When working our way through midlife, it is easy to feel as if everything is going wrong.
Your kids or moving out, or even worse, they’re not. Your parents are getting older and need more help. Your job is feeling stale but the stability makes you feel as if you couldn’t possibly leave. Your personal style is non-existent. Everything just seems so serious!
The list goes on and on, and with all of these changes, no wonder why people in midlife tend to feel as if things are not the way they should be, or at least are not the way they want them to be.
Therefore, I want to give you a list of some inspirational articles to help you shift your personal midlife experience in the right direction for you. I have 20 articles for you to explore and 7 topics to embrace. Enjoy!
Now that you’ve made your way through my seven topics and 20 articles, I hope that you feel a little lighter, a little more beautiful, and way more inspired!
Join Alexandra Levin, Co-Founder of The Back Forty and Caren Taubman Glasser Founder of The Little White Lie for a live co-creation webinar of “IMBUE Your Beautiful You”. This beauty “town hall” will take place today (Tuesday, March 21) at 2:30 pm PST on Facebook Live (you can RSVP here).
On this webinar you will learn:
On this webinar you will offer:
We invite you to join not only to hear our ideas of how to “IMBUE Your Beautiful You” but to get yours!
Come join us to co-create this work, and let’s enjoy the freedom it offers together.
Either before, during or after the webinar we would love to get your feedback on our program by filling out the survey here (we also have some freebies to give away if you complete the survey).
I stumbled across this video this morning and it actually made me laugh out loud. Take a moment to enjoy it!
How many people do you know who seem to be going through a “midlife crisis”? Once we hit midlife the word “crisis” often seems to hang over our heads. Like the song says, we start to see people around us having a crisis, or maybe we find ourselves in the midst of one ourselves.
Regardless of where you fall in the above scenario, you fall into one of two categories:
1 – You are going (or have already gone) through your own midlife crisis
2 – You see others going through their crisis and find yourself wondering, “am I next?”
No matter if you are well aware of the ups and downs of a midlife crisis or if you are dreading what might be coming your way, I have the perfect article for you!
If you find yourself wondering why you haven’t had your crisis yet, click here to see why you’re not alone!
Regardless of where you find yourself in midlife, remember that your crisis can be “twice as good as any big gut suckin’, sports car buyin’, self-deludin’, comb-over tryin’, skinny jean-wearin’, wrinkle denyin’, bucket listin’, grey hair dyin’, existential mid-life crisis!”
Regardless of if you feel you are in the middle of a midlife crisis or not, let’s face it, midlife is full of obstacles.
Between children, parents, work, and finances there are endless pitfalls that seem to spring up out of nowhere. These “crises” are going to happen and anyone who tells you that you can avoid them is delusional.
Many people find themselves victimizing themselves over past challenges they have endured. How many times have you even blamed something in your present over what has “happened to you” in your past? By victimizing yourself, you are actually holding back your true potential.
This concept is also true for hardships that you currently find yourself in the midst of. Instead of feeling like a victim of these (guaranteed) changes, try to see them as opportunities to change for the better.
Come back next week for Pro Tip #6 and remember that the only person who can decide if you are a victim is YOU!
Today I bring you some amusement from the past.
Nearly 35 years ago, in 1982, this game graced the board game shelves. Its tagline was “can you survive your mid-life crisis without cracking up, breaking up, or going broke?”
The game was produced in California by The Game Works, Inc in 1982 and was re-released in 1993. According to an article in The New York Times from 1993, the original version of the game sold 700,000 copies. I’m not sure when it went out of production, but it definitely is not easy to find today. It takes about an hour to play, requires 4-6 players, and is only intended for people over the age of 18.
The objective of the game was simply to make it through your midlife with more money, less stress, and fewer divorce points than the other players, and (most importantly) to avoid having to declare a mid-life crisis where you go broke, get divorced, or crack up before the game is over.
To start the game, each player is given a score card and a pawn to place on start. Each player starts the game with a career, $25,000, 500 stress points, and a marriage. To play, each player rolls the die, moves forward the respective number of spaces, and follows the direction on whichever space they land on. Each space can either add or subtract stress points, award or take away money, add or subtract divorce points, or have you use a crisis card or zap card.
An example of a Zap Card:
“PANIC – Your period is late. Go to Doctor and SUBTRACT $1,000 or have the child and ADD 300 STRESS POINTS.”
Basically, crisis cards are things that happen to you and zap cards are things you can make happen to other players. There are also special spaces including career spaces, retreats, and passage spaces.
An example of a Crisis Card:
“Your spouse keeps telling the kids that you are going through the change. Deny everything, talk about personal growth and self exploration. ADD 200 STRESS POINTS.”
When you land on a career space, you must pay the designated amount of money to the player who has that career. Retreats are the 3 big spaces in the middle of the board and they are the spaces you are sent to if you lose your mind, get divorced, or go broke. If you have over 1,500 stress points, you are required to go to Crack-up Ranch for “therapy”. If you get 3 divorce points you have to go to Divorce Gulch to attempt to reconcile with your spouse. If you go bankrupt, you must go to Bankrupt City where you basically become a homeless person begging for change.
The passage spaces are spaces that you cannot skip over. If you roll a 5 and there is a passage space 3 spaces ahead, you must stop there. These spaces make it possible for other players to force a crisis onto you.
The winner is the person with the most money. Each zap card, 100 stress points, or divorce point is equal to $1,000 that you must deduct from your total amount of money at the end of the game.
Our past tends to have a profound effect on how we act today and sometimes it is far too easy to continue punishing ourselves for the struggles, failures, and pain of our past.
Instead of holding onto the pain of your past, try seeing your past (and present) as being perfectly designed for you and by you. All of those struggles were actually lessons that have prepared you to discover what you have come to this earth to do.
If you are having a hard time letting go of your past struggles, I challenge you to come up with a list of 20 reasons why your struggle is the best thing that could have ever happened to you. I know it sounds a little crazy, but you will be shocked at the reasons that you realize if you just spend a little time thinking about it.
If you can not only let go of your previous struggles but also realize that those struggles have actually made it possible to achieve more, then you can truly begin to “win” your midlife experience.
Come back next week for Pro Tip #3 and remember that each and every struggle is also an opportunity!
“Witness protection just makes for exciting stories and it’s a really rich sort of place to grab stories from… people starting over completely, saying goodbye to their lives before… it never ends in terms of story opportunities.”
When we look at our first half of life – what I call “the Front Forty” – there are certain ways of being and thinking we adopt as far as who we are, our “lot” in life, and what is or isn’t possible for us.
One considers themselves lucky if one can simply get a good education, get married for life, buy a home, raise happy healthy kids, keep a good job, save money, and then retire happily with some vacations, taking care of the grandkids, and maybe tooling around with a hobby or two.
Granted, that’s a good life, as we’re raised to believe. And yet, as many have found while maturing in the world of today, the early “pictures” we had aren’t necessarily realistic.
The American Psychological Association states the divorce rate as between 40 to 50% and the rate for subsequent marriages even higher. Savings can’t survive certain economic impacts such as Great Recessions or crooked investments. The old-world ideal of keeping a job for life is not only totally unrealistic in a “freelance” economy but perhaps not even a good idea if one is looking to expand and move up. And we’ve all had the mythical, solid and steady “home” get shattered in one way or another.
My parents are a good example of that, when Ike hit the Texas Gulf Coast in 2008 and my entire hometown – including their home filled with years of memories – went under 8-10 feet of water. Or my aunt and cousin in Baton Rouge, recently having their own home of 50 years going under in a record flood.
So, what is one to do when the pictures of the way life was supposed to be turn out to be fraudulent? Perhaps enter into The Back Forty Witness Protection Program.
Yes, bringing a little lightness to the whole end-of-the-world experience of divorce, financial or physical destruction, and all forms of devastation can help.
Witness Protection programs were created so that folks who would spill the beans on perpetrators of organized crime during trials could be protected with a new identity with which to live out their lives.
Just what if our “pictures” were part of an “organized crime” to keep us all safely inside of a smaller, limited view of ourselves and what’s possible for us?
Think about it:
The Back Forty philosophy, movement, and community is all about taking the supposed “worst things that could happen to us” and using them as opportunities for opening up to what’s bigger within us and what’s greater coming next.
If we can look back at our past – even these supposed serious and significant events – and analyze them from the point of view of “laboratory experiments” we ran to discover what we’re here to do and express, we get to then focus on inspiring and forward-moving directives rather than harping on our victim-based losses.
What’s the new identity that this supposed “bad thing happening to me” gives me the opportunity to assume? What’s the greater and more expansive life that this event is opening the door into?
Those may seem like impossible questions to ask in the face of our personal stories of devastation…and yet we believe they are the questions we must build our muscles to ask, even when in the midst of horror. In doing so, we begin to turn our small, pictures-based victim into a future-causing being. We thus rise toward becoming more and more of who we here came to be and what we came here to do.
“Nothing in the universe can stop you from letting go and starting over.”
Happy Tuesday everyone! Or maybe not so happy?
Have you ever had one of those days when you just feel stuck? I’m sure you know the feeling, you feel stuck in your routine. You want to change things up, but you can’t. You’re so busy and you have work and a family to worry about. The last thing you have time for is adding something else to your list of responsibilities.
It’s because of thoughts like these that I give you today’s quote. Take a moment to read it:
It’s a pretty radical thought. To be completely free from your past decisions? To not be locked in by the choices you have made? It seems like a bit of a daydream. But what if I told you that it’s not a daydream and that you just need to be open to the possibilities?
Most people feel like they are stuck with the choices they made when they were younger. I’m here to tell you that’s simply not true. Try thinking of the first half of your life as research and development for your second half of life. What have you learned about what you enjoy? What do you hate? What are you curious about? Take all of this knowledge and build yourself the future you desire.
It’s not too late, actually, you’re right on time! It’s time to create your future based on the knowledge you have gained in your first half of life. All that’s left is to take your first step!
It’s bad, right? After all, the definition of crisis is a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger. How could something dangerous or intensely difficult possibly be good?
What if I told you that a crisis can actually be a great thing and that you should be thankful for all of the crises in your life that you have endured?
Take a moment to read this quote:
Now, take some time to really think about it. All of the crises you have ever gone through have brought you where you stand today. Think about all of those crises as experiments used to learn new things about yourself and your life. What have you learned?
Maybe you learned about what you value in a life partner through a particularly nasty breakup. Or maybe you learned that a particular field of work just isn’t for you after losing a job that you were too scared to leave. Whatever crises you have gone through, I believe that they have all been for the best.
When you think about it, really think about it, would you take back any of those crises if you could? Would you take back the knowledge that you gained or the opportunities that your crises have brought you? I know that I wouldn’t.
So that is my challenge to you this week:
So many people think that they don’t have control over their future once they find themselves in the midst of midlife. We want to change all of that.
The Back Forty teaches that:
“The only way you will ever be able to create your own radical future of play, passion, and purpose is by enabling yourself to have a say over how life will go from here on out.”
– Darrell Gurney, Co-Founder of The Back Forty
Take a moment to think about that. How many times have you caught yourself thinking that you are who you are or that you can’t change the path of your life?
The Back Forty teaches that you have a say over how your life will go. You can control your future, if you just take the time to invest in it. The second half of your life can be full of playfulness, passion, and purpose. You just have to decide that you want it to.