I believe the idea of a “mid-life crises” first came into prominence in the 1970’s, stereotyped by men in their 40’s buying sports cars and/or leaving their wives for younger women. Soon women too displayed their versions, having plastic surgery on faces or breasts, and/or having affairs with younger men. This was brought about in such large numbers due to baby-boomers realizing that they had been pigeonholed by the fiercely established routines of the post-depression era generation into living lives of college, marriage, career, and retirement, whether they wanted that life or not.
Throughout the decades this concept has changed slightly by progressing to different ages/decades – for a while people in their 50’s – now 30-something’s. I think the reason for these “crises” occurring earlier now is due to the tangential nature of our current generation.
To me the idea of a mid-life crisis is simply the realization by someone at any age that they’re not living the life they really wanted or intended. For some, they feel unable or unwilling to manifest a significant change so they simply partake in a small “acting out” in one area of their lives. Whether it’s purchasing a sports car, obsessively picking up a new hobby, or dating multiple partners, these little actions shake things up but don’t necessarily rattle one’s entire cage. For others, a complete left turn occurs. Some go back to school, switch jobs/careers, move to new Cities or States, get divorced, etc.
Why I’m examining this concept is that what I see since mid-life crisis became a coined term is people letting life lead them until they finally snap and decide that they want to lead their lives. Unfortunately, many people do not do this in a well-thought out manner. They react to their emotions and roll the dice taking any new direction as better than where they had been. Sadly, the new direction, while different, may be no better a fit.
As a life coach I counsel my clients to always change what is truly not working for them (or to use a trendy buzz term “not living an authentic life”), but to do so with a plan. Soul-search and come up with what is the better choice for you and your life. Be it a new career, or a new place to live – come up with an idea and then sit with it for a little while. Mull it over, review the pros and cons. Once you’re certain, then outline the most direct path to achieving that change.
Rocking your boat too quickly often results in too many aspects of your life spiraling out of your control. While you may want to get off the ship you’re on, you should do so in a way that doesn’t drown you.
If any of this resonates with you, and you’d like more help in facilitating major changes in your life, please feel free to contact me.