When I was around 37 years old, I began to have this unusual feeling. A feeling that I needed to be more than what I was. A feeling that I needed to achieve more. I looked at my life. Even though I had so much, I still thought it wasn’t enough. 40 years was just round the corner and yet I still have so much to do and attain. So I thought. What do I do? Where do I go? Where do I start from? I felt the pressure that time was running out on me. Do I drop everything and run, or may be if I change jobs I will feel better. How come I don’t enjoy my lifestyle anymore? Lord please help me……
This was my story at the onset of my midlife. A time that slowly crept in on me. Was I prepared? In hindsight, honestly I don’t think so. Was I thrown off?…….eemm….not really. Today, I’m sharing my experience, the thoughts that ran through my mind and how I dealt with them. You might get an insight on how I think you can best prepare for midlife and deal with it when it eventually comes knocking on the door……because it will come.
The day I realized I was going through midlife realization was when I started asking myself this question “Is this all there is to life, work/career/family life?”
How do I see midlife?
Having gone through (and still going through) midlife, I see it as a time of self-reflection, a time when one evaluates his or her own life. A time when you begin to prioritize what is important in your life over irrelevant things. When happiness becomes a primary need of your being, a necessity. A time you evaluate relationships, sense of worth. People generally call this time midlife crisis but I call it midlife realization.
As I go through mid-life I have the urge to:
- Re-examine my life and see if I am fulfilling my purpose in life. I had to first find my purpose, then find a way to fulfill it. This was the most pressing need of all
- To give back to my community. I had a feeling that I wasn’t giving enough. I have so much within me that I want to give.
- To attain higher goals in life. To be a better me- to be more confident, more selfless, more charismatic, more giving, more accommodating, more beautiful both inside and outside
- To be more spiritual, to be closer to God- No this was not an urge….this was a necessity. I felt and still feel the need
- To be more patient in dealing with my people
- To work harder in achieving my goals because now I am more conscious of time
So I began to take necessary steps to fulfill all the above. I created a platform where I am able to positively impact people’s lives by sharing my views, thoughts, and knowledge. Then I committed myself to an organization where I am able to serve my community. I read more now so as to educate myself on things that are grey to me. I am more intentional about building my leadership skills, confidence level, self-esteem and all those other qualities that will make me a great leader. I try to stay close to God now and I also engage in biblical teachings, something I never used to do before. These among other things are the ways I am able to deal with my midlife realization.
If you are dealing with midlife realization, here is what I have for you…..
I will like for you to first change the word from midlife crisis to midlife realization. I feel the word “crisis” connotes negativism unlike “realization”. Realization helps you to explain your past behavior….you know….like you didn’t know before but now you know and know better. You have to see it as a positive time in your life because it’s a time when you get to change a lot of things that could have been holding you down from attaining your goals. You have to see it as a 2nd chance to life. A time when you develop some sort of boldness to do those things you have always wanted to do. Then-
- Itemize the things that you think is bugging your mind
- Think of the best ways to solve them. Research if you have to.
- Then begin tackling them one after the other
PS- Please do not be too much in a hurry in making any decisions (like leaving your day job or deserting your family) so you don’t make irrational ones. Sleep over a decision. Think it through.
For folks that are yet to go into midlife, here is my suggestion for you:
Look at it this way, what exactly happens when going through the midlife realization- Simple…..it is self-realization, right? This is when one asks oneself series of questions. Well, while wait for midlife before you begin asking those questions? Why not begin now. Ask yourself as often as possible. Don’t allow yourself to get to your late thirties or early forties before you begin asking those questions. Ask them early. Evaluate your life constantly and make adjustments as much as possible.
So what do you think? Are there better ways, or how did you handle yours if you’ve gone through it? If not what would you suggest. Leave a comment for me.
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Tolusworld Profile- Tolu Dairo MD. MSc. A public speaker and writer who uses her passion for career/self-development, positive parenting and healthy relationships to inspire to live their dreams.
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