“None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm”
Henry David Thoreau
There are some folks who seem to embrace the changes of being middle aged with ease and grace – or even enthusiasm – as they move into the next phase of life. But, many people experience a very real decrease in satisfaction and happiness during this time of life, which can often include anxiety, confusion, fear, and even depression.
If you are struggling with some of the changes in your life during your 40s or 50s, you’re not alone. A recent study surveyed over 200,000 people in 72 countries and found that “midlife blues” is very common all around the world. The good news is the study also found that happiness tends to increase again as we get older. This suggests our middle years include challenges and transitions in our lives that aren’t always welcomed, but are quite common.
The “boomer generation” is now moving into our middle years and is renowned for resisting these changes, with declarations that “60 is the new 40”. This can be a positive and healthy approach up to a point. Surely it doesn’t make sense to give up anything we value and enjoy in life any sooner than necessary. But, there is a difference between putting up a good resistance versus outright denial.
Aging is a certainty – and there really is no alternative to the fact that changes in your live will continue to occur. (After all, they have up to this point.) Prolonged denial of this fact can bring on its own set of complications. However, coming to terms with aging and actively engaging this transition of life allows for a thoughtful and integrated approach through your middle years.
By choosing to be proactive in making our choices and decisions about how you want to live your remaining 20 or 30 or more years of life, you can determine whether they are spent in regret or in purpose and joy. Counseling can be a very valuable tool for finding your way through this phase of life and shifting into the new opportunities for living life to its fullest, even if differently, in the years that lie ahead.
Call today to schedule a free consultation. (828) 686-9601
Why Counseling for Middle Life Issues?
Moving through the middle years is one of the most significant transitions in life, right up there with puberty, marriage, and becoming parents. If given a choice, most of us would probably avoid the changes that occur in midlife… or at least like to be able to pick and choose which ones we want.
But, there really isn’t a choice about the fundamental aspects of growing older. It can be difficult to accept redefining ourselves when it involves letting go of traits, qualities, and abilities we’d rather keep. But since we cannot, it’s worthwhile taking a direct look at the changes occurring in our life at middle age.
On the upside, the issues that emerge in midlife offer us the chance to take a sincere look at our lives with the benefit of experience and perspective. It allows a unique opportunity to take measure of where we are and determine if we’re actually living our lives based on our truest priorities… while there’s still time to make substantial changes in our course. We also have a greater degree of wisdom than ever before to apply to that process.
With the advantages we have living in this country and at this time, most likely being “middle aged” truly is our Mid-Life; meaning that we likely have many more years to live. There’s an opportunity to live those years with greater sense of purpose and clarity about what is truly important to us. But to get there, we need to accept a change is underway, engage in some self-reflection, and make clear decisions and choices about the future we want.
If you’d like some assistance looking at your future – and how to make it happen – call for a free consultation. (828) 686-9601