Tossing and turning were yielding nothing. Sleep had evaded me once again, and troubled feelings were stirring. So I carefully reached for my fluffy robe and slid out of bed as quietly as I could. My husband slept soundly as I tiptoed out the door and down the stairs to the lower level office.
The brightness of the computer screen was blinding in the darkened room. Two-thirty was the time on the clock when I began my web search for answers for my chaotic feelings, and 4:30 was the time when I returned to bed and finally fell asleep.
For that two hours, I sat, in the quiet of the night, typing various combinations of words into the search bar. One phrase I typed in was one that I'd heard a lot about, but surely didn't think fit me, after all, I wasn't looking for a younger man or wanting to buy a sportscar (you know the old cliche?)
There I sat though, and typed the words:
WAS I HAVING A MIDLIFE CRISIS?
After reading a few of the descriptions for midlife crisis over several websites, I found a few points that resonated with me. One in particular convinced me that, yes indeed, what I was feeling had been experienced by other women my age (50 at the time). I realized right then that I must be in a similar state.
I wondered, "What if, in fact I was having a midlife crisis, would I find answers to help me eventually feel better? Or, would I be stuck feeling bad forever?
I'd been experiencing panic and sadness off and on for some time by then, and insomnia had regularly crept in. Each time those troubling feelings arrived, I hated trying to deal with them!
Now that I'd somewhat diagnosed the condition, I wondered if I really had what would be needed to walk through the associated symptoms. I wondered if I would be capable of finding the answers I needed to be happy and balanced again. I wondered if I would ever reach the other side of it all.
POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS FOR MIDLIFE CRISIS
Many years have passed since then. I've written many posts and eBooks to help women who feel this way. I've decided midlife crisis feelings need to be walked through carefully without the temptation to make drastic life-changing decisions.
I often asked myself which feeling was real, the one that made me feel horrifically discontent or the one I felt the next morning where I felt calm, peaceful and thankful for my circumstances. It is very important we take our thoughts captive, that we ask God for clarity and that we base our decisions on facts not feelings.
Here's what else I discovered:
1. Midlife crisis in women 40 to 55 may be connected to the hormonal changes of perimenopause and menopause. Perimenopause can last 10 years.
2. It's important to address physical concerns of hot sweats, insomnia, fitness, and possible depression.
3. It's important to cultivate your spirit.
4. It's important to cultivate your sense of hope, to resist becoming jaded and cynical, but to be a more positive thinker.
5. It's important to identify your strengths and to develop them.
6. It's important to work on developing new relationships.
7. It's important to put down some expectations. When things don't work out, it's important to be resilient.
If you find you're in the midst of midlife crisis feelings, plan to walk through them consulting God. Ask him to reveal the steps you should take. Take a step and cheer yourself on. Be proud of all you've accomplished.
God is always at work. When you're in a period of searching, wait patiently for him to put the next plan for your life together. It's all a process.