Welcome to week one of my take on an acronym for COURAGE starting with ‘C’. There were several ‘C’ words I could have used from curiosity, consciousness, confidence, capable, creative, clarity, connection, compassion, community and confusion. However, I choose none of these. The words that spoke to me that tick all the previous words were crisis, chrysalis and courage! Read on, to see why I chose these three words.
Whenever I saw the word ‘midlife crisis’ I used to feel annoyed. I felt this phrase meant women weren’t coping, they were a mess and somehow, they would be feeling judged and therefore shame and guilt would also be thrown into the recipe. If a male was having a midlife crisis, then it was OK because it often meant that they were going to leave their wives for an attractive young blonde thing. This is what I had heard throughout my life.
Since starting my Midlife Courage business two years ago and learning so much from my clients I now feel quite different about the word midlife crisis and what it means. Firstly, let me address the men. I could have got upset when my husband fell for a long legged red? Don’t worry, it was a surfboard which he passionately calls The Red Baron. He took up surfing at the ripe old age of 49 and loves it with a passion. I also have a lot of male friends who went and brought motorbikes and now go on these tours together. These sorts of pursuits sound very healthy to me.
Women are different and I can honestly now say that a lot of midlife women do have a crisis. Midlife can be such a conflicting and confusing time of life. Children may have left home, parents maybe dying or need put into care, careers suddenly seem boring and of course, there is darling menopause to deal with. Really!
I have seen women finally get an opportunity to put themselves first, or at least first equal. There is time to rest and evaluate life. Questions are asked around “what am I going to do with my life now?” or ‘what next?” To have space to be able to begin to question what this could mean seems scary, feelings arise and we don’t like feelings, we have often spent a life time avoiding them. Can you relate to any of this?
Can you begin to see where the term midlife crisis was born. Yes, we may experience a crisis and there is a bloody good reason for it. However, I have always felt this term sounded dis-empowering and something to avoid at all costs. It is time we look at some new words for midlife crisis. I prefer transition or recently I have been thinking of this time of life as a chrysalis. A time to purge, rethink priorities and be intentional about new habits. A time to engage curiosity and to begin to embrace what may lay ahead.
Midlife Chrysalis can be a resting place, a place to be ‘held’ while new muscles are built. Like a butterfly these muscles are for the invisible wings of midlife women who can begin to fly. The beauty is we can make our new normal any way we want. Flying for some is totally right, others may want to leap or hop or even walk.
I never thought when I started my midlife journey that I would eventually find it so fulfilling and satisfying. It has been like a roller coaster ride at times however the dips and highs have been so worth it because I have taken away playfulness, joy and vitality. OK the vitality does get tripped up at times with creaky joints and lack of sleep but you know what I mean!
I feel midlife certainly takes courage and that is why having a Life Coach to have your back or hold your hand can make this journey so much easier. I would love to be your coach as you find clarity and a more secure footing. If you want to start this journey with me then pop over to my Facebook page and keep following my seven week campaign and you will learn so much more about midlife and courage. If you are ready to take a leap then please pop over to my new website and arrange a time to chat.