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The Second Chapter of Our Lives
I am currently working on my next article about 'Family Estrangements'. Please re-visit my 'Midlife' site again to check it out. Now, enjoy this article...
At this time in our "midlives", very many of us are juggling a myriad of situations: adult children getting married, elderly parents who are at a point where they need extra care and attention, who may even be moving in with some of us; as well, some of us may be experiencing age discrimination at work, and some of us are re-examining our lives and are coming to the realization that, with the precious years that we may have left on this earth we want to do more than just sit behind a desk, or whatever the case may be - we want to go on a different path from the path we have been taking, looking for the fulfillment that has eluded us so far.
I have some friends who are struggling with illnesses as they work their way through their 50's. I think a lot of us start to question what life is really about, why we are here - what the real purpose is for being here. I have been asking these questions. One of my favorite people to watch and listen to is Dr. Wayne Dyer. I catch him usually on Public Service Television and, as always, I am pleasantly surprised to find him speaking because he leaves me mesmerized with his eloquence and spirited passion for life. He always gives you reason to pause and think. He says, "live your life ON PURPOSE".
As for my me, after thirty years of living in the same house, on the same street, in the same neighborhood - several years ago I decided it was time to make a change - it was at a point of 'now or never'. I was born in New York City and raised on Long Island. I lived there my entire life. I have been examining my life and came to the conclusion that I could stay safely in the same house, on the same block, in the same neighborhood, drive the same streets each and every day for possibly another thirty years, as I have for the last thirty years - or, I could get out and experience the world; see what it's like to live somewhere else; meet new people, make new friends, challenge myself. Living a life that is very predictable, safe and secure, can get pretty boring and uninteresting after a while -- the word is more like stagnant - as in "death".
When I sold my house it was kind of liberating. I felt like a weight had been lifted. After all, there was a marriage, a divorce, raising a child (alone), re-entering the dating scene, fourteen years of being single again, and several jobs - all woven into the fabric of the walls of that house - all memories, some good and some I try to forget.
You may also be experiencing a void with friends moving away - either due to early retirement, career relocation, or maybe because of adult children who have moved away, with whom they want to remain close to, geographically. I have a childhood friend who I've kept in touch with through the years who left New York twelve years ago because she remarried - also because her parents moved there for retirement. Since she is an "only" child, she wanted to be somewhere near her parents in their later years. She has since divorced, for a second time. She hates where she is living now (Florida) - but, unfortunately, she feels she is locked in and must stay there now as her "only" child, a daughter, graduated law school and will be setting up her practice there.
Some of us "Midlifers" were waiting for this time when our children were grown and we would have time for our own pursuits, only to find that we are suffering the "empty nest syndrome" in spite of enjoying our somewhat new-found freedom and longed for desire to be able to re-establish our own identity and explore the world again, enjoying new hobbies - or hobbies that have been abandoned because of responsibilities and other demands on our time.
So far, what I've come up with is - that it is never too late to change course, follow a passion, start dating, get remarried, go to college, or whatever it is that you've been putting off. Today could be the first day of the rest of your life! Become a kid again. Get back your enthusiasm. Don't just keep putting it off. Live your life On Purpose. Find a reason to get up every morning - with a song in your heart. Hopefully, your new outlook on life will be contagious!
As Dr. Wayne Dyer, who I always listen to with baited breath, says, "Don't die with your music still in you". Now, that is something to ponder...
Think about it!
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