Midlife is way more than menopause, is way more fun than you think and lasts a lot longer! How’s your quality of midlife?
I’ve been reading a lovely set of books by Cathleen Rountree on women’s aging. I am now re-reading the interviews in her book “On Women Turning 50”. They make me smile. These women reflect what I so often see in my clients: that women in their 50s, 60s and 70s are some of the most content, empowered, creative and visionary women that I know. These women remind me of why I developed a fascination with midlife when I was in my twenties - I knew then that women in that age group were dynamic and exciting and were my role models, my mentors.
Women, in our youth focused and ageist culture are afraid of aging; they are both offended by and defended against the word midlife. I love engaging with women in my workshops and my individual clients about the confusion around midlife as a time of loss and decline. Yes - there are definitely stages that we mature through that bring us face to face with loss, with physical challenges, with deep questions around the restless we experience at this time in our lives. These same women go on to be engaged, joyful, invested, influential. These same women go on to enjoy new found interests, deepened interests, big visions and goals, satisfaction and appreciation for being a woman with extensive experience and wisdom.
Some of us do indeed experience crises in midlife - difficult symptoms during peri-menopause, loss of parents or other loved ones, loss of close friends, divorce, we confront our own mortality. We move through these challenges with greater or lesser hardship, with greater or lesser grace. And yet, time heals, menopause happens and the symptoms end. If we allow ourselves to continue along the path into what often feels like the deep and dark unknown, we eventually arrive at clarity and a rediscovered curiosity and zest. We awaken to realize that we are still in midlife with often decades of life to live before we get old. Decide to enjoy it to its fullest!
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