I recently read a quote which described the first half of life as one giant, unavoidable mistake.
That simple, liberating truth nearly made me choke on my vegan matcha smoothie – the hippie equivalent of vintage hard liquor.
Whether male or female, it highlights a theme which often repeats itself with clients – that of a presumed midlife crisis.
Define existential crisis
The ‘midlife’ bit is often neither here nor there. We experience it not as a result of our chronological age, but because of our maturity levels.
Midlife marks the point when we realise that if we don’t start taking care of ourselves, the people and the world around us, we’ll end up as stagnant and unhappy Peter (or Petra) Pans.
The ‘crisis’ bit is usually caused by a lack of meaning. For some, it takes the shape of personal tragedy, turmoil and confusion. For others, it’s merely a slump characterised by aimlessness and boredom.
For many of us, however, it’s the equivalent of sticking our heads outside the window and finally being able to breathe in the fresh, crisp air of new possibilities.
I’m intrigued to hear some of your own midlife experiences, which is why I’ve put together a short (anonymous) questionnaire.
If you’ve gone through those feelings – and particularly if you’re going through them right now – I’d love it if you shared them with me in confidence as part of this survey or by email.
And whether you’ve added meaning to your life by becoming a yoga teacher, driving around town in a Maserati, going on a shamanic journey in Peru, or indulging in a series of new lovers – no judgement whatsoever.
I’m the Eat, Pray, Love cliché personified after all, having started a new life as a coach and writer in Bali in my late thirties.
Except that I have better hair than Julia Roberts.