People often speak negatively about middle age and the crises that can occur at this time. These crises are often driven by a sense of dissatisfaction and a new understanding of just how finite time is. This can actually make it a very fruitful time, and there are a number of different ways to address those feelings.
Go Back to School
You may want to consider going back to school either for your own enrichment or to pursue a new career path. You might have two or more decades left in the workforce depending on your current age and the age at which you plan to retire. Just as when you were younger, you may be able to take advantage of college scholarships to help cover your costs. In fact, there might even be one or more specifically geared at nontraditional students. A return to school with tuition covered at midlife can open new horizons for you.
This is about more than taking a vacation and do not confuse business travel with traveling for pleasure as they are two totally different things. Try getting out and traveling for a month or more. Many often associate long-term travel with youth, something you do before you settle down. You may need to get a leave of absence from work or arrange to work remotely, but this can really shake up your mindset and give you a new direction in life. You could take a road trip within the US to bucket list locations, or you could travel overseas.
One thing that happens to many people in midlife is that they have a big shift in their priorities. You may start to feel your life does not reflect your true values, or you might have new insight about things that you feel are a waste of time. You might not be able to drop everything that isn’t meaningful to you, but working to eliminate as many things that you can that aren’t important can make a big difference.
Leave Your Comfort Zone
How long has it been since you did something new, something that you weren’t good at precisely because it was so new? There are plenty of things besides going back to school or travel that might fit into this category, and they don’t necessarily have to be big things. You may change your perspective by taking small steps as much as you can, trying a restaurant for lunch that offers a cuisine you’ve never eaten before, or experimenting with new hobbies. If you’ve never thought of yourself as the kind of person who does a certain thing such as play a sport, maybe this is the time to check out an amateur soccer league or something similar.
This is an excellent time to strengthen existing relationships with friends and families and look to build new ones. If you have children, they are probably getting older and your childcare responsibilities are less intense, and this can mean that you have more free time. If you don’t have children but many of your friends do, they may have more time now as well. You may also find that as you reach middle age, you have grown apart from some old friends and want to make new ones.
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