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Mid-life crisis? crisis, transformation or damned good fun?
Mid-life crisis - how to recognise if you are there!
crisis, transformation or damned good fun?
Picture this…. It’s a sunny balmy day, the
hubster and I have decided to go out for a pub lunch in leafy Surrey. Should we
go in his car or mine? Decision made we jump in his car, roll back the roof and
with huge grins on our faces rev the engine loudly and roar out of our road
feeling like teenagers!
Driving from LA to Morro Bay!
Deffo' a mid life crisis car!
our behavior a manifestation of a mid-life crisis? Well predictably we don’t
think so………. we just think we are hurtling down the road in a sporty car
because we have reached an age when we can finally afford to have a car “just
for fun”. We decided that a mid-life crisis is nothing more than envy from the
The phrase mid-life crisis, (MLC), got me thinking. A term normally referring
to men it seems that women are being recognized as going through this funny
stage of life too. Certainly according my younger child! Maybe they are right.
I do have a penchant for Converse, high heels and my well-worn faux leather
jacket, not to mention still loving going to see my favourite bands!
So if said child is right in their
assertion how would such a crisis manifest itself in a woman and are they in
fact correct, Marj, yes that is their nickname for me, is going through a MLC!
My first thoughts are that women really do
go through a very real change from their 40s onwards with the menopause. It is
a real bona fide “change of life”. Of course as we are peri-menopausal and
later menopausal we experience a whole host of other potential MLC triggers. If
we have had children, we are now facing the empty nest syndrome and in a
culture where youth and beauty are intrinsically linked to success it is no
wonder many women will lose their equilibrium for a while! I know I definitely did
experience deep sadness when the children left home. I spent months trying to
work out what my purpose was.
You might be questioning what you have
achieved in life or what you fancy doing with your life that brings a lot more
purpose. I know I have become much more vocal about causes I care about and I
had to let out my inner creativity instead of ignoring it as it screamed aloud
inside me. I too no longer crave “things” for the sake of having things”. I
just want a simpler life.
Suddenly I have found myself needing to be
“great” or “worthwhile”. This is huge burden to carry and I know I am not the
only woman who feels like this. Somehow we have to work out and believe that
actually just by being a woman we are inherently “great”.
Reflecting on my changes in behavior have
got me wondering whether in fact this period is a crisis or in fact a changing
time where I am re-establishing my identity. I am still a mother but my role
has changed. I am still ambitious, but for different things. I am still me. The
core of me is not in crisis, it’s just tinkering around the edges!
For many of us we are transforming. We are
careering out of a long emotional train tunnel finding ourselves feeling
different, looking to create a legacy.
But do we all go through this? Arguably a mid-life
crisis is often money driven. You know, the sports car, the new clothes, the Botox
(or not!). Could this mean that actually MLC is constructed by the middle
classes? Maybe not….
It seems that MLC is not exclusive to
humans. Warwick University carried out extensive research led by Professor
Oswald with over 500 orangutans. The research showed that apes do in fact
suffer the same low at the same period in their life. The good news is that
like humans’ things do pick up again. Professor Oswald states that the findings
of the research do suggest that it is unlikely that the traditional triggers
such as displeasure with our careers or having a little more money in the bank
at last, probably don’t cause MLC. There may be a small effect from some
aspects of life but they aren’t as impactful as we first thought. He also
believes that they can rule out the menopause as a cause of MLC.
we are back at square one and perhaps MLC is more to do with the realization
that we have probably already lived more years than we have left and in that
case we better make those coming years count? In the meantime, as I mull over
it all, I will still be found careering down country lanes with Mr. S at a
speed that would make Jenson Button green with envy as my bleached blonde hair
flies behind me like a peroxided kite with a copy of the Iliad in the foot well
and tunes banging out through the stereo! Catch me if you can!
Does any of this ring true with you? Are
you reading this as you get ready for a night out on the tiles? I would love to
know I am not alone. Please do leave your comments below.
Janie S x For articles, tutorials and really useful links come over to the community at www.savvynsassy.net
Guest Blogger Kaz
Molloy writes about the great “womb
cancer scandal” for Savvy ‘n’ Sassy readers today. Her message is powerful,
and a must read for all women, young and older alike. Her words are from the heart. She has survived womb cancer but it has left a profound effect on her life. Please read and please, please share. It is easy to hide and not look at articles like this because we get scared. There is no need to be scared. Knowledge is a life saver. Who wouldn't want to know about the most common but sadly under discussed symptoms of womb cancer? I was diagnosed with womb cancer at the end of Dec 2009,
aged 46. I had never heard of it and knew nothing about it. I didn’t know that
it was the most common gynaecological cancer and
that it can affect women of all ages. After my treatment ended I decided to do something about the
lack of support out there for women who had been diagnosed with womb cancer and
also about the lack of awareness there was about this cancer. So in Apr…
January is the perfect time to sit by the fire and enjoy a good book!
I know it's a bit late but...….Happy New Year everyone. I always find January cold and grey and a bit of a let down after all the hustle and bustle of Christmas. One way I love to cheer myself up is to grab a hot drink and snuggle on the sofa with a good book. I get totally involved with the characters, imagine the settings and for a while I'm enjoying a different reality! With the weather we are being threatened with in the next week or so it seems like a pretty good way to spend my time! To see my Top 5 recommendations for Januaryread all about them here! I promise you that there isn't a new year new you book to be found! Enjoy your precious reading time! Namaste Janie S xxx Founder Savvy 'n' Sassy