’re big fans of ‘making a plan’ In fact, the impetuous of building the The Midlife Hub in the first place came from a ‘what are we going to do about it’ conversation where Deb and I were discussing the midlife changes that we’d each experienced and how hard they were to navigate.
Sometimes when you get into a life-sinkhole it can be overwhelming and hard to know where to start, or we start by trying to do everything all at once. We all know that new years resolution feeling. We’re going to lose 6 stone, buy new trainers so we can take up jogging, drink 6 pints of water a day, get a new job, and start volunteering at the local cat shelter.
And by Jan 10th, we’re back to Netflix and the trainers haven’t been taken out of their box. At The Midlife Hub we think it’s important to think about what’s important to you, right now. And here we stress again, what’s important to YOU.
YOU as a person, not in the roles you play as the ‘other’ to your family / friends / partner. What is it that is and isn’t working for you? (across the full spectrum of your life) What do you want to build on and nurture, and what changes do you want to make?
Some of these might be big ticket items like taking a career sabbatical or learning a new skill, or smaller commitments like eating better, or improving your (bodily) flexibility. We’re big advocates of starting to make just a few actionable commitments that will help get you there. That’s why we created the Midlife MAP.
It’s our (FREE, no strings attached) service that helps people think through their midlife needs, and create that midlife plan. And then, if you need us to, we’ll signpost you to trusted local businesses and services that can help you reach these goals.
So, in the spirit of sharing, here are a couple of my current midlife goals:
- Find a really good Pilates instructor, and commit to a class once a week (‘cos you’ve got to look after your pelvic floor)
- Get my finances in order (it’s been a really long time since I looked at my pension provisions) Oh, and get a tattoo (well, maybe)
You can book your Midlife MAP session here: www.themidlifehub.com/the-midlife-hub-map-make-your-midlife-map
The Midlife Hub is your go-to for all things midlife.
Find a range of trusted services and events, all with a midlife twist; think yoga teachers, menopause support, nutritionists; career coaches; talking therapists; fitness instructors and financial advisors to name a few, all here to help you live your best (mid)life.
Words by Rosi Viljoen
Top image by Adrian Dascal