I’m in the midst of a crisis right now. And I’m having the time of my life going through it!
My crisis is the midlife sort of variety and since I’m not a fan of surprises, I started it myself. It got rolling last spring after I broke my foot and I had too much time on my hands, too much thinking time that is. I was also experiencing or had recently gone through some common mitigating factors: both of my parents passed in the last few years, I had some health issues of my own, I wasn’t happy in my job, and my social life had become almost non-existent, just to name a few. Oh yeah, and I turned 45 last year. So I was ready for one and welcomed it with open arms, an open mind, and an open heart.
Here are two definitions of crisis, according to the Oxford dictionaries:
1.1 A time when a difficult or important decision must be made.
1.2 The turning point of a disease when an important change takes place, indicating either recovery or death.
I’d like to elaborate on the latter definition. It reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend years ago when she told me her doctor defined disease as being “ill at ease” and that not all disease is physical. Looking back to last year, I would say I was suffering from a soul sickness of sorts, I was spiritually ill at ease. My turning point was breaking my foot, I made quite a few important changes, and I am definitely in recovery.
See, there can be a silver lining to having a midlife crisis. I’m proof of it and I’m not the only one. According to research done by psychologists Oliver Robinson and Gordon Wright, half of the people they studied said their lives had become better as a result of the changes they made. Here are a few examples of how my life has improved:
• I made a big career change and now work fewer hours with less stress. This gave me time to start the book I’ve been thinking about for 10+ years and this blog I just got going.
• I have more time to spend with family and friends. Notably, last month I took my three kids to Cleveland for our first ever real family vacation.
• I am taking better care of my health. Got new glasses, had my first mammogram, and have an appointment this week to sign up for a quit smoking program (I haven’t quit quitting!).
So in response to today’s Daily Prompt, am I happy with the way I react to crisis situations? For some in my life, perhaps not. But for the midlife crisis I am currently in, most definitely. I’m having a blast.