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How I handled my midlife crisis

Updated on March 22, 2014
Some days are just grey, in "midlife crises" it might go for every day. Source my own photos.
Some days are just grey, in "midlife crises" it might go for every day. Source my own photos.

Turning 40

This year, I will turn 40, and I have heard of some people undergoing a midlife crisis. If you asked me ten years ago, I would probably had answered that that is just humbug. Today, I am not so sure anymore. I’m getting off to a new track in life, but it has been some tough years, a long emotional roller coaster.

What is the difference between being 30 and 40 years old? I have come up with several answers that I believe can be applied to people other than me, and hopefully my insights will be helpful.

I begin with a short look back

Just before I turned 30, I had my first child. A few years later, her sister arrived. During that period, I enjoyed every moment. I was really happy. I stayed home for some years like most Swedish people do. Then, I got back to work. I still was happy, but a frustration was growing inside of me. What is the point of having children if we can't spend time with them? I realized, of course, I had to make some money to keep my children alive, and provide them with clothes and other necessary things.

Five years ago, my husband and I divorced, which was a difficult period in my life. It is a huge loss to see your children just half of the time. We share their time equally and I spend time with my children every second week. The good part is that the three of us, my daughters and I, are really close-bonded. I spend as much time as I possibly can with them and I chose them first, always. We are like ”The Three Musketeers.”

A couple of years ago I felt more and more frustration. I thought to myself: Is this it? Where am I heading now? I have a great job, both demanding and challenging. I have my fantastic children. But what's next? I just felt empty as if I had lost something.

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What's the issue?

When looking closer into my issues, I began to realize some important things. In times of frustration, I always tend to feel down for a period, and then I start dealing with my situation, step by step. That is where I start from now.

First thing I did was to analyze and determine what problem was the source of my frustration. I will share my result with you and I hope you find some of this useful.

There will be no more babies for me

I will always be a mother of two children, fantastic of course, but my dream as a girl was to have a bunch of children and a noisy large family. There is something sad about facing the fact that my fertile days will end soon. I’m no longer married and there will be no more babies. It’s the end of a part of my life that I really have enjoyed.

I am no longer satisfied with my work

I used to love my work. I have gone through a lot of career steps on the way. Now I have realized that all this does not feel important. All stress and late hours. Time taken from my children. This is not what I wanted in life. It might sound like an absurd problem, but it gives me stomach pain and worries me a lot. It feels like a waste of my life.

So many possibilities

In today’s world, we all face the fact that we must succeed. Life is a performance to show how great we are. We have so many choices to make. We read about all of the amazing things that people do. Sometimes I become so frustrated about not knowing my way… But is this important, right?

I don’t have goals for the future

When I was younger, I looked forward to getting married, having children, and buying a nice house. When I look back, I understand that all these things for me were "the purpose of life." Now, I don't have anything like that in front of me. I had placed all of those dreams behind me and when I was facing my 40s, I felt lost.

Finally, I seemed to have a clearer picture of the problems that caused my frustration. After reading about it now, it feels like no big deal, but it was just a year ago. The most important thing is to find out what's bothering us. Try to meet these things, process them and move forward. Life can rewind. We have to find life in front of us. It might come in the form of a new shape with new possibilities.

Life is a gift

I felt relieved after arriving to those conclusions. I could begin to act and walk stronger into the future. Thinking it all over, I still am really happy with being a mother of two fantastic girls. I have a wonderful home, a small garden where I can plant all my flowers. I go out taking photos for hours when my children are at their father’s house. I am so fortunate.

I decided to do something about my work situation. I will go back to school for a while and get my exam in pedagogy. My goal is to get back to a work that I'm dedicated to.

I believe now that every period in life has its purpose. As a young person, you look forward to a lot of things, but twenty years later you have to sit down in the middle of your life and learn to live. Just relax and enjoy. There is where I'm heading right now – to a more relaxed approach to life. I still have some challenges and obstacles in front of me, but that is part of a life too. It goes up and down, we have to learn how to enjoy the "ups.”

Life can be beautiful:) This is The Annecy lake i France. One of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Source my own photos.
Life can be beautiful:) This is The Annecy lake i France. One of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Source my own photos.
The forest brings happiness and magic to my life. Source my own photos.
The forest brings happiness and magic to my life. Source my own photos.
A wonderful moment by the Baltic Sea. Source my own photos.
A wonderful moment by the Baltic Sea. Source my own photos.

How to relax and enjoy life?

Today, when I feel really stressed, misunderstood or sad, I have some ways to deal with it. Here are a few small things to do in everyday life:


Nature

I love nature. I can’t never feel sad, frustrated or irritated when I am outside. To relax, I walk straight out in the forest. I bring my camera. I just listen to the silence and enjoy it. I can feel the presence of the trees, the wind and life. I feel pure happiness.

Water

I live near the ocean, and I always have. Just watching how waves move, like life itself, is calming. I feel safe, calm and satisfied.

Family

I spend time with my children, outdoors or indoors. We play games, take baths in my small bathtub, laughing and making jokes. A fun thing to do is to challenge each other to do something you have never done before. Simple things like just walk over a stone on the way to the store. Or change seats at the dinner table. It gives you some new perspectives :)

Photos

I can glance through photos for hours and hours. With Internet the possibilities are endless…

Conclusion

My point with all of these small things in everyday life is that we all have things that we enjoy doing. We have to try to do more of them and less of all the other stuff. Cleaning and washing must be done of course, but sometimes it feels good to do something else. :-)

I still struggle with doubts and I can feel sad for periods. But my perspectiveof life and what's important to me help me To get back on track. Life is a journeyand there are always new destinations and experiences. We have to handle every new place we go to with gratitude and curiosity.


Now go out and try the small things that make you smile!

© 2014 kerlund74

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    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 3 years ago from Midwest

      I can relate to a lot of your hub. I also divorced in my 30's. I'm remarried now, but my current partner doesn't want more children, and in all honesty neither do I at this point, yet it is still hard to face the fact that I am all done having babies :). I love my two boys immensely and they have been such an amazing aspect of my life that it is hard not to miss it - it goes by so fast. Now that I am settling in though, I think my 40's are going to be great. I don't obsess over things like I did in my 20's and 30's and am at the point now I can relax and enjoy life more. Like you, I think all points of life have their ups and downs. :)

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Yes, life tends to change now and then;) When that happens it can take a will to understand. We have to find our selves in all the new that has appered. Thank you for leaving your thoughts on me hub, appriciated!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      Ker this is indeed a must read hub.. but I go for that old Frank Sinatra Song Live Life until you die... great hub here voted awesome and sharing :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Nicely written hub that many of us can relate to. I'm finding that my 40s are much more awesome that the previous decade. It's just a transformation, an adjustment to new experiences. Best wishes as you hit your stride.

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Frank: I am glad to hear that:) A great way to live. Thank you for taking the time to comment!

      Flourich: I think it's just that we have to realize, that life goes in to new phases now and then, and don't struggle so much;) Thank's for commenting, mostly appriciated!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting hub, kerlund74. I like your conclusion - observing nature, taking photographs and spending time with family can all be comforting. Good luck in your forties!

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      AliciaC: first of all; thank you for kind comment and for taking time to read:) I hope for some great years to come, entering my "midlife":-)

    • Cre8tor profile image

      Dan Robbins 3 years ago from Ohio

      I'm getting there. The last few years I've felt as if, "Am I having a midlife crisis? Nah. Maybe..." so I'm not even sure but will certainly be keeping this Hub in mind as the process continues or begins...yea, I'm having a midlife crisis. I'm going back to read this again. :) Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Cre8tor: thank you for comment! I am glad if this can be useful for you.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      I don´t know if I really had a middlife crises. I only know that when I was 48 yrs. I change my life by moving to Ireland with my hubby and made a new life there while working at the new job that I had in the spa. I said to myself then when I became 50 that from that time on, "I´ll only do what I want to do" and I´m still doing that now. Life is precious and we don´t know when it ends. So, enjoy. Thanks for sharing your life story.

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Thank you Thelma for sharing and taking time to comment:) I think that we realize, as life goes on, that no one else will thank us for not doing what we want during our lifes. That is a great insight.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      I found this hub very relevant to me as I'm 3/4 of the way to 40. Yes, I was worried about not looking forward to things for awhile, but I have decided the most important thing to do is to relearn relaxing and enjoying life (sadly it hasn't been easy). I have also done the same as you in deciding not to have any more children, as the ones I have are a lot of work. I don't think I'll have a crisis, because I am finding things like Hubpages keep me busy, entertained and achieving. Voted useful!

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Thank you Suzanne for sharing your thoughts in this. We end up in these periods that force us to look att our lifes in new ways. I have, just like you, found much thing online to keep me busy:) My photos takes much of my time, and this HP seems to take some times as well...:)

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      At 57, I have had my mid-life crisis and sometimes I think I am still in it! You have some very good advice here! :)

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Thank you sgbrown:)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Personal experiences like yours are so helpful. We all want to know that there are others who feel the same way we feel...we all share the same emotions, and it really is helpful to know how others respond to troubling times. Well done; wonderful reflections and suggestions here. Best wishes to you my new friend.

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Thank you so much billybuc:) I think that most things do better with "real life experiences". Easier to understand and to assimilate. It also makes a story more vivid.

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 3 years ago from Upstate New York

      It takes a strong person to write about the weak moments of life. I relate to much of what you said here, and there is some comfort in knowing that others have come out of a crisis still standing and happy. Thanks for sharing this personal story.

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Thank you for taking time to comment. I think there is a value in be able to give some perspective and hope for better times.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 3 years ago from USA

      I think I've had several midlife crises, since I tend to reexamine my life when there has been a major change. They aren't necessarily bad though, since I get to examine what path I really want to take and take steps for corrections.

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Millionaire Tips: So true. I believe the crisis are good even if they can be really hard to deal with. But we develop our selves through crises and that is a good thing. Change can really be painful. Thx for taking time to comment:)

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Thanks for sharing these important feelings and you are right I am sure. Life does not seem quite so serious once we have tackled the hurdles and know we can do it, whatever may come. ^

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Thank you for taking time to read and writing a comment:-)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Excellent points here to deal with a mid life crisis. You have certainly made up your mind on this one.

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Yes, I hope so:) Thank you for your comment!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      How well I remember agonizing over certain stages and ages as they flew past. You've clearly described the mixed feelings we entertain as we live through different phases in our life. Twenty-five seemed so old - a quarter of a century - at the time. Now, how young it seems to me. You are vibrant and young at heart for as long as you remain so. That's what I keep telling myself anyway.

      I've always heard that life begins at forty. :)

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      PegCole; Maybe it does:) Thank you for sharing your experiences and thought about this!

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 3 years ago from India

      I feel myself very fortunate to have found you on hubpages. I feel a greater affinity with you about the approach and feelings toward life. You are so right that we must enjoy simple things coming on your way in life. Sometimes, I feel that we must vacate our mind of everything else, either loads of the past and expectations of the future and instead witness the goings on very calmly and peacefully. This attitude instills untold bliss into our mind and we usher in altogether a different kind of wonderful experience ! kerlund74, you have written a remarkable and useful piece that should be read by billions of people who are in search of happiness and peace. Well done, my dear friend. God bless and much happiness and all peace in life. :-)

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Thank you harishprasad. A wonderful and thoughtful comment:) Many of us should feel so much better living in the moment. Wee should find peace in life:-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I'm in my 40s and have been having a tough time the past few years, seeing more wrinkles, wondering where the past ten years have gone, figuring out what's important, what's next. Maybe this is my mid-life crisis? Thank for the hub. It was very insightful and encouraging.

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Thank you for sharing your experience, and for your comment:-)

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 3 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      Good hub; so relevant. I believe everyone goes through a "mid-life crisis." Some are more expensive than others. Some are mild and some are really life-changing, and not always in a good way! I read all the comments and I just have to smile -- you guys just wait. Wait until you have grandchildren and your life will suddenly have so much more purpose and joy! In the meantime, enjoy nature and all our wonderful hobbies and pursuits -- I myself love the mosaic art world and that's what I immerse myself in, when I'm not reading, painting, gardening, or having fun with my granddaughters!

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Sounds like your life turned out great:) I love your mosaic! I like you like gardening, soon spring is here and I will then be out all time when I'm off. Thank for taking time to read and leaving a great comment!

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 3 years ago

      I really do believe at different times of your life your go through changes and or mid life crisis. Having a family to watch grow and hobbies to explore opens up new doors never seen before. My wife is fifty and having no children of our own we spend lots of time with our God children and watching the changes brings us so much happiness. Having more time together to pursue many things we couldn't do when we were younger. Such an important hub dealing with real life situations and overcoming any problems. In the end loving your children and who you are personally rolled into one.

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Dream on; I appreciate that you share this, and thank you for reading and taking time to comment!

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      You sound like you are coming through it just fine and have found a lot of answers and contentment. I think we definitely all go through periods of wondering and then change.

      Interesting hub and your pictures are lovely. I think a lot of us can relate to the questions and feelings you described.

      Anna :)

    • kerlund74 profile image
      Author

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Anna: I hope so, that I am coming through just fine:) thank you for your lovely comment and for taking time to read:)

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