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Why is it always a Midlife "Crisis"?

by Andy

The Question

Why does midlife always have to be a crisis? What would it be like if we tried to treat midlife as the next right of passage just like entering the teen years at 13, or moving out of school at 18 or becoming an "adult" at 21...

None of these stages are thought of as crises, but everything I see out there talks about the only thing that happens at midlife is a crisis.

Noel's response

Excellent point. In fact on my site, and even in this blog, I usually talk about a midlife transition, as it is definitely a move from one stage of life to another.

It only becomes a midlife crisis when the person experiencing it feels lost, or threatened by the changes, or is trying to deny the transition to the 'third age'.

Midlife is very important time, as this is when we can sort out the chaff from the grain in our lives, and make critical decisions about our future.

Sometimes we try to 'freeze frame life' at some optimal stage - say 42 years - but it doesn't work.

The kindest, and smartest thing we can do for ourselves is accept that we will age continually, and accept with the grace the changes, both positive and negative, that come with each age.

I am in my 60s now, and am enjoying life more than ever, in spite of not having the physical strength and endurance I had as a younger man.

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