From workplace whippersnappers and brooding teenagers, to hot flashes and newfound relationships with gravity—we all have our midlife challenges, and yet everyone we’ve surveyed wouldn’t trade their midlife mind for a 19-year-old body.
The Fifty is the new… authors are all very much young at heart, so we asked them to briefly contemplate: What keeps you young—in body, mind or spirit? Here’s what they had to say: Read more
Reinvention. I don’t love this word as description for how I am experiencing my midlife. It sounds too phony, too deliberate, too “Madonna,” too male. I prefer emergence, awakening, unfolding, release and renewal. In fact, I hope to never have to “re-invent” myself again.
We moved a lot when I was a kid. I went to four different high schools in those four years of school. I learned to reinvent myself as a coping mechanism. As a way to adapt, to fit in, to get people to like me and to be less afraid. Read more
“Wait until you turn 60,” a friend said to me recently. It was a dire warning of things to come because she was having a hard time with it. I tried to imagine that world of dread and loneliness (she’s single, I’m married); I tried to think back to that time, when 40 was approaching, and I wanted to hang on to my thirties—it had been a decade so full of possibilities, growth, fun and accomplishments, I didn’t want it to end. But the forties turned out to be fine, too: more possibility, more growth, more fun, more accomplishments—just getting better all the time.
As the fifth decade approached, I have to admit that the feeling of sliding gleefully into more, more, more! softened a bit as the mentally prepared for, but always unexpected changes began to kick in Read more
Becoming a woman of a certain age caused me to pause and take a look around. The number 50 appeared like a big round sound calling me to prayer. It posed the questions of “What’s been, what’s so and what will be?”
In the stair-step years leading up to 50, I’d lost my mother to emphysema, my lover and partner of ten years to another woman, my grandmother to suicide and my best friend of 30 years to Lou Gehrig’s Disease. So much of my personal history had been wrapped up in those four women. This life moment demanded review and renewal.
“Stepping into the light” can mean so many things: spiritual illumination, truth telling, healing, even death. For me it means engaging in a magical process whereby you arrange your thoughts and feelings into that marvelous form called the story. Whether written down or spoken, we humans are all about our stories. The storyteller is an ancient character, an archetype in our psyches. For thousands of years storytellers have gathered, arranged and passed on our histories, nightmares, moral dilemmas and realities wrapped up in stories that find their familiars in the myths and legends of many cultures. Read more