When does mid-life being? Technically? The average life expectancy of an American woman is 81.2 years. Mid-life should be around 40 years old. Some people delay crisis until 50, because it seems that at 50 one realizes the chances of living to be 100 are quite slim, and life is half-over. I mean, Smucker’s Jelly celebrates these unique individuals that reach 100 on their own segment on the Today show, after all. It’s not normal to reach 100. Or 90. But if we’re lucky, we’ll get to 80. 81.2 on average.
So, what do we do with this knowingly short gift of time? How do we spend the long days that pass slowly into the weeks that gain momentum as they become months and ultimately whiz by in the form of years? When someone asks, “what’s new?” Is there ever a right answer? Everything is new, and yet nothing has really changed at all. Or so it seems.
Sometimes we move at such speeds we don’t notice the changes within us, around us and in those we love. We miss signs of hurt and rejection. We don’t take time to appreciate growth and beauty. If it isn’t on the agenda, then there isn’t time for it. We don’t want to be delayed. We can’t afford to get off-schedule.
We’re in a hurry, but for what? What’s the end goal? What’s the prize? Ultimately it’s eternal peace. I mean, really. But life is chunked out into little sections. It makes life more manageable. Finish school. Find a job. Find a partner. Maybe have some kids. Buy a house. Make some money. Retire. Enjoy the best of what you can in the years when your body is failing and falling apart; gravity pulling you down into the earth.
We admire those who are carefree. We admire those who take chances. It’s not for us, but it’s good for them. My yoga instructor gave up the intention to live purely in the moment for even one hour a day. It’s not so easy to do. After all, there are places to go. But tick, tock. Let’s try.