A year ago, I was living in San Francisco and working as a corporate consultant. Then one night, as I was packing my suitcase for a business trip to Switzerland, I got a phone call that had me quit my job and get on a plane home to Australia instead.
Change is difficult. For some reason I thought being in my fifties meant that a change in life would no longer cause me to grieve. Instead, I would sit, Yoda-like, and spout wisdom such as 'Do or do not, there is no try.' Didn't happen.
Have you gotten tired yet hearing how broken down and dysfunctional we have all become in our advancing years? If we are smart, we except our shortcomings, find a way to overcome them and move on with living our lives to the fullest.
I know a person who's having a midlife crisis. It isn't a secret; that's part of the crisis. His issue comes down to an excess of sex that he talks about excessively. His best friends don't mind that he's scoring more than LeBron James in a heated playoff -- they just wish he'd stop flaunting it.
We are in the living room of Susie's Miami home. We see big balloons that say "Happy 39th Birthday," empty paper plates and cups are scattered around. There is an eerie feeling that there was a just huge celebration with lots of people.
Middle age is a tricky thing. Does it happen at 35 or is it 55? No one really knows for sure. In the stone age, middle age truly would have been old age. There are young people who act old. Old people who act young. Perhaps best not to judge too much. So how do you know if you're middle age?
The seeds of conscious uncoupling are sown somewhere in unconscious coupling. And, by unconscious coupling, I'm not referring to alcohol-fueled one-nighters. What I do mean is that many of us choose mates who aren't right for us by ignoring our unconscious motivations for doing so.
The recent stats on midlife divorce are startling. People over 50 are divorcing in higher numbers than ever before. And women are leading the charge -- filing in greater numbers than men. The "gray divorce" rate has doubled for this population in the last two decades.
And so it is: I am officially 30 years young. Yes, I use the word young instead of old, contrary to my previous belief that once I turned the big 3-0, life as I had known it prior to this milestone would never be the same again. Period.
Perhaps you have a talent or interest you've been afraid to acknowledge and pursue. Now is the time to reach out towards those dreams that you thought had passed you by years ago and finally access your authentic self.
Narcissists are among the most difficult people with whom to have a relationship, be it personal or professional, because no matter what you do or say it isn't enough to feed their never-ending desire for admiration and applause.
Since how we navigate this period will determine the second half of life, the stakes at midlife are high. If we've made the right choices, then ultimately we're not different from who we once were -- we're more authentic and real.