"If you had a choice of color, which one would you choose my brothers?" Curtis Mayfield. There are many things that we can choose from. However, as you know, color is not one of them. But take heart, you can
choose how you respond to what we perceive to be a midlife crisis. At some point this will take place. "There is an appointed time for everything under the heavens." Ecclesiastes 3:1
To gain some clarity here, let me briefly define midlife crisis. Midlife crisis is a period of transition in life where someone struggles with their identity and self confidence. It happens anywhere from 40 years old to 60 years old, and it affects men and women. A midlife crisis is not a disorder but is merely psychological. On average, most people experience one between 40 and 60 years, but you may have it before or after those ages as well. This is one of those seasons in life that we go through just by virtue of being human. "You can see it as a midlife crisis or you can see it as a midlife awakening." Dan Pearce. The choice is yours. Midlife can be your best years or not. Again, the choice is yours.
One morning while listening to a popular motivational speaker on YouTube, a strong feeling of melancholy engulfed me. Needless to say, this was confusing; I was being inspired on the one hand and down in the dumps on the other. I am usually not given to deep emotional thoughts about where I am in my life. Of course, like everyone else I think about where I've been and where I would like to be. But, I do not dwell there, I just keep it moving. However, on this particular day, instead of being motivated, I started to question (maybe that is too strong a word) where I am in my life. This can be a real downer, especially if you believe that you should be further along in terms of accomplishments.
In any case, I started to reminisce about the goals that I had set for my life. Had I accomplished them all? My response was "no." What makes it worse is that I do not have lofty goals (at least I don't think they are) and yet, in my estimation I have not reached them all). Before you begin to feel bad for me, let me say that I am my own worse critic. To be frank, I am harder on myself than I am with anyone else. With that, I began to spiral into a cycle of "What have I been doing all these years?" Immediately, I could see where this was headed. So, I put the brakes on. Time for some self-talk. The first thing that came to mind was depression. Was I? I read up on the symptoms. Satisfied that I was not depressed, I did some deeper soul searching.
I recalled hearing somewhere that "where you are is where you are supposed to be." What does this mean? Does this even make sense? All I could come up with is that since you are there, make the most of it. You cannot turn back the hands of time. Asking "Is that all there is?"changes absolutely nothing. Why this malaise at this juncture of my life? Then a light bulb goes off in my head; I am in that stage or phase of life where I could be experiencing a midlife crisis. It's possible. Life happens to everyone: sooner or later. Perhaps this is my season. I faced some realities; I am not going to be Stephen King (prolific writer). I need to get over it. He is a gifted writer and greatly accomplished. We are not on the same path. I must learn to be content where I am at and bloom where I am planted. "Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am..." Philippians 4:11. Sometimes we need to pause and be content no matter what.
It is necessary to follow my path. Yes, I love to write, and one of my goals is to write a bestseller. So, why the doubt, the procrastination, the being sidetracked, the crossroads? Maybe along with a midlife crisis, fear has creeped in? Not just any fear, fear of failure or even fear of success. Well, you cannot fail if you do not try. I pondered over this thought, and it made a lot of sense. Fear can slow you down and can be a convenient out for those who want one, but it is not sufficient to replace dreams and goals. Neither is a midlife crisis. "The goal is for your midlife crisis to turn into a midlife discovery."Joan Anderson. It is time to make a choice.
After all, I have encouraged many others to follow their dreams and pursue their goals in spite of fear. Of course, as the years pass there are physical and sometimes mental changes that take place in the body. That is why it makes sense to get yourself checked out to be sure. Often, it requires more than our will to make a change. I digress. As I acknowledged that I have reached middle age (and beyond), and experiencing a feeling of malaise, I attributed it to midlife crisis. (I had recently had a complete physical and got a clean bill). Knowing what you are dealing with is half the battle. Then you can activate your will and momentum to continue in pursuit of your goals. Fear will always be present but it does not have to cripple you. Being at a crossroads means being at a place and time where you must make a choice. Neglecting to choose or delaying the choosing only exacerbates the feeling of malaise. "Turn your midlife crisis to your own advantage by making it a time for renewal of your body and mind, rather than stand by helplessly and watch them decline." Jane E. Brody. Imagine what it could be and/or what you want it to be, and then get busy.
Life goes on and we all get older. There will come a time when you will wonder if you are on target with your goals. Sometimes, life will catch you at a moment when you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. Some may call this a period of regrets or blues. It can also be heightened procrastination. But for the sake of this writing, let's call it a midlife crisis. To overcome this feeling or phase, a man may go out and buy a shiny new red Ferrarri and a women may do a total body makeover. I want to caution you that you should not make any sudden or unplanned moves. What you feel is normal. And you should respond without panic. This is a time for reflection and gratitude.
"Middle age is not the beginning of decline but a time to reach for the highest in ourselves. Middle age is a pause to re-examine what we have done and what we will do in the future. This is the time to give birth to our power." Frank Natale. This is a time to tune into yourself. This is the time to step out with confidence. This is the time to kick into gear and get it done. What are you waiting for?
LOOK IN THE MIRROR - You are still here. That means you can still make moves. Everyday that you are in the land of the living, you can make changes for the better. Be thankful that you have made it thus far in your life. You serve a purpose. Smile at yourself and congratulate yourself for following your plans for that day. The mirror assures you that you are present and can seek God's purpose for your life and therefore walk in your purpose.
SPEAK ENCOURAGEMENT OVER YOURSELF - Stop waiting for validation from others. It's good to have, but it is not crucial. Tell yourself that you are enough, that you are smart, beautiful, worth it, etc. Show yourself love each day. You are getting better.
GET IN SHAPE/GET HEALTHY - Okay, maybe you will not be able to run a 25-mile marathon. But, try to reach optimal health for you. That means keeping scheduled physicals and dental appointments and following doctors' orders, and make it a matter of fact and duty to get in some exercise. With a healthy mind and body, you are better equipped to face what comes your way. Wellness increases your contentment quota.
FEED YOUR MIND - START READING This keeps those brain cells activated and keeps you informed. You will be amazed at how your communication skills will improve. Your conversation will be interesting, informative and fun. I try to read a book a month. For those of you who write, you know reading is a major plus to enhance writing. Most importantly, it is enjoyable. It is also inexpensive entertainment, and you can see the world through books. You can get information on just about any subject/topic. Check it out.
PRAY/MEDITATE - Solitude in prayer and meditation is refreshment to your soul and clears the way for productive action. You also get to connect with God who is the ultimate source of wisdom and strength. When you pray, you are able to relieve stress and have your inner spirit renewed. With "fresh eyes" you can see where you have been and where you are going and can plan accordingly. You also put yourself in a position to hear from God as He speaks to your heart.
FOCUS - Do not forget why you are on this road in the first place. Dismiss doubt and irrational fears. Periodically review your plans/goals and assess that you are moving along as you had anticipated. Stand firmly and follow through on your action plans. Evaluate at designated intervals. Make the needed adjustments.
STAY THE COURSE - That light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train. It is the breakthrough in achieving your goals. Make sure all systems (heart and mind) are in place. Always strive to do what is right. Determine that you will not give up on your dreams or your goals no matter what phase or stage of life you are in. You are on your side and God is on your side. With God on your side, it is going to be alright. "Make sure your character is free from money, being content with what you have ; for He, Himself has said, "I will never leave you, nor will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5. Midlife crisis is no match for determination and prayer. Life is what we make it. Make it grand! You will not get where you are going by constantly changing directions. Stay the course!!
Life is what we make it. Make it grand! Midlife happens; it has nothing to do with the plans you have in motion for your life. Phases and stages in life are going to happen. It is the way it is. No matter which one you are in, do not forget where you are headed. In fact, solidify your plans and keep it moving!
Thank you for your continued support. I remain appreciaive.
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