Is this even possible? It seems Mid-Life and Crisis are supposed to go together, but since we, as Baby Boomers, have a knack for doing things differently, could we not also approach this time in our lives with a fresh perspective? I think we can. Let’s take a look at how.
Just like you approach Retirement (no one has come up with a better name yet) you can create a refreshing attitude toward your mid-life path. Your 40’s are no longer considered as old as they used to be; neither are your 50’s or 60’s. Retirement isn’t as it used to be. So, for example, what terminology would speak more truly about these times of your life?
The Encarta Dictionary (an efficient and complete dictionary generally found in the home of children) states that middle age is:
*The period in somebody’s life when that person is no longer considered young,usually between 40 and 60 years.
*Typical of somebody middle aged characterized by the behavior, attitudes, lifestyle or interest considered typical of middle age, especially staidness, conventionality, or old fashionedness.
If you are within these ages, do you consider yourself part of this definition? Are you staid and conventional and old fashioned? Is that how you want people to see you?
Let’s move on to the Encarta’s definition of retirement.
*The act of leaving a job or career or near the usual age for doing so. Being away from busy life; a state of being withdrawn from the rest of the world or a former busy life.
Do you desire to spend the next 30 years or more being withdrawn from the rest of the world?
There definitely needs to be some more accurate words to describe this stage of life that you are experiencing! Mitch Anthony calls it The New Retirementality. Rick Miners and Jeri Sedlar call it Rewiring. What do you call it?
Your mid-life can be the best time of your life. It’s simply a choice you have. It is a time to relax, appreciate your family and friends and view life from a different perspective. It’s a time to either work or not work. To find employment in something you have always wanted to do and never did or to totally go out on a limb and do something you had never even thought possible for you.
You may feel more control at work and in your families and in your social lives. You continue to grow, accept yourselves and your bodies. By now, you have experienced adversity and you have come through the other side. You appreciate what you have and your relationships. This makes you more confident and competent in whom you are now. You are in the unique position of planning this essential and exciting stage of life. Your experiences have taught you that you can go after what you want and that you can achieve it.
Your maturity comes with a wealth of coping skills and a comfortable sense of self. You have earned all that you have and you have much to look forward to in the years and decades to come. You have access to your own wisdom which will help you reach your own answers to your own questions. That doesn’t sound like much of a crisis.
So what are some action steps that you can take today to joyfully and with gratitude begin to explore this time in your life? Here are a few suggestions that may help:
1. Choose a fun name for your “retirement” or “mid-life”. Maybe you are “rejoicing” or “basking in the sunlight”?
2. Take 5 minutes to write out on a brightly colored piece of paper who and what you are grateful for in your life. Post this list somewhere so that you see it daily.
3. Think through your life experiences. What are 5 activities that you have enjoyed? Which ones would you would like to do again? Or which of these activities gives you ideas of something new to try? Do at least one activity in the next month.
4. We all admire someone or something. What could you plan to do today that would reflect this same attitude or action you admire in someone or something else? Do it.
5. Who do you hold dearest to you? How could you show your love for them today? Make plans for a simple but loving expression.
Are you having fun yet?
Kim Kirmmse Toth is a certified life coach. She works with baby boomers on the many transitions faced including the non-financial side of retirement planning. She may be contacted at: [email protected] or at her website: http://www.myretirementbydesign.com
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