I read an article recently entitled ‘How to Know If You Are Having a Mid Life Crisis.’ It had 13 tips and I was surprised as I read them, I ticked half of them. Do I think I am having a mid-life crisis? My answer is ‘No’, but I suppose that depends on what your definition and judgement is.
I got online to see what Google had to say and the first two explanations that came up were “a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger.” and “a time when a difficult or important decision must be made.” WOW! My first thought was how negative is that! Why can’t this be a positive thing?
We have all heard of that guy whose kids have grown up and left home and he decides to buy a red sports car. ‘Wow’ we say, ‘He must be having a mid-life ‘crisis’. Could it just be that he has reached another chapter in his life where he has more choices about how he spends his time and money as his dependants are now self-sufficient? Or what about the woman who decides to get cosmetic surgery. Why does she have to be having a mid-life crisis, or justify her decision to do something that makes her feel good?
“The problem with stereotypes is not that they aren’t true, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”
Our lives could be compared to a book. We all have chapters in our book and every chapter tells a different part of the story. Our book begins when we are born, and it ends when we move on from this life to our next adventure or a new book. We can make the chapters as long or as short as we like, as eventful or as ‘vanilla’ as we choose. No one else writes our book, but everyone we encounter and every experience we have contributes to how our chapters unfold.
We can take charge of the keyboard or pen and we can create the chapters, or we can just watch and see what happens from day to day. Most of us would have a combination of both types of chapters in our books and there is no right or wrong.
Why do we need labels? Why do we as humans need to make everything one way or another? And who are we to ‘judge’ what another person has in their book? It is not up to us to decide what is written in their chapters.
I love this line, “Words may help us understand something, but experience allows us to know it.”
I have said before, we can never truly know what another person is feeling until we experience it ourselves and even then, we won’t experience it the same way as they do as we are not them.
Sometimes it is what we would call a crisis, mid-life or otherwise that writes our next chapter. If we can draw strength from the events to motivate us to go on to write something awesome then is it still a crisis? We cannot change events of the past. We cannot make things okay that are not okay, and we cannot bring people back. What we can do is create something positive and wonderful as a result of ‘knowing’ the crisis or people. We can write the next chapter(s) of our books honouring them.
As we approach the time of year commonly used for reflection, my gift to you is inspiration. I hope you write something amazing 😊 and something powerful in honour of someone you love. Remember, there is no right or wrong, this is your book and you are the author.