* Perception Vs. Reality:
If you think you are getting happier as you get older, the research says you are right, the researchers found that those in the 40-45 age bracket are the second least likely to be depressed. The least likely to be depressed is the 55-69 age-group.
All of this makes tremendous sense. In the midlife you are getting good at handling difficult situations that used to really throw you when you were younger. An added benefit of the middle years is a growing sense of identity. Somewhere in the middle, you are getting hold of who you are-finally.
That is not to say we can expect to fly through our 40’s without any turbulence. Midlife is a transitional time, comparable in many ways to adolescence. Short of having bad skin, a person in “middlescence” can greatly resemble the adolescent with wide-sweeping change: physically, emotionally, psychologically and socially.
You might call these twinges midlife growing pains. Everyone feels them, but the question is to what degree? For some they may be incapacitating. For others they serve as healthy reminders that they are in a growth spurt.
* Change as opportunity:
It’s interesting to note that, in Chinese, the word crisis is made up of two characters: one represents danger, the other opportunity. There will always be people who are devastated by change. But, more and more, we are finding people who view change as an opportunity rather than a threat. Turn midlife into a midlife crisis by pretending that every thing is supposed to stay the same. But it is not.
Based on my own experiences, the lives of others, and a review of fiction and scholarship about midlife, I am convinced that the second half of human life is a profound opportunity for transformation. It is a chance to live by new rules and to catch a second, and deeper, wind.