They say 50 is the new 30. Really, marketers? And if that’s true, I ask you, did “they” (whoever “they” are) also re-designate our midlife birthday?
With all this “50 is the new 30” stuff flying around (and really annoying some of us), it has really set me to thinking. Last year, as I began work on my soon to be released book, The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife horses: Finding Meaning Magic and Mastery in the Second Half of Life, (Trafalgar Square Books, 2011), I wondered how you know when you’re at midlife. After a lot of research and mulling over this rather complicated topic, I have your answer.
It turns out that rather than a specific, measurable amount of firepower on your birthday cake, the exact threshold of this epic period of transition is really as individual as we are — and, because it is often triggered by certain life events, large and small, it seems to be different for everyone.
If you’re wondering whether you’re “there yet,” take my quiz and see if your “certain age” has arrived.
Have you recently:
1. Purchased your first pair of reading glasses? Then, finding your “number,” gone back to purchase them in bulk?
2. Plucked a dark and unruly chin hair? More than one? More frequently?
3. Waved goodbye to a child leaving for college?
4. Waved goodbye to a marriage that just couldn’t go the distance? (Flipped off a soon-to-be ex-husband leaving for his younger new girlfriend?)
5. Discovered that much of the knowledge you’ve spent your career accumulating is now obsolete?
6. Launched an adult child to true independence — a career and/or family of his/her own?
7. Witnessed the declining health of your parents? Watched them “downsizing” and realizing for the first time why.
8. Sorted through old photographs and memorabilia, wondering what happened to all those dreams, goals, plans, and things you always thought you’d do . . . “someday?”
9. Attempted to do something physically you used to do easily and found it strangely foreign and difficult?
10. Had to really think about it when someone asks how old you are, and found yourself stuck for an answer to long it’s been since you’ve done something that truly feeds your soul?
If you answered “yes” to more than a couple of these, my friend, there’s your wake-up call. Beyond any birthday that ends on “0” (or even “5”) “midlife” for our generation is more of a feeling than a number; and, if we’re clever, we can discover our own ways to use that feeling to postpone the next stage indefinitely. Like the cream filling in a Double Stuff Oreo or the intoxicating sugariness in the heart of a July watermelon, we are the first generation to realize that we can make the middles of our lives the very sweetest part.
How? Follow me. I’ll show you the trail I and millions of others are taking to bring Meaning, Magic and Mastery to the Second Half of Life.
The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife Horses: Finding Meaning Magic and Mastery in the Second Half of Life is scheduled for release on July 1, 2011, and is now available for preorder at www.horseandriderbooks.com.
Reserve your copy today!