17/10/2013 by Sarah Ritchie
Around the time I turned 40 I had a series of brain illuminations:
• I am getting “older”.
• What have I done with my life so far?
• What will I do with the second half of my life that is worthwhile?
We spend our teens and 20s trying to figure out who we are, learning how to get a job, find a life partner, make friends and travel the world.
In our 30s we begin to settle into our skin, solidify our career, get a mortgage, raise a family and build upon the foundations we created in our youth.
In our 40s we are a wondrous combination of all our skills, experiences, thoughts and actions. We start to see the fruit of half-a-lifetime of “being”. We realise how precious life is and how fast our time on this earth goes; which is perhaps when the spectre of the “mid-life crisis” starts to rise.
By 40 we’ve learned to concern ourselves less about what others think of us and start to wonder “what do I think of me?”. We analyse our life-to-date and question whether there is more to life than what we have experienced.
We find ourselves in a unique time of life where we have an accumulation of wisdom, money (maybe) and physical energy. I can appreciate how this heady combination can trigger fairly radical behaviour in some mid-lifers.
At this age we have been given a gift. Our 40s is a time to pause, reflect, re-group and march forward with a renewed (or perhaps new) purpose.
For myself, I carry a nagging desire to do something “meaningful” with my life. I have seen glimpses of what that could look like, and I am using this time of introspection to figure out how I can make it happen.
We have a choice how we react to mid-life. We could shave our heads, buy Harleys and get tattoos. We could give out instead of taking in. We could embrace life – finding or creating purpose in every extra day we have been given on this earth.
This is your opportunity! How will you author the second half of your life?