Midlife is a state of mind. It’s not a specific time. It’s a time of transition.  Years ago, when we didn’t live as long, people defined midlife as an age, like around 40.  That was if you were lucky to live to 80. The “crisis” of midlife crisis was caused by becoming acutely aware of your own mortality.  Maybe your parents were getting older or passing on or maybe it was the relatives like the “great” aunties, etc.  I remember as a younger person thinking of those people (who were close to my age now) as the”old people” in the family. I am that age now and I do not see myself as an old person!

What is Midlife?

What I have been thinking about a lot is the term midlife.  For me, “midlife” refers to a time of life when one is in transition.  It’s not about age but about what’s happening in a person’s life.  For example, a parent experiencing their children going off to college could be viewed as a midlife experience.  I get why it’s referred to as “empty nest” but most people I know, even the ones who don’t have a job where they get paid or a business don’t consider their lives empty in any way imaginable.  

Midlife in Your Work Life

Another example of midlife could be a time in your life when you are changing careers, or perhaps, taking the leap from job to entrepreneur.  There are lots of feelings, emotions and changes to deal with and it can be a very exciting time!!

Then there is the midlife transition when you realize you want to keep working but your stamina and mental bandwidth seem to be slowing down.  It’s like you want to keep going but you brain and body say no!

Midlife in Your Relationships

Midlife in your relationships can appear in many different forms.  

One form of midlife in a relationship is when you realize you want something different in the relationship you are in with your spouse or life partner.  This offers you a great opportunity to explore and see if you will grow closer together or if you will grow apart.  

Another type of midlife in a relationship can occur with the death of a spouse or life partner.  You get to choose how you will move through this time.  Are you going to stay in the same place with it for the rest of your life (which many people do) or are you going to allow these huge “midlife” changes.

Throughout our lives we have so many opportunities to ask ourselves, who am I now?  At each step of the way we are all of who we were, all of who we became up to that point in time and all possibility into the future. When you look at midlife in that way, it can be a very exciting adventure!