Hitting the Mid-Way Point.

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by Denise Berger

 

Are you feeling kind of grumpy? Maybe a little note of despair? Me too. The economy stinks, but many of us are lucky to have jobs. Some of us still go to the gym or participate in social gatherings. Others of us still manage to volunteer our time. We work. We work some more. We go to school. We may even drive our kids to school in some kind of SUV or minivan. We have family – kids, parents, grand-parents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, nephews, nieces. We have pets. We have a roof over our heads, food, and hopefully our health. Some may still manage to get away on a vacation. We have friends. Sooooo, why might we feel a touch lost and confused? We are 40-something. We are accomplished and we have another 40 years to go.

 

Does it sometimes feel like we’ve peaked and now it is mostly down-hill from here? We could have a whole lifetime ahead of us, and shouldn’t it be good? I recently wrote an article on creating a legacy and asked these following questions: What will be the legacy we each leave behind? What do we want it to be? What would make our kids, our families and our friends proud? Maybe this sounds a bit morbid, but when we look at our lives in the context of a time span, stopping to think about the track we are on – collectively, as a group of people, and individually – can be daunting. The thought that we could actually leave a mark on this world can be overwhelming. However, the feeling that we might not leave a lasting impression on this world is SCARY to me and should be just the catalyst we need to spur us into action to have an impact and make these next 4-0 something years count!! Building a legacy requires each of us to take action and to be a leader, in whatever small or large ways.

 

And, while we all value the choices we make and especially the ever-so-delicate balance to be present for our families, the fact is there is no spontaneity in doing the laundry and cleaning the house, week to week. A friend relayed to me a story about how the woman she was in her 20s and early 30s is someone in a dream – professional, intellectual, aggressive, career-minded, traveling the world, and leading important meetings, and pursuing a MBA. She was going to be a successful, high-achieving business woman. Now, after having four kids and living the life of a stay-at-home mom, she laughs as she recalls how excited she is to find a pair of missing gym shorts in the dirty clothes. There might not be a whole lot of surprise in a desk job either, but there is the potential for it, at least. Even that isn’t enough. We want more. We want action. We want adventure. We want to have impact… in something… in anything!! Allow for correction: All women have tremendous value. While house chores can easily dominate anybody’s daily schedule, the stay-at-home moms are generally not sitting around doing mundane, repetitive work every day either. They are busy too and they are struggling to have impact in this world by not only volunteering their time to make the schools and our communities better places for families to live but also raising children who will contribute to society. So, we mid-life women are all in this together.

 

TheInspiredMom
04.02.09

I love the idea of pushing myself a little beyond my comfort zone to find out how far I can go. As a stay at home mom, I started feeling trapped in my own life until I realized that I could still be adventuresome, aggressive and informed while being a mom. Why did I give up all of my dreams after I had kids? I got back to dreaming and living last year....I guess I hit my mid-life crisis a little early!

ivanonse
04.01.09

I like to think my legacy is to raise two kind children who will make safe and sound decisions and feel empowered to be the best they can be in life. Now seeing it in black and white - it sounds a tad bit altruistic and wishy washy - so thanks Denise , now you have me thinking outside my own box :-)

stuber
03.27.09

What a wonderful article!! Altho a bit over 40 and a male, I think what you're saying has universal appeal. We all need to look at creating a legacy, no matter what age, as it keeps us on our toes and engaged in positive pursuits. Bravo!!

magnolia
03.26.09

I understand the restlessness. I think it's called spring fever. You are ready for a new adventure. Unfortunately with the economy so bad, we have to be grateful for what we have and not look outward so overtly. This makes you want something new even more.

chalkedup
03.26.09

I agree! I'm not happy - or shall i say satisfied - unless I'm uncomfortable...doing something that stretches me in a way that causes some fear, stress, unsureness about whether or not i'll come through. i like living there. i finally realized that when i turned 40!. keep it coming.

keatsconti
03.26.09

mid life ...nothing brings that home more than HOT FLASHES! Yep, I am early, they say, but baby, they are here and I kind of like it! I say Bring on the next 50 years! Just keep Denise Berger available for me to read so I have a place to get some sense of intellectual and emotional equilibrium. Thank you Ms. Berger.

kmstevens
03.26.09

Am I really at my mid life point? I still feel like I'm in my 20s!

agorton
03.26.09

Oh god, is it time for a mid-life crisis already?

vlarson
03.26.09

Learning, goals, action — these things are ageless. Why should they stop at midlife or later?

Raising a family DOES have an impact on the world. It's no less important than any other work, and in some ways more important.

I think we women (men, too), should stop looking at age and time, and see life as a (hopefully) long journey, in which we are constantly doing and being and creating and learning.