10 ways a midlife crisis can become a midlife opportunity
Anytime can be a time to reinvent yourself or expand your horizons. Why not today?
1. If you are a sandwich generation (aging parents and teenagers at the same time) study each generation
Be glad that you know more than the teenagers. Study the lives of you aging parents: what would you do differently? What would you do the same? How did your own teenage decisions put you where you are today: for better or worse? What advice would you give to your child?
2. At some point you will have more free time than you used to: be prepared for this and have something that you want to do
If you have been a parent there might be a big hole of time. If you are not aware of this as it is happening you may have an empty result of consumption.
3. See the oncoming years as targets for accomplishments
Some people look forward to turning 65 so they can retire. Don't be this person. Create goals for turning 55, 60, 65, 85, etc. you still have almost an entire lifetime left: make it count!
4. Use your free time to get in better shape
If you put on weight in your 30s and 40s, fix it. Do regular exercise. This will probably not be what you did in your 20s but keep moving.
5. Rediscover something that you used to enjoy and do it again: see if you still like it. If you don’t like that, find something else that you enjoy.
6. Create things
Make sculptures, art, music, write. You have lived a life: start your next one by becoming more creative.
7. Middle age can be a wake up call
You can be close to your peak physical, financial and social abilities in your 50s, 60s and even into your 70s. Don't squander these years.
8. Play the long game: what will your life look like when you are 85? 90?
If you don't have a vision or plan you will be blown like a leaf. You may wind up in the gutter.
9. View your life as a series of chapters that you get to write: and then write them.
The "High schooler," "parent of a preschooler" and "first job" chapters are probably long gone. Write some new ones! Reinvent yourself every few years with a new project or two. Not all chapters will be perfect, pleasant and fun; some can be downright terrible. Create new ones.
10. Place a high value on your time. Don’t waste it. Be present in life.
I had some personal problems and a near death health scare in the last 5 years. I have also seen the decline and passing of the generation older than me. It has made me very conscious and mindful of how I spend my time. I am on my cell phone a lot aggressively consuming and producing information (like right now). I also try to make time every day for nature without an audio book or video. I usually eat meals without a beverage or my phone so that I enjoy the food and eat more slowly.
11. Don’t compare yourself to others: compare yourself to the self of yesterday.
Some of my high school and college peers are rich and famous, others are dead or in jail. I am somewhere in the middle but comparison against anyone except myself is a recipe for unhappiness.