Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Midlife Crisis


I have read two separate articles that discuss midlife crisis. A recent one in England that stated people were hitting midlife crisis in their 30s and another that stated midlife crisis is a myth coined by psychologist Elliott Jaques in the mid 60s.

Well, I believe I am hitting a midlife crisis a decade or so early. No, I am not buying a red convertible and am not dumping my whole life in search of lost youth- last time I went out to dance my butt thought it was carnival in Rio and my back hurt for 2 days... I just wonder if other people question the moment they are in their lives.

I pretty much am where I want to be in my career, I am in a loving relationship, I am educated, almost debt free... so now I ask, is this it? How do you enjoy the calm after the storm? We are so bombarded with achieving that I believe I didn't get the instructions to enjoy life when you achieve all you set out to achieve...

48 comments:

Creatively yours Fi said...

Sounds like a fabulous place to be Ana, I must confess I like to believe I'd be ecstatically happy in a loving relationship & debt free...two things I sometimes dream of. But deep down I sense that I would still feel restless. I'm reading a great book by Eckhart Tolle called a New Earth and I've heard about a book he's written called the "Power of Now"...I think both books do well in answering the big question,
Fi x

Robin Larkspur said...

I think there always has to be something more to achieve...a goal, an idea, a dream. Being in a place where you are content is a fabulous place to be; and perhaps lends itself to raising life to a new level?

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Think of it as Harvest Time -- enjoy the fruits of your labours!

Lois said...

I am turning 50 in a week or so... I named my blog mid-life-fibres because fibres are such a part of my life, but I think of mid-life-change more than crisis. Certainly I'm experiencing a lot of change!! Maybe it is a crisis... :(

BIKBIK AND RORO said...

I wonder if we're all so accustomed to stress and turmoil -- oftentimes self-inflicted -- that we don't know how to enjoy peace. Yet I believe peace, and the serene acceptance, even enjoyment, of everything each day brings, should be one of our life goals... It is wonderful that you've achieved all you set out to achieve; now it's time to reap what you sowed -- relish that blessed peace and release!

Jenny said...

Such an interesting question Ana... and you are right... there is a huge amount of focus put on achieving our goals... but much less, it seems... on enjoying the fruits of our labor... can we not sit back and enjoy where we are now... or are we always looking for something different, new or more... great point to ponder... thank you... btw your artwork is gorgeous...

Hugs
Jenny x

Ola said...

true
these are difficult times, noone, I guess can be sure about the future, no matter how old you are

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Scarlet said...

Deep and interesting thoughts. I think we're always striving and pushing for more out of life that it's becoming more and more difficult to relax. It's almost like settling. Personally, I find learning to be very fulfilling...and I never want to be too old to stop learning. There's so much out there to experience and we don't have to spend all our money or leave our loved ones behind to do it. That's just my take on it...whether it's called a midlife crisis or not, I like to get my butt out there (and I'm a little jealous that you got to shake yours in Rio!). Que rico!! Dale! lol

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

You're in a great place. Think about all the things that bring you joy, all the things you enjoy doing --- then go out and do them.

BamaTrav said...

I don't believe in mid-life crissisiss....ss.

Sherri B. said...

This is great food for thought...I differ in that I feel there is so much I have yet to accomplish. I'm almost the opposite, and feel I am running out of time to do all those things I dream of. I think you are right where you should be...you are very fortunate that you feel content with what you've done! I hope you can sit with it and enjoy it...but I know it's hard to do that in this fast-paced world at times.

Sulky Kitten said...

I hope that I am never totally content with everything in my life - it just might be a bit dull. I think it is good for us to always have something to strive for. Not to the exclusion of enjoying everything else, just enough to keep things interesting.I don't want or seek hugely stressful experiences, I just want there to always be a carrot dangling somewhere.

Sulky Kitten said...

ps Ana, I love that butterfly, is it for sale?

Red Shoes said...

I think mid-life crises probably arise from our suddenly becoming aware that we aren't happy... or we aren't where we want/need to be.

When I got divorced some years ago, I wish my mid-life crises had been copious amounts of beautiful women, but instead, it turned out to be copious amounts of guitars and amplifiers.

I'm probably better off because of that. :oD

~shoes~

AntiquityTravelers said...

hmmm, yes take time to smell the flowers - love the art.

that is really the trick isn't it - staying curious about the world and enjoying exploring it. always setting a new goal, but try not to make that goal a 'material' one. it is a work in progress for me :)

gigihawaii said...

Boredom vs. a stress-free life?

Sulky Kitten said...

Ah, I was too late! I wanted the original because I love the way you paint. If you use any more artwork that you wouldn't mind selling could you label it 'for sale' maybe? Your work is stunning.

Francie M said...

A mid life crisis is not what you are deascribing. Although I suppose it could be like peri-menopause - a lengthy harbinger. It is what Redshoes said. It happens when you can't hold the mask up even to yourself and you find out that you are not who you thought you were. It isn't ennui of the soul, it is obliteration.

Oops, sorry, got a little mnelodramatic. eek

Francie M said...

Forgot to say how absolutely gorgeous the butterflies are!!!

Beth said...

Lovely painting, Ana...you are very talented.

I hope you can figure out a way to enjoy where you are now...sounds like a pretty sweet place to be. Perhaps taking up a new challenge would be good? Maybe learning to play an instrument or taking a class in something that intrigues you? Or perhaps volunteering?

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I believe some of us...especially those of us that are creative...always question if we are where we need to be...doing what we want to do. I remember when my grandmother was my age and I thought she was so settled. I don't think I will ever feel 'settled'. I think you are sensitive and that you will always strive for more.

beth said...

i pretty know what you mean !!.....i'm totally in the NOW WHAT stage of my life....and i'm working really hard on figuring it out !!!

Debra said...

How much for the butterfly? Wow! - to paint like that would brighten any mood.
Midlife… never have felt it myself.
“We are so bombarded with achieving that I believe I didn't get the instructions to enjoy life when you achieve all you set out to achieve...” Agreed! We need to teach our children to enjoy life while they can, and achievement should be secondary to living a fulfilling life. And, as adults, we should live without pressure to achieve. Life is too short to waste.

Jeanie said...

I suspect I'm a little older than you, but I am ready to stop achieving what other people want me to do and start achieving what I want for myself. Now, if I can just arrange the budget, I'll be good to go -- but it has become a priority and that's a first step! Gorgeous butterfly!

Martha Lever said...

These Butterflies are absolutely exquisite!! Thanks so much for your comment today!

missy k said...

I love your art the colours and detail are amazing.

I love this quote....

Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times....

and "Happiness is a journey, not a destination; happiness is to be found along the way not at the end of the road, for then the journey is over and it's too late. The time for happiness is today not tomorrow." Quoted by Paul H Dunn

Karenx

Helen Hallows said...

I have been pondering these same questions. As I approach 40 I ask myself more and more what life is about. So much of our early life is defined by ticking the boxes of education and achievement. Then we define ourselves through society's goals of marriage, children, home. Now I have everything but could still do with some instructions for life!!

NatashaMay said...

I have had those moment many times and I still do. It's not a midlife crisis it's what we're suppose to do to get most out of our lives. Can you imagine we were to find everything we want at age 20? How boring life would be after that? :) And anyways, we change with time so we like different stuff than when we were younger so we don't get bored too soon. Keep looking! :) It's suppose to be fun.

Ariel said...

beautiful butterfly. Enjoy this day!and don't worry I think we never stop achieving we humans are always on the lookout for sthg new to do.
Susan

Buttons said...

I am lucky I am happy most of the time I am way past midlife (if it is 30) that is scary. I plan to live to 100 or more so I guess I am past midlife again:)
Live life be happy dance Yeah what a beautiful world if we just realize it. Dance and ache wonderful way to live. Love the painting. B

VonnyK said...

The calm after the storm is wonderful. I gave up my business, had a child at 40 and now (at the age of forty-eleven) I just paint and life couldn't be better. I worked really hard for too long and now we are debt free and I am enjoying life. It's worth the journey to get here. I love your butterfly and flower painting.
Von.

Ducky said...

Always learning....even if it means learning to NOT set the alarm because everything else CAN wait! :)

Carolyn Dube said...

This is such an important topic! The butterfly is beautiful to go with this as it changes so much from the caterpillar to the butterfly- like women as they grow and craft their lives!

alteredstatesstudio said...

similar here....but, somehow i don't quite feel fulfilled or settled; and i too ask, "is this it?" i don't know. i do feel like there may be a more creative life out there waiting for me, but, i have not seen my door (or at least i don't think so- jeez,i hope i didn't miss it...)

Kristin said...

:) :) Good luck to you!!!!!!!

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Would prefer to say you are reaching 'enlightenment' ~ this is it ~ Life is the gift ~ your painting would seem a fulfilling passion for you ~ enjoy 'what is' ~ simple pleasures ~ you have earned them and deserve them ~ Fantastic painting ~ (A Creative Harbor)

Being introverted I tend to 'over think' rather enjoy 'what is' ~ work in progress ~ me ^_^

My Grama's Soul said...

First off.....thanks for stopping by and your sweet comment. Had to pop over here and see what you are about. I think all of us from time to time suffer from what you have labeled a "midlife crisis".....asking ourselves...is this all there is? When I find myself in this spot....I tell myself...that regardless of where I am in my life...I AM touching someone else's life in a positive way...by a smile, a kind work, a kind thought, etc.

This process makes me able to see all THE GOOD around me and I am able to focus on the good things....not the "what if" things.

Just me thinkin' out loud today.

Jo

My Grama's Soul said...

BTW.....love your art.

Jo

bobbi said...

I think the key is in the last phrase. It's true, we are always pushed to achieve things or situations and once we get them we don't know how to handle it. Take you time, it will pass. I have been a few times through this phase and I can tell you that after there is a long moment of huge creativity. Hugs.

Sunil Jindal said...

Hi Ana, You are entering a bueatiful stage of your life, I prefer to call a Mid Life Awakening. There is no such things as a MLC , it is something that originated in the 60's but in these times has no relevance any more. Media has chosen to glamourise it, so making people think they are in a crisis, which is a dangerous place to be. By teh sound of things, you have a lot of great stuff in your life, immerse yourself in it.

geetlee said...

Sounds like a great place to be.. :) I love this art piece.. you use colors beautifully.
Hope you enjoy the long weekend.

Debbianne said...

Thanks for sharing. Gorgeous art!
One of my favorite schools of thought is the idea of following your bliss via baby steps. In our achievement/goal focused society, we tend to think BIG when someone says "follow your bliss"... as in "what's my purpose?" or "what to be when I grow up?" but this is different. This says to take each moment and choose the most exciting option, and watch how those micro-steps lead to something bigger unplanned by the conscious mind. : )

La Dolce Vita said...

To tell you the truth, I felt this crisis in my late 20s !!! And then when I turned 30, I gave up everything-career, studies, fears, etc.etc. {and whatever else that came in my way of living life to the fullest } to enjoy my life and my present moment. I have never felt so happier ever since !

Zena said...

I think that midlife crisis is related to our society´s belief (which are indeed market guidelines) that tells us that we are "nothing" if we are not young, beautiful, and succesful in a very material way. So people want to keep these characteristics at any age and at all costs.

But midlife age can be the perfect moment to enjoy our achievements, share our gifts, take time for inner growing and having the chance to discovering our most true self, that part of us that has been hidden behind the roles we usually play when we are much younger

I am at this stage of my life and I can say it is the best one

Meera Rao said...

Great question Ana, and that's why I suppose the wise saying goes ' enjoy the journey! '" I love the illustration you have for this post !

moonsword said...

“In rivers, the water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes; so with present time.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci
It's okay to focus on the past or plan for the future or simply appreciate the present...they are all part of one continuum, one flow. You are a part of it, you can change your perspective at any time. In that is your freedom.
Gorgeous painting! :)

Shaharoh said...

Hmm...interesting. I think we live in a constant state of change so it is within us to never remain constant. As artists, I also believe one can never truly be settled as it is our nature to create, to mold, to explore. But I think recognizing our achievements as all those things you mentioned - career, relationship, finances is - is extremely important to calm the crises for the time being:)

An'Angelia Thompson said...

Ana, you are quite fortunate to be so wise at such a young age. Many people die without having the revelation of your life observations. Kudos to you, my dear!