Midlife crisis or transformation?

Some people make grandiose purchases in midlife. Does this mean that they are going through a crisis, or a search for more meaning? Perhaps both? Transitions can be stressful, however change is a constant in life. How we deal with stress will determine how we accept change.

Certainly any decadent birthday that, you know, ends with a zero, like the thrifty thirties or naughty forties, can jettison a person into a search for meaning for the life changes with which they are dealing, eg body shape, hair colour, relationship or career evaluation etc. A woman nearing the end of her reproductive years or menopause, or any person re-evaluating their values and goals in life, may feel that life has “passed them by”.

The Good Grief Foundation states that “Loss and change are part of life. Grief is a normal response to these losses.” [www.goodgrief.org.au] Grief from any loss or change is accompanied by a range of raw feelings, including regret, anger, guilt, and sadness. Identifying and acknowledging the feelings can take time, and it’s often only in relationships with others that these feelings can be recognised. Hence it is important for our self-care to garnish support and link in with our support networks at these times of transition.

Transitions can be viewed as an adventure, and opportunity to reassess and grow from stressors, like moving house to a new region. Remembering and letting go are important to allow us to change and grow to become a better version of ourselves. Changes can also give us time to learn gratefulness for what we have, rather than focus on what we have lost. Despite the difficult emotions, transition can lead to transformation.