“Setting a good example for your children takes all the fun out of middle age.” – William Feather age.” – William Feather
Being in the middle of anything is usually not fun, and the middle muddle really is difficult.
You are not young and you are not old. It’s sort of like those ghastly teen years; not a child and not yet an adult.
The problem here is that the middle years go on for a long, long time.
After the age of fifty things start to happen; the body changes, especially for women and menopause. Men can lose hair which is devastating and life is just not what it was.
Before fifty we think in terms of how long we have lived; after fifty, we think in terms of how much longer we will live.
The planning for the future takes a turn.
If we have been ‘successful’ in our careers or jobs, we feel confident but the thoughts of younger people with newer ideas is a challenge. Fears about the world creep in. Our family relationships are looked at and experienced in new ways. That is, of course, if we take the time to reflect and have some insight, which many people avoid at all costs. The cost, by the way, is higher when we don’t take a look.
But here you are in the middle.
That means you look at children or younger people who are vibrant and having fun, and in relationships that are intense and probably including sex. In the meantime, you may be in a stale relationship and probably not really enjoying sex if you are having it at all.
Then there is the other end; seeing parents who are aging, which means you will be there next!
Aging in America is not a good thing; it surely isn’t revered and admired.
The physical changes are hard to bear. They come on slowly and subtly usually, at first. We become very concerned about the small changes we see. Our faces, our bodies.
Often there are medical problems occurring and they take time, attention, and money.
Here is where you see people ‘fighting’ the natural progression. Face-lifts, shorter and tighter clothes, a fancy sports car, a girlfriend or boyfriend or real affair, a new home, spending money foolishly, and so on.
If we have to assist parents that is another whole plethora of problems.
We become the adult and they need us! Sometimes if they have money they will try to control you with that and that can become really dreadful. They want to keep you close and that infantilizes you.
The return to having to be taken care of is extremely hard for most parents. They can become nasty and fight you off in a number of ways. Just try to tell them they cannot drive or do something they formerly did and watch out.
If they become infirm or senile that’s another whole headache.
If an elderly parent needs to be cared for outside the home that takes a lot of investigating and money.
The middle years for you become a war zone; pulled from both ends.
It is not an easy life transition.
The best way to survive is to maintain your sense of self and then know that this too will pass.
Children will grow up and hopefully mature and become your friend. Parents will have to adjust and accept their situation and you will know that you have done your best for all of them.
What you need at this point is to find ways, some of them small, to make your life pleasant and get away from it all.
Be with friends, buy something you like, go to a spa, have a dinner party, take a class, plan a trip.
Hopefully, you have a partner who is caring, understanding, and loving. It helps.
What can happen often that does not help is to take out all your frustration, or differences of opinions on those close to you. You know they won’t leave so you take advantage of that. That can be the downfall of everything.
Do not beat up on yourself because the next old person in the family is YOU!!
“Of middle age, the best that can be said is that a middle-aged person has likely learned how to have a little fun in spite of his troubles.” – Don Marquis