Lately you've been
feeling sadder than normal and everything anyone close to you does sends you
into an unexplained fit of rage. You can't quite put your finger on it because
this isn't your normal PMS stuff. You're not pregnant and at 34 you're too
young to be going through a midlife crisis. That's usually for women in their
late forties and fifties going through menopause, right? But wait a minute, are
you really too young to be having an early midlife crisis?

By definition, a
midlife crisis is "a period of dramatic self-doubt that is felt by some
individuals in the "middle years" of life, as a result of sensing the
passing of youth and the imminence of old age. Sometimes, transitions
experienced in these years, such as aging in general, menopause,
the death of parents, or children leaving home, can trigger such a
crisis. The result may be a desire to make significant changes in core aspects
of day to day life or situation, such as in career, marriage, or romantic
relationships." (Source:
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/midlife%20crisis)

Okay,
that makes sense and it can apply at any age. One doesn't necessarily have to
be the "standard" midlife crisis age which is estimated to be around
46 to experience a period of dramatic self-doubt. But now let's take a look at
the word "crisis":

"2: the decisive moment (as in a
literary plot)
3 a: an
unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is
impending;
especially : one with
the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome
<a financial crisis> b: a
situation that has reached a critical phase
<the environmental crisis>" (Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crisis)

Now considering that the word crisis has several different meanings,
let's examine its origin. The word "crisis" is "via Latin from
the Greek krisis decision, from krinein
to decide". (Source: The Penguin English Dictionary).

The roots
here have to do with making a decision. And even in one of the modern
definitions it states "…a decisive change is impending". It all boils
down to a decision. So I think it is fair to say that instead of a midlife
catastrophe, which is how many of us view this period in life, it is truly a
midlife decision.

As we say
goodbye to our youthful years in number only (there is no rule that says that
just because you're middle age that you cannot be youthful physically, mentally
or spiritually) we are faced with what appears to be many decisions, but it's
really just one big one that counts and sets the tone for all of the other
little decisions that are to come. And that one crucial decision? You must
decide if you are going to embrace your aging and this second phase of life
with love, acceptance and grace, or are you going to crumble and fall victim to
the societal standards that have been set for the transition into the middle
age years?

Feeling like
an emotional soufflé that can cave at any given second if someone looks at you
the wrong way is tough to manage; especially when you don't know the source of
the feelings. Trust me, I know. However,
it isn't impossible.

So your
car wouldn't start yesterday evening right before ballet and karate practice,
but it worked just fine when you picked the kids up from school. In that
moment, did you decide to fall apart, speaking words of defeat and dwelling in
a lack mentality over the thought of how much the repairs are going to run you
and how you just know your husband is going to bombard you with accusatory
questions? Or, did you take a deep breath and decide that it is what it is and
you'll do what you have to do to keep moving forward?

Our
decisions in any given moment can stop us cold in our tracks – complaining,
getting angry and speaking defeat – or, they can continue to propel us forward
if we decide to not be stopped by frustration, fear and what appears to be a
setback. It's all a choice.

So as you
assess your current state of emotions and try to decipher if you're just having
a down day, or if this past month of "down days" could be the onset
of an early midlife "decision" will you decide to throw yourself a
pity party and wallow in your own self-loathing? Or, will you decide to
celebrate this new phase in your life and look at each challenge as an
opportunity to learn and grow and be the victor in your life experiences
instead of the victim? The choice is yours.

In Celebration,

Signature