Although often misaligned or overlooked, midlife is a very special time. We’ve been on the planet for some time, and we’ve learned a few things. We have life experience, insights, perspectives, and know-how that the young lack. We know what we like and don’t like. We don’t care about some things, and we want to care about what really matters. And we want to be more of ourselves as we age!
We overlook the opportunity of midlife and beyond for a myriad of reasons -- work, busyness, distractions, inertia, and sometimes aspects of our own personalities that don’t allow us to look at the second half of life as something to look forward to or the new venture that it can be. Sometimes, it’s too easy to simply keep going around and around in the same grooves that have served us well (or not) for decades.
At some point, we wake up to the brevity of life. We consciously or subconsciously realize that these grooves will change -- the empty nest, an impending retirement or an “unretirement,” declining health, relationships changes, etc. Or after decades of working, you might be experiencing that gnawing feeling that you want to try something new, something different.
Then you might experience the “wish and worry” -- you wish you could be doing something else, but you worry you can’t. Or you feel you’re “too young to retire, but too old to rehire.” Or “I feel bereft!” you say, “No kids, no job, now what?” Or it feels scary to think afresh about what you’ll do in the next stage of your life.
That’s the beauty of midlife and beyond, actually… This is the time for thinking, dreaming, and doing the work that’s required create the future that serves you well. Now’s the time.
That’s why I’m once again offering my North Seattle College continuing education course, "From Midlife Through Retirement: A Path Forward” (February 23 - March 15, 6:30-8:30pm). This is an interactive four-week course looking at the unique challenges and opportunities of the second half of life and finding a way for you to chart your own way forward. Of course, we won’t solve life’s problems in four sessions, but you will learn critical components that will help you to approach making change, and you will practice the concepts by applying them to one action area of your choice. If you are thinking about “what’s next” in your life, please consider joining the class. We had a wonderful experience in the last class in autumn quarter, and I hope this session will be as well. (You can read participant comments here.)
This is the time to work on your future. Once you start, it’s energizing and uplifting, because the process is creative and it’s unique to you.
And don’t say you’re feeling too old to start something new. As Dear Abby used to say, “How old will you be if you didn’t do it?” (The same age if you did try it - and with a little less time.)
Now’s the time to start!
Thoughts for creating success in the second half of life.