Midlife Crisis

<<emotional turmoil in middle age>>

The stage of life, somewhere between 40 and 65 years of age, that both men and women pass through. In it the seemingly solid areas of life, such as work, health, self-worth and marriage are questioned and challenged, even sometimes crumbling. It is a transition period between earlier adulthood and older age and involves strong interaction between the biological, psychological, social, cultural and spiritual dimensions. Be committed to viewing this period as a positive time of evaluation, a reality check, for reassessing what is of true worth and what is worthless in the light of eternity. Many people progress gradually through the changing circumstances of life hardly noticing them, adjusting well to whatever comes. They may negotiate this time with no problems and enter into a fruitful and fulfilled latter period of life. For others there is significant turmoil caused by life’s unexpected events, and health issues which threaten to crush them, bringing emotional and mental instability, even depression as they acknowledge they can’t do what they used to do and their dreams have not materialised. This can result in experiencing major doubts and negative feelings, making rash decisions and doing out-of-character things.

Often men assess their accomplishments and failures, while during this time, females go through menopause – that signals the end of their children bearing years. Unable to turn the biological clocks back, rather than experiencing this as a time of confusion, exhaustion, regret or depression make it an enriching one of new discoveries, expansion and fulfillment. Priorities can shift markedly – some sensing time is running out may venture into a new career hoping to make a worthwhile contribution to life. It is a period of valid questioning, ‘What do I really want to do with the rest of my life?’  Take practical steps to plan for the future, for when the body begins to slow down by developing hobbies, interests and relationships so life won’t be a vacuum at retirement. Don’t mourn over lost opportunities or struggle to accept the increasing physical limitations and possible health issues. Instead of looking back in regret, anticipate the future and seize the opportunities going forward. Make the most effective use of your time on earth, investing in others through leaving a spiritual legacy for those following you, besides organizing your affairs (if not already done), so when you depart this life, those attending to your estate are clear as to your wishes.

As believers, midlife is simply another step in God’s plan and can be embraced for the perspective, wisdom, and opportunities for service that come with growing older. However, whatever our stage in life there must be authenticity toward God and others, with realistic expectations, valuing relationships as well as accomplishments, and the

Don’t fight this stage in life, accept                       and grow because of it

need to deliberately put in place the habits and disciplines that will help us to be the kind of person we want to be when we are old. Regularly reflect on and review your life; are you attempting to achieve your God-given dreams and plans? Don’t lament a large part of your life has already gone, actively and with God's help make the most of what remains for His glory. Remember Caleb, who at the age of 85 was still holding onto the promise given to him by Moses, and boldly reminded Joshua of that unfulfilled ‘God promise’ – eventually he received the promised outcome (Josh 14:6-14). He had a positive faith-inspired mindset – “Give me my inheritance”. 

See also: assessment, depression, Caleb, identity, legacy, regret, review, self-esteem.

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