In praise of the “mid-life clarification”

Why is it called a mid-life crisis?

Wikipedia says, “A midlife crisis is a transition of identity and self-confidence that can occur in middle-aged individuals, typically 45-64 years old.”

It conjures up images of

a silver fox in a bright red Porsche, with a much younger woman in the passenger seat (probably NOT his wife).

I want to change the perception or add to the dialogue a bit, and ask…

Why isn’t it called mid-life clarification?

Here are two definitions for “clarify”:
1. to make clear or intelligible; to free from ambiguity.
2. to free from confusion; revive.

YES!!! THAT!! All of that!!!

Mid-life is a powerful time, mostly because you can now look back on lots of experiences and have a complex, deep perspective on what’s come to pass. Which leads to taking stock, which inevitably leads to asking the big questions.




Why are we here?

What’s it all for?

How can my life have more meaning?

What’s my value? My purpose?

Clarifying what we like, what feels good and what feels meaningful take pressure testing. And it changes, as our desires change.

Speaking of desires… maybe we desire a little fun & excitement (after a lot of years of gutting it out – i.e. child rearing)? That is absolutely ok. And understandable.

If you’ve gotten to this point, you’ve earned it. You’ve earned the right to do whatever the fuck you want, and not worry about what others think. Or what label they want to assign.

Why not just do whatever the fuck you want?
And in mid-life, we’ve made some money, so we can afford to buy things that are exciting or interesting to us.

I see this friend of a friend on Facebook who I’ve always admired…
well, she’s just bought a motorcycle. I think it’s a BMW. And in every picture she posts, she appears to be on this epic motorcycle trip across South America. She’s head to toe in leather gear, and looks friggin badass.

What should she be doing instead?
Slowing down? Slowing dying?

I now know two men who’ve bought gorgeous looking bikes as well. All chrome and matte black.

Good for them.

I’m not saying, go out and have an affair, to find out. There are healthier ways to pressure test what your value is. But hell yes, buy that Porsche if you want to.

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