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Midlife Crisis? Or Path to Enlightenment?

You never know where life is going to take you

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Three years ago, finding myself approaching the big 4-0, I decided to simultaneously embark on a volunteer training program and go back to school (D'oh!). This was in addition to working as a freelance court reporter and being mom to my then-7-year-old son and wife to my husband (both very polite cavemen). Some of those closest to me questioned my wisdom/sanity (and so did I). My plan was to get a degree in social work. Now, here I am three years later, still volunteering, but to my surprise I've found that instead of social work, my focus has become writing, children's stories specifically, for a website that my husband and I started a few months back.

I guess it goes to show that you never quite know where life is going to take you, and I think it also illustrates the gender differences when it comes to midlife crises. Doesn't conventional wisdom say that the man dumps his wife and acquires a young girlfriend and a red sportscar? OK, that's a stereotype, I know. My husband did nothing of the sort. His midlife crisis seemed to involve more napping and an increased sex drive (although not necessarily in that order). Mid-life crises for women? We go back to school, change careers, start businesses. For those super-achievers, we might even run for President .

So for those of you younger than I, take heart, and don't look at it as a midlife crisis. Look at it as a unique possibility for self-improvement and greater enlightenment. Okay, that's what those of us over 40 say to make ourselves feel better.

All kidding aside, I'm enjoying my 40s. I no longer strive for perfection (well, not that I ever really did), and I'm more relaxed about many things. I don't see issues in as dogmatic a fashion as I did when younger (when I knew everything), but am looking for small ways to make a difference in the world around me, and that's something we can all do.

2 comments so far...

  • Hi, Giazz,

    Aren't they saying that 40 is the new 30 or something like that? One piece of advice I have is keep your options open. Don't be afraid to try new things. And I've really enjoyed going back to school. I'm taking online courses (because I work). I think it's important to exercise the brain. I also like exchanging ideas with people half my age. Don't fear the 4-0, embrace it! Also, don't continually examine your face for new wrinkle lines.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 9th June 2008

  • I am going through a similar issue, I will be turning the big 4-0 this August, and I am wondering what I need to do to in order to achieve my immediate goals and long term goals.

    Any suggestions would be helpful,
    Thanks in advance,

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Giazz on 9th June 2008