After listening to dozens of women like us—friends, clients, interview subjects—here is what I hear time and again about our midlife struggle…
My kids have left. I feel their loss in a way that’s hard to explain. It’s like a piece of my heart has been torn out of my chest. The house is so quiet; it’s deafening. Sometimes I walk into my child’s room and sit among the things he’s left behind: an old high school trophy, a favorite stuffed animal, stacks of comic books… I feel a crashing wave of sadness and longing. Will I ever experience the same calling I felt when I was raising my kids?
I’m exhausted, both physically and emotionally—and menopause is not helping. One day stretches into the next, in an endless emptiness. I try to keep busy—but sometimes I find myself just staring into space.
I feel guilty for being sad. Such first-world problems. Sometimes I just don’t want to feel anything anymore. So I numb the pain with food, alcohol, shopping, binge-watching TV…
I feel so alone. Even my husband doesn’t get it. He wants me to be happy but he’s not sure how to help me. We struggle to find things to talk about at the dinner table. Sometimes I feel we’re so disconnected, I wonder if our marriage is going to make it.
I want to talk to my girlfriends, but I’m afraid they won’t understand. I look at their Facebook posts and they seem so happy. How much of my struggle can I share with them? Will they judge me? So I keep quiet about my pain.
I’ve got plenty of good years ahead of me and I’m not ready to retire into a life of leisure or irrelevance. I still feel young inside. I’m not finished living. But what am I supposed to do now? What if I never figure it out?
I’m starting to feel like I’m fading away, slowly turning invisible.
If this is you… Schedule your complimentary
30-minute Midlife Re-Energizer session.
You want to figure out what’s next for you. I get it. I’ve been there.
You’re pondering the big questions: Why am I here? What am I meant to do on this earth? You’re looking for purpose beyond being a mother, a wife, an employee, a homemaker, a volunteer.
You believe, truly, that age is just a number. You’re yearning to continue learning and growing, every day.
You look in the mirror and see more than wrinkles and extra pounds. You’re ready to honor and nurture your body, no matter the scars and sags that mark your decades.
You’re ready to accept yourself, gifts and flaws both. You’ve finally arrived at a place where you care less about living up to others’ expectations and more about being true to yourself.
You’re tired of regrets and ready to forgive yourself the mistakes of the past. While there are roads you wish you’d taken, choices you wish you hadn’t made, you’re done wringing your hands over those.
You’re feeling more creative, more open to new opportunities. You’re more courageous than you used to be, willing to try new things, less worried about failure and rejection. You understand that growth doesn’t happen without some measure of risk taking, some potential disappointment.
You appreciate your girlfriends now more than ever. You know who they are; they’ve had your back. You’re tired of the drama and eager to ditch any remaining toxic relationships: If spending time with someone leaves you feeling worse about yourself, you’re ready to let that person go.
You have a lot to say. Your filter is going; you’re speaking your mind, damn the consequences. You’re letting your personality show in every way, from your appearance to your hobbies and habits. You might even let yourself, proudly, go gray!
You’ve accumulated the strength and wisdom that only come with life experience—whether celebrating successes or learning from disappointments, enjoying lucky breaks or struggling through obstacles.
You want—no, you demand—more. Today, and every day moving forward. You’re ready to take charge of the rest of your life and craft a fulfilling future. Because you’ve got a lot of living to do.