This song repeats In my mind this morning. Time, time, time, see what’s become of me? The bangles from 1987, I was in seventh grade. Life was pre internet. We rode our bikes without helmets everywhere. We told time by watches. We went to the library and looked up information. Life was simplistic it seemed. News came in the form of newspapers, television at certain times of the day. It was not 24 hours a day. MTV played music videos. I am generation x. I am proud of that, we are the middle child generation between two very large generations of baby boomers and millennials. We are the face of forties. It’s hard to believe that I am middle aged. In my mind 14 wasn’t that long ago, but it is and life couldn’t be more different than when I grew up. We are the first generation of latch key kids and divorce. We were the eighties, the Cold War, the Aids epidemic, the Reagan era, the Berlin Wall coming down.
Remember when E.T. came out? Remember in Raiders of the lost ark when his head melted? The Goonies? We didn’t realize that we were being raised in an iconic time. Sometimes my guy and I listen to music from the eighties and we get sad and long for what was simpler to us. Middle age is is hard to pallet. Half of your life is over. The mirror shows us how time has taken it’s toll on the expressions we have used over the years. The elasticity is gone of youth. The body of your 20 year old self is long gone. Our expectations of what we thought would be and what is are very different. Many of us have chosen divorce and are starting over. Many of us have changed careers. Our expectations change as we age. Women especially in their forties choose happiness over staying in a dead marriage. Kids are getting older and truly our kids watch we do, not what we say, so if the marriage sucks that is their example. Many of us have chosen this path. It’s hard to re start your life. It makes me question everything and what makes me happy?
I yearn for my youth. I yearn for simpler. However aging is awesome in our perspective. We have experienced death, birth, life and all it has taught us. I believe in the saying, growing better or growing bitter. We have to deal with our childhood issues, addictions and grow the fuck up, that is middle age, looking in the mirror and liking what we are looking at. Being able to live with yourself in peace becomes the focus. It’s a time we evaluate where the next part of our life is going. I work with a lot of women and it is very normal to be in upheaval at this point in our lives. My hope is to spread awareness that forties is a time of looking into the future and where we are heading. It is confusing, it is really upsetting if you think you are alone in that journey. The inner voice is screaming what it wants, do we listen, do we jump? What about security? What about happiness? What about the kids? What about me? What about the future? The questions swirl and that is NORMAL!!! Developmentally that is where we are.
I am working through my own questions to happiness. The choose your own adventure book in real life playing out. Life is a journey and not a destination so that is what we forget a lot of the time. Do we like the life we are living? Our we serving our purpose? What is our purpose? Our purpose seems to matter more as we age. A reason to live. A reason to get up. As our children leave us we have to find that next thing to focus on with our time we invested in them. Is it our careers, do we change that? Is it our relationship? Is it our location? Is it my hobbies? Questions we have to answer that have never been questions. We know the clock is ticking, it isn’t a distant noise anymore, it’s a very loud tick tock now. It’s unavoidable. It’s life and being middle aged. It’s a time to decide where the next forty years are taking us if we get that time. It can be terrifying and liberating. It may require huge life changing decisions. It’s where we are and it’s okay!