Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mid-Life Unraveling?

I recently had a conversation with a good friend about the term "midlife crisis" and how it is inevitable that people our age will be going through this stage of life. We took issue with the word "crisis" because it makes it sound so ominous and heavy. Like we need to avoid it at any cost. We are out to change that.

Life for me has come in stages as I'm sure it has for most of you. Well the stage I'm in now is looking a lot like a midlife crisis. No, I haven't bought a sports car, but the music is getting a little too loud, I'm really looking forward to getting in bed by 10pm, I'm growing my hair longer just to prove that I can, blah, blah, blah. So, my friend and I were looking for a better word and I think I have found it. Instead of calling it a mid-life crisis it should be a mid-life unraveling. I can't take credit for this as I read it in a book by Brene Brown. She describes this concept as "a time when you feel a desperate pull to live the life you want to live, not the one you're supposed to live." She goes on to say that the "unraveling is a time when you are challenged to let go of who you think you are supposed to be and to embrace who you are." Maybe being older, I have less patience or less of a filter for those things that are not congruent with who I am. The struggle has been characterized as a "crisis" when perhaps it is me changing and learning to lose the need to please other people so often.

Yeah, I know that most of the participants and graduates of LeaderShape programs are no where near their midlife crisis; however, perhaps they can learn from a few of us older folks some lessons to make their path a little easier. I'm thinking the sooner we all embrace who we are and let go of who we are supposed to be, the closer a just, caring, thriving world becomes.

And then, we can tell you how we used to have to wait for dial up internet service instead of walking 5 miles in the snow to school like our "elders" told us...

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