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When Is Mid-Life?

When Is Mid-Life?

By Linda M Bolton I’ve heard about the dreaded “Mid-Life” my whole life. My parents talked about it like it was a disease. I’ve had friends who have reached it. But the big question is, “When do I reach it, or have I”? My parents and their friends, all almost forty years my senior, equated “Mid-Life” with menopause (his and hers). Now that my friends and I have reached our forties, and beyond, we look for the dreaded “Mid-Life Crisis“. I know those ten years plus my age still considered “Mid-Life” to be a woman’s menopausal years, but with men it was when they bought the red sports cars, divorced their wives and dated their secretaries and assistants twenty years their junior. I have begun to look at it as a turning point. After watching many of my friends divorce in their mid to late forties, find new careers, and see their kids all grown, it gave me a new meaning to “Mid-Life”. Not every “Mid-Life” moment is a crisis. My husband retired from the military at thirty-nine. He started a new career with Homeland Security thanks to 911 – 09/11/01 was his original retirement ceremony and was rescheduled due to the terror that day. He found a new career, we moved and started over. I think that time in his life could be considered his “Mid-Life”. Of course, five years later he dreamt of a motorcycle, tattoo, and helped his daughter buy a red sports car that ended up in our driveway. He had a relapse….but no crisis, unless you want to count the car payment we added...
Mid-Life Women – Over the Hill Or Hitting Our Stride?

Mid-Life Women – Over the Hill Or Hitting Our Stride?

By Kate Sanner Mid-life has often been defined in terms of chronological age but theorists have also defined mid-life by the developmental tasks associated with it. For example, according to one developmental theory, in young adulthood (early 20’s to 40), our developmental task is to create lasting and meaningful relationships (as a friend, spouse, partner or parent). During this time, we also embark upon a career and work our way up the ladder. The focus is on our own sphere of influence – our family, peer group and colleagues. Another theorist posited that in young adulthood, we are in a phase of striving, building, acquiring and conquering. These theories also go on to say that in mid-life (40-60 or 65), our developmental task is to look for – and hopefully find – deep satisfaction in the relationships and careers we have created in young adulthood. In mid-life, we extend our focus beyond the boundaries of intimate and work relationships to our communities, our nation and our world…to all humankind. We take on the role of the states person and we look for the ways in which we can be of service to others. However, when theorists have developed norms, they have generally been based on data collected on men. So when I hear that in mid-life I will now begin to be of service to others, I have to laugh, wondering what I have been doing for the last 50 years! The truth is, as women in mid-life, we were raised with different expectations than our male contemporaries. . Mid-life women, especially those born early in the Baby Boomer...