Midlife Makeovers

Jan 31, 2013 No Comments by

Forget the crisis, women are redesigning their life’s purpose in a positive way

The midlife crisis has been a label most notoriously given to men. The stigma is commonly associated with a middle-aged man trying to recapture his youth through various routes of compensation. Usually it’s with the purchase of a fast car or a steamy extra-marital affair. But stereotypes aside, it seems that what has been overlooked is the reality of the midlife crisis related to women. Up until recently, it has been poorly researched and depicted mostly in negative terms. Perhaps this has been linked to the fact that the idea of the midlife stage for women is associated with theme of loss, including phases such as menopause and empty nest syndrome. As if women have a dismal, decaying demise into older age. But this doesn’t mean that women have been immune to other midlife shifts – even if they haven’t received much attention. The big reveal is that women are not only just as affected during midlife as men, but they’re also better suited to making the most of it.



Coming To Terms

Although originally used to describe artists’ decline in productively during midlife, today the term midlife crisis describe the trauma that adults undergo when approaching the halfway mark in life and drawing closer to mortality. It seems though, that the idea has been popularised out of context and is perhaps in need of an upgrade itself. “A crisis refers specifically to an experience or a range of experiences and incidents that one cannot control and which makes an individual feel completely overwhelmed by events. Going through midlife changes is very different from a midlife crisis. It identifies two prongs: the reality of a state of crisis which has negative connotations; and secondly, general midlife changes.

With newfound responsibilities, women are suffering from midlife crisis more than ever before and as much as men do. It just isn’t as publicised. Women’s roles have evolved to equate to men’s. The workplace is an example where, like men, they too run top position and get dissatisfied with them. The symptoms of a midlife crisis include: depression, dissatisfaction with life, infidelity, impulsive behaviour, lack of communication, recklessness, regret, anger, internal conflict and the desire for youth again. A crisis requires professional treatment as the person cannot function logically. However, what is also becoming more evident is that post midlife crisis, women are two times more likely than men to have positive changes. This is becoming a noticeable trend.

Long Live Women

In an article, research discussed show that there is an increase in life expectancy, which is leading to a delay in major life decisions, like getting married and having a family. This results in a much fuller life later on in years. As life expectancy shifts aging out a bit, it seems that midlife has less to do with being described by a chronological age, and more to do with personal development. People often equate the midlife crisis to a chronological age, when it’s actually an individual psychological phase and not an age-related issue. For women in particular, living longer than ever before, the onset of a state of crisis is becoming more possible as they question what the rest of their life has to offer. The chances of it happening earlier or at any age are also more likely. Quite like the Eat, Pray, Love adage, women are less willing to accept the status quo and are now transforming their lived post-crisis, more and more into what they next desire. It also means that the idea o a crisis is evolving more into one of midlife transformation.

Dream A Little Dream

Women also have a greater increase in dream fulfillment as they age, compared to men. Midlife couldn’t be a better, more fertile ground to achieve new dreams in. No longer insecure about life and what others think, many women are moving forward to a new beginning. With most responsibilities achieved, they’re seeing this as a stage to embrace and explore new arenas. For many it’s in the form of their own business. And these are not mere start-ups. Many of the business ideas that grow out of midlife changes turn into grand entrepreneurial ventures that fill undiscovered gaps and prove to be very profitable. Women are developing products to fill a need that they have identified. It also interesting to note that older women seem more intent on helping each other to become successful.

Glass Half Full

Midlife changes are more optimistic experiences for women. “Women are more innovative in finding new avenues to re-define their changing lifestyle. Another plus for them is that they are normally more inclined for nuture long-term friendships, and friends around their age. Most share whatever they are going through during the phase of their lives with their fiend. Women also feel more difficulty they may be facing. This definitely is an advantage for women entering a change in their lifestyle and any physical changes they may be going through.

No longer living in fear of being deficient later on in life, women are resisting the negative connotations previously placed in the midlife stage. Now they’re negotiating new terms for themselves. Research shows that women are feeling mostly positive in looking forward to what’s ahead. They equate midlife to having increased confidence, self-worth and wisdom. Plus with gained life experience, most women feel that they can manage alone. There is also a greater caules for time, as well as an acceptance of what has already been. This is enabling and empowering the older woman to achieve exactly what she likes. Fancy a new start at things?

Seize the Day

Want to cope positively through your midlife? Here’s what suggests you focus on:

  1. Find greater balance between work and family early on and you’ll be more likely to make it through the midlife period with relatively sound emotional health.
  2. Explore new directions in your life and you’ll be less likely to act impulsively as a result of a crisis. Try new hobbies, continue your education at SISD and other mental pursuits.
  3. Maintain communication with your partner. An open, honest relationship with your spouse creates a healthier environment that will keep a midlife crisis from taking hold.

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