I’M HAVING A MID-LIFE, BUT IT’S NOT A CRISIS
For the last couple of years I’ve been craving simplicity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that my life is full of wonderful things but I’ve started to realise that sometimes those wonderful things can somewhat complicate life, well my life anyway.
LIFE IS LIKE A CHRISTMAS TREE
I was describing to a friend last night how I felt. I gave her this analogy…
“I see my life”, I said “as a kind of Christmas tree. It was such a stong and beautiful tree, stood there all natural, fresh and fragrant, branches stretched out and lifted to the sky. But, life told me it would look better with a few baubles on it, so I added them to every branch. Then I believed it’d look better with tinsel and a set of bright lights and maybe even a flashing star on the top. I decided to place it in the front bay window, so everyone could see it, I added presents and a train that ran around its base. I adorned it, I blinged it up, I showed it off. Over time the branches began to bow under the weight of all the accumulations, I struggled to remember what it originally looked like before I’d accessorised it. It began to droop, it lost it’s freshness and I wondered what else I could add to it to keep it exciting and inviting, so I didn’t get bored, so I didn’t fade and fail to fit in. And it was then that I realised that it wasn’t an ‘adding’ that needed to take place, it was a ‘taking away’, an uncovering, a returning to simplicity, to a natural state, to a place of enough”.
I WANT TO THRIVE NOT JUST SURVIVE
The thing is, I’m not unhappy, I love my home, the area I live in, all my friends and family around me, my work and social time, my husband and children but I’ve felt like something hadn’t been aligned for a while now and that something isn’t going away! I’ve felt like life is happening all around me but not actually to me, I’ve felt like I’m going through the motions, existing instead of living, surviving instead of thriving. It’s hard to work out what’s going on when you aren’t actually unhappy.
Attached to this feeling of misalignment is guilt. I’ve felt soooooo guilty about feeling this way when my life looks, and fundamentally is, so good. So I’ve not talked about it. I’ve just felt it inside, quietly, to myself but not actually verbalised it through fear of appearing ungrateful or, god forbid, like I’m having some sort of a mid-life crisis.
It may be referred to as a crisis, but in the men and women I coach it shows up more as an awareness, a realisation, an awakening, a kind of conscious hard hitting truth. It’s that time in your life, and yes it tends to be in the 40’s and 50’s, when you stop and think… “is this it, is this how my life is going to be forever, who am I, how did it get like this, what’s my purpose, where has that zing gone, where have I gone, how can I feel that edgy excitement of life again, what can I do about it?
DOES ANY OF THIS SOUND FAMILIAR TO YOU?
It can be scary stuff and we hear all the time about men and women who’ve just gotten up and gotten out! Literally, overnight! Or so it appears... I can tell you it’s definitely never overnight. Those questions appear long before the fleeing happens, long before the affair with the office secretary or the tennis coach, long before the boob jobs, the late night meetings and the ‘can-we-mend-this-holidays’. Long before the depression, the isolation, the frustration, the confrontation. The mid-life creeps up slowly, prodding you to do something about it, poking you to listen but because it’s difficult to understand where these thoughts and feelings are coming from, let alone what to do with them, we keep them under wraps, we hope they’ll go away, we don’t upset the balance and instead stay silent & stay suffering.
THE MID-LIFE HAS GOTTEN A BAD RAP
I think this mid-life-crisis rap has gotten a bad name. I want to tell you it’s not all doom and gloom, in fact it’s pretty damn awesome, it’s just often, and wrongly so, portrayed as being the villain. But, it’s actually a really wonderful opportunity to learn lots about yourself, where you’ve been, where you’re going, who you are, how you’ve evolved, what bits of you you’ve abandoned along the way and what bits you’d love to reconnect with, how you’d love to grow and develop, learn and love.
It is indeed, as far as I’m concerned, a wake up call. It’s questions that need answering, it’s feelings that need listening to, it’s frustrations that need to be dealt with and relationships that require attention. Handled in the right way, with kindness, support and understanding, a mid-life awakening doesn’t have to involve a crisis.
I believe there is a way to carefully and constructively take your ‘what-is’ and look at your ‘what-now’? To make it acceptable to say… “I’m having a mid-life and it’s great!” Imagine that!
I’M HAVING A WONDERFUL MID-LIFE
Well, that’s what I’m doing. I’m announcing to the world today that I’m having a mid-life. I am more aware and more awake about who and what I am and where and when I’m going than I have ever been before and it feels great, scary but great, and there’s not a mad woman who’s lost the plot in sight!
I write this with love to all you men and women who need to question what’s going on in life — it’s ok to do that — in fact it’s damn healthy — what’s not ok is to sit there quietly and suffer and pretend like everything is great, when it doesn’t feel that way — it’s ok to be scared and it’s ok to not know all the answers.
If you feel like you’re having a mid-life then it’s important to talk, it’s therapeutic to share, it’s vital you don’t feel you’re alone, so I’m inviting you to join me and we can all wake up together.
With love Neen x
Naked Living — Be Comfy In Your Own Skin