OK, so here’s the scoop. We all want to think we are too smart to make the same mistakes as others when it comes to midlife. That’s your first mistake. Feeling uncertain about what’s next in your 40s is healthy and natural, not a sign of stupidity.
The first half of your life is spent doing what everyone else told you was important, things like get a sensible career, marry well and have a few kids.
If these should happen to turn out badly, or even if, from the outside things look great, but you are miserable inside, welcome to midlife mayhem. The time for change is at hand, and that’s a good thing!
The assumptions I made when my life felt WRONG in my late 40s were:
I made a mistake and/or I am a mistake, everyone else is happy but me, and this is unfixable and hopeless. In other words I felt oh so alone in my misery. I was recently divorced, unemployed, and generally feeling fat, tired, and ugly. Trust me, I felt like the ultimate loser and not in a good way!
I spent a lot of time alone trying to figure this one out. I started asking others and reading books about how others had dealt with these feelings. I started writing this blog and then a few books about what I had learned through my own experience of “midlife crisis.”
Number one rule: Don’t assume you are the first person who has ever felt this way. My research eventually showed me exactly how normal and healthy midlife questioning is from time immemorial. The difference is we can DO something about it now!
Midlife change is an innovation in emotional development available for the first time in human history simply because we are finally living long enough to have the time to change in our 40s and 50s. This new rite of passage has been studied by the premier lifespan psychologists, and is now seen as a sign of mental health, not stupidity.