Many people fear becoming middle aged. However, for me it is mostly a great time of life and if I had the chance to be any age I would choose the age I am now.
There are a variety of definitions of ‘middle age’. It is generally agreed to be the years between young adulthood and old age. When it comes to putting a numerical range on this stage of life there are a variety of ideas. Some definitions say 40 to 60 and others say middle age lasts until a person is 65 or 70. Ideas are changing as life expectancy increases. There are those who say middle age is not a number but a state of mind. I feel this is true and a positive attitude is the most important thing if you are to enjoy any life stage.
Everybody’s experience of middle age is different. The same can be said of life in general. Each person has a unique set of experiences and they will react to these events differently from how anyone else would.
Some people are employed full time throughout middle age and beyond. They may enjoy this or they may not. There are those who change careers and take on new challenges in regard to employment.
Some work part time and this may suit them or perhaps it is the only work available.
Others are at home full time, some by choice and others because of circumstances beyond their control.
Today more people are returning to study during middle age. This can be rewarding and learning new skills can be satisfying. I enjoyed contact with students of a range of ages whilst studying at uni as a mature age student.
These days some women have their first child after they turn 40 by choice. For some people, middle age is a time when they are providing care for family members in addition to their children. Some become full time carers for ageing parents, a sibling or their partner. There may be an adult son or daughter who requires care.
Some become grandparents early in middle age. There are folk who are already grandparents before reaching middle age. Some people have grandchildren later in life and others not at all. For some, becoming a grandparent means enjoying the fun of children without all the responsibility. Others may be expected to provide a free babysitting service while the youngsters' parents are working. There are situations where grandparents become full time caregivers to their grandchildren.
It is easier to enjoy any stage of life if one has good health. However, there are those who make up their mind to get the most out of life in spite of health problems. Some even say they decided to enjoy every day of life because they have been diagnosed with a fatal condition. An individual's attitude makes a big difference.
When I started this article I was going to give some tips for enjoying middle age. When I thought about it more deeply I realised each person's situation is different and decided not to make generalisations. I also found quotes about middle age but these didn't apply to everyone at this stage of life either.
Everyone has a different set of circumstances and a different approach to life. For me I am finding ‘middle age’ is giving me quite a lot of freedom and opportunities.
One I like the best is to be ones' self. I wear what I want to wear, & that first priority is comfort, followed by 'appropriate' dressing for the occasion. My Mother always said to dress well upon leaving the house, as you never know who you might meet! Very true!
Middle age gives a form of 'gravitas' to what one says, AND (some) people take note!
With Retirement, comes multiple opportunities' to do things that one couldn't do when working. I find this very liberating!
Another fine article from you Marie. The idea of 'middle age' is an interesting one, because of course, we never really know when our life may end, so the middle part is never really known, until the life is over!
I say live your life the best you can right now, and enjoy it!