Monday 25 March 2019

Revitalizing Your Middle-Aged Life.

Life before 40 typically is very exciting. We spend the first four decades of our lives
getting an education, finding a significant other and establishing ourselves in a career. However, once we hit 40, life has settled down. And it is easy for our lives to become very routine.
That in many ways is a good thing! The frenetic pace of our twenties and thirties cannot be sustained forever. And the payback for all that hard work is to hopefully be in a stable relationship and have a solid career by the time you become middle-aged.
The problem is that once your life is settled, it runs the risk of becoming humdrum. You no longer are excited about finding that special someone. That “someone” is the person you see every morning and every evening. You no longer have the thrilling experience of starting a family. Now you have the challenges of seeing your kids safely through their teen years (and the financial challenges of putting them through college). And your career by middle age is on a certain trajectory. You may gain more responsibilities over the years, but most likely, your job isn’t going to change dramatically.

When middle-aged life becomes a little bit boring, people make those cliché, stupid mistakes. They have affairs thinking that their spouse is no longer interesting enough for them anymore. They buy motorcycles or sports cars in an attempt to relive their youth. They turn to alcohol or drugs with the misguided belief that living on the edge will make their lives more exciting.
But those pursuits are just band-aids trying to cover the real problem: Once you hit 40, your youth is over. It isn’t coming back. You may have lived your twenties and thirties to the full, or you may have squandered those years. Either way, they are over and done with.
So, now what? What if you feel like your life has become too routine? How do you revitalize your middle-aged life in a way that makes sense? Below are some ways to re-energize your wonderful second half.
Have A Professional Pursuit Outside of Your Job: Most jobs are exciting at the start, but they eventually become routine once you have been doing them for a couple of years. There is nothing wrong with that. It is great to be highly experienced and good at your job.
However, staying in the same professional field, even with promotions, can become boring. The problem is that switching careers when you are middle-aged is tricky. By this point in your life, you have financial responsibilities. And that boring job pays your bills. So, you can’t just up and leave.
To make this period of life more exciting, you need to develop a professional pursuit outside of your job. For example, let’s say that you always dreamed of becoming an artist when you were younger. However, life got in the way of that dream, so you became a high school art teacher instead. There is nothing stopping you from using your free evenings to paint. You then can submit your works to local art contests, or offer to hang them for sale in your local café. You can still pursue your dream of becoming an artist while you work to pay your bills.

I know a woman who is a lawyer. However, she also is an incredible jewelry maker. Right now, her legal career pays her bills. However, she spends her free time making beautiful jewelry which she sells at local craft fairs. I suspect when she retires from the law, her jewelry-making will become her fulltime retirement business.
You truly can revitalize the second half of your life by having a second career, in addition to the one that keeps you financially afloat. That second career may be the one that gets you excited at the end of the day. It can be what inspires you to do something besides watch television every evening. Instead, you can pursue those long-forgotten dreams which you thought weren’t possible. Well, they are possible! And the money you make from that second career may ultimately eclipse your salary from your current career!
Care for Your Body: Once we hit middle age, our bodies start going south – literally and figuratively. Parts start sagging. We lose that youthful glow. Our metabolisms slow down, and we may put on a couple of extra pounds. And when we look in the mirror, we don’t see a 25-year-old anymore. That can be discouraging.
Lots of people give up on their bodies at this stage in their lives. They let their weight creep up. They don’t adjust their diets for their new, slower metabolisms. And their doctors start talking to them about the problems that we associate with aging – high cholesterol, high blood pressure, osteoporosis.
As we age, our bodies need more care than they used to. So, middle age is the time to start taking care of your body. Once you commit to a daily exercise regime and healthy eating, you will begin to feel rejuvenated. Your body will be more limber. Those weird aches and pains will go away. You will be happier thanks to those wonderful exercise endorphins. And you’ll start looking great!

By caring for your body, middle age won’t seem so depressing. Instead, you’ll be able to look in the mirror and say, “I look and feel fantastic.”
Enjoy the Freedom to Be Yourself: Becoming 40 was a turning point for me. It was the beginning of the end of my giving a rip about what other people think of me. Slowly, the opinions of others just stopped mattering. That is the liberating joy of becoming middle-aged. If you have any brains at all, you just stop caring what anyone thinks of you.
Of course, I still am nice to people. And I go out of my way to help others whenever possible. But if someone doesn’t like me, it doesn’t matter to me. I like myself, and frankly, my opinion and God’s opinion are the only ones that count at the end of the day.
That attitude comes from having some life experience. Few people in their twenties and thirties are that liberated. Most of us spend the first half of our lives being far too concerned about the opinions of others.
It is only with age that you realize that the people who are the most critical of you are the ones who are the most flawed. It took me a long time to see clearly that the people who were most critical of me were incredibly screwed up. And it was only then that I realized that it was foolish to listen to their opinions.
So, if you want to truly take advantage of these blessed “middle years,” stop caring about what other people think. Make this a turning point to politely but firmly tell others to keep their opinions to themselves. And if they can’t, find better people to hang out with.

In our youth-obsessed culture, we have a difficult time celebrating middle age. But truth be told, being middle aged is wonderful. There is not enough money that you could pay me to go back and be 25 again. Take advantage of this time in your life. It can be incredibly exciting and a time of enormous personal growth, if you approach it in the right way.

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