February Newsletter: Are you Transitioning from Adulthood to Elderhood?
As my first newsletter on the subject of transitioning from adulthood to elderhood, I wish to say that I had no idea it existed when I lived through it myself. Around 55 or so, I started feeling restless, that something was missing in my life although I had a great husband, work, home, family and friends. As I started to research the subject matter, however, I realized how common was my experience. I also realized how taking the time to delve into this transition can be life-altering.
If you are experiencing feeling out of sync in one or more areas of your life at this transition point (usually between 50 to 65 years of age), you will want to read further.
Transitioning from Adulthood to Elderhood
This particular transition is significant as we move towards the completion of our life. We become more drawn to and seek what is meaningful, authentic and has substance. It is therefore important to stop at this juncture to reflect and take stock of our life so far:
- what is no longer working
- what has ended/ending, no longer relevant
- what lessons have we learned so far, to uncover our wisdom
From the foundation of our wisdom, we can then look at:
- what is now emerging
- what brings meaning and fulfillment
- what is left for us to experience, express and contribute.
One Foot in Adulthood
As we start this transition, we have one foot remaining in adulthood where our focus has been on:
- Career: where we expanded our experience and expertise, working our way up or looking for opportunities in our field of expertise
- Family life: where many of us got married, had children and focused on the development of our children
- Personal life: where we developed a sense of who we are, our character, our personality, how we related to others, who we engaged with i.e. friends, colleagues, family
- Material wants/needs: where most of us accumulated more things, initially starting small and over the years became bigger: homes, cars and accumulation of various stuff
Moving into Elderhood
As we start the transition into elderhood, we have been in the adult aspect of life for 25 to 30 years, very comfortable there, where we have come into the fullness of who we are. As a result, few of us are really aware or paying attention that we may be shifting into something else. We therefore continue to experience the above-noted adult wants and needs but start to feel/sense the gradual shift/pull towards something else. Often these symptoms or shifts start showing up:
- for some, what we used to love, we don’t any more or much less. For example, the types of movies or programs we want to see, the types of conversations we want to have, the quality of relationships
- our relationship with our adult children are shifting from care-giving to mentoring
- concerns with what we’ll do in retirement that is satisfying
- realizing being constantly very busy is no longer desirable nor sustainable
- what matters to our heart/soul starts speaking louder than our mind
- concerns about aging – our relationship to our aging body/mind
- a sense of urgency regarding the quality of our life, sensing/feeling we have much less time in front than behind us
- change in focus from action to reflection and what is meaningful
- facing that certain aspects of our life is out of sync with who are now/becoming
- a ‘dark night of the soul’ where feeling empty and disconnected with Life
- experiencing our life is not contributing to something worthwhile
- sense/feel Life wants us to either express something that was ignored or that is different
- at a loss of what is next in our life
We may not always be aware that this is happening underneath the surface. At times it feels more like a general malaise.
I’ll have more to say in my March Newsletter.
How Do You Relate to This?
For those of you who are in this transition, I would love to hear from you:
- what are you are going through regarding what I mentioned above, what you are experiencing in this transition?
- do you feel/ sense something is different inside of you even though you may not quite know what it is?
- how do you feel/sense about growing old – are you comfortable with it, avoiding it or fighting it?
Ready to Engage?