“A woman who reaches age 50 today-and remains free of cancer and heart disease-can expect to see her ninety-second birthday” (Sheehy, 1995, p. 6).
How do I know if Im in Mid-Life, and change would benefit me?
Midlife is usually brought on by physical changes, such as new wrinkles and outward events, such as children leaving home, or the death of a parent.
Chronologically, Mid-Life can occur anywhere from ages 35-65. In reality, it is not that clearly defined, and is more of a psychological process where your previous way of being will be replaced by a new you.
Three Phases of Mid-Life Change
PHASE ONE - In the 1st phase, which Life Transition Researchers, call the pre-liminal phase, you begin to experience uncomfortable emotions, as your life circumstances change. You may feel misunderstood, confused, and frustrated. You become more forgetful and possibly feel like your going crazy. Many of your life experiences at this time, change the foundations that your life has been built on, causing you to feel unstable. You may have experienced health issues and/or problems with aging. Your children may have become independent, and/or your parents may need help, or they may have passed. Negative emotions associated with these changes may be causing you distress, and you may even experience feelings of anxiety and depression. It is very clear to you that a change needs to happen.
PHASE TWO - Liminality is the 2nd phase, it is an in-between place, where you clearly feel you are not the person you were. So who are you? The answer to this question remains to be discovered.
- Mourning your younger self and the changes you are experiencing is the hallmark of this phase and is required for a successful transition. Contacting a therapist in your area to work through this difficult time, may help you discover a new direction that will benefit you as you navigate this change. If you are in Orange County, California you may call me at 949-285-5199.
The good news is - these uncomfortable feelings can lead you into a journey of self- exploration and/or into therapy. If you decides to go back to school or begin a new career, you may have one foot in and one foot out, but you know some change is about to happen.
PHASE THREE - In the Third Phase, which is the post-liminal phase of reincorporation, your circumstances are usually adjusted, as you experience new thoughts, and feelings. Your behaviors will correspond more closely with your new values. Your emotional distress lessens as you feel an increased vitality and excitement for your life, and your future. In this phase you may be in school, have started a new business, or made whatever positive change is meaningful to you.