How Midlife is Creating My Purposeful Life

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Midlife has often been portrayed as a period of crisis. As in a “midlife crisis”, the kind where 60-year-old men are suddenly buying a Porsche and leaving their wives for a 25-year-old woman. The estranged wife is divorced, alone, and feeling frumpy and menopausal.

At least this is how I remember it from growing up in the 70’s.

And now, here I am in my own midlife. I can’t lie. I have certainly felt the twinges of “is this it?” which gives me either moments of guilt because I have so much to feel grateful for in my life right now. My husband and I have been working hard on our marriage, I have three great kids who all are employed and pay their own rent. I have a new puppy and a nice home to live in. I lost the anchor of alcohol and I feel healthy. Life feels good.

Like many women, who are also mothers, my main purpose before all my kids became “grown and flown”, was them. I love being a mother and I think I have done a good job. I knew, however, that for my own peace of mind, I needed to set up my career to a a point that I could slide right into it full time after my major parenting duties were done.

Yet, at times, something feels missing. Could it be my hormones, beckoning my “second puberty” as I have heard menopause be called? I have days where those familiar feelings of being 13 years old again come up, wondering what is to become of my life. These angsty feelings dominating my thoughts at times.

I’m not 13 anymore, but a 50-something year old woman with a lot of life experiences, and some adult thoughts about midlife. If you are feeling your own 13-year old version of meaning and purpose, read on to how you might navigate through.

Embrace Change and Self-Discovery

As I entered midlife, I found myself questioning my body, my career, relationships, and overall direction in life. I have had feelings of doom and gloom around aging, mostly because there is a pervasive feeling that women my age are not supposed to embrace getting older. I have spent much of my life following a path that was expected of me, rather than one that truly resonated with my heart and soul. This realization was both liberating and daunting, as it meant stepping into the unknown and redefining my sense of purpose.

Exploring Passions and Dreams

Midlife has given me the opportunity to explore passions and dreams that I had long neglected. I’ve rekindled my love for writing, started painting again, and care so much less about what others think and what I want in life. These creative pursuits have not only brought me joy and fulfillment but have also helped me reconnect with my innermost desires and aspirations.

Find Meaningful Connections

Midlife has given me the opportunity to cultivate deeper and more meaningful connections with others. I’ve reconnected with old friends, forged new friendships, and strengthened bonds with family members. These relationships have provided me with a sense of belonging and support, and have enriched my life in ways I never imagined. I have also bravely distanced myself from relationships that no longer serve me, realizing that my people pleasing was not allowing me to honor my boundaries. I am secure knowing what I want from a deep friendship.

Making a Difference

I’ve come to realize that my purpose lies in making a positive difference in the world. Right now, I am finding this through my work and being a source of support and encouragement to other women in midlife. I started my podcast, Real Food Stories, so women could have a voice and permission to let go of their own shame, guilt and conflicting feelings around food and weight. I coach women to make peace with their bodies at a time when feeling good about yourself is a real challenge. I’ve found that the greatest fulfillment comes from helping others and contributing to something greater than myself.

Embracing Gratitude and Mindfulness

More than ever, midlife has taught me the importance of gratitude and mindfulness in cultivating a sense of purpose and fulfillment. By practicing gratitude daily and being mindful of the present moment, I’ve learned to appreciate the beauty and richness of life, even in the midst of challenges. I have had times when I am in a state of lack and comparison of others, and the competition seems fierce. I know now to consistently lean into gratitude and the present moment. All is okay.

Looking Ahead with Hope and Excitement

As I look ahead to the future, I do so with hope and excitement for what lies ahead. Midlife has taught me that it’s never too late to find your purpose, and create a life that is truly meaningful and fulfilling. I’m excited to see where this journey takes me and am grateful for the opportunities that midlife has brought into my life.

Midlife is not a time of crisis, but rather a time of transformation and self-discovery. By embracing change, exploring passions, cultivating meaningful connections, making a difference, and practicing gratitude and mindfulness, midlife has become a period of immense growth and fulfillment for me.

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