April 9, 2013 by John D'oh!
What is normal and to be expected as we move into our 40s and 50s? What do most boomers have in common psychologically, simply because of their place in American history? Myths and misinformation abound, but what do we know for sure?
How did the boomers’ place in American history shape us psychologically? Have we become the “gloomiest generation”? What shared experiences in our formative years shaped the way we see and experience our world today? Why are depression, substance abuse and suicide so prevalent in our age group? What is the psychological legacy of the baby boomers?
After tiring of too much hype and not enough substance, I went in search of the facts, and found so much more than I ever expected! Boomers share more than we know, partially because we are the largest age cohort in American history. That translated into intense job/career competition and also increased unemployment, especially among those born after 1954. We are also the first generation to face intense daily commercialism everywhere we turn, constant distraction and easy access to credit cards and skyrocketing debt. Why save up when you can have it now?
Many of us have experienced major losses in our lives. What can we learn from loss that can uniquely benefit us in the long run? How can the experience of chronic illness, divorce, job loss, or the death of a loved one inadvertently provide us with new openings for hope that were not there before? How can the experience of loss, fear and uncertainty transform us, providing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to find new meaning and excitement about our lives?
This was my personal quest, to understand how changes in perception, often brought on by midlife change between the ages of 40 and 60, can either destroy our will to continue, or create the ideal environment for radical personal change.
After studying the works of a number of prominent psychologists, I learned exactly how normal and predictable this new psychological stage in healthy human development is. Midlife is a natural rite of passage where we have the choice to transition from our young adult identity to full psychological adulthood. Through raised awareness of aging and loss, we tire of being what everyone else needs us to be, and then gather the tools to go in search of our true selves.
Unfortunately, when this occurs, too many of us feel isolated, confused, misunderstood and marginalized, when this passage should be celebrated as a time to come into our own power, embrace what is unique within us and begin contributing anew.
In my new book, Find Your Reason to Be Here: The Search for Meaning in Midlife, I offer the information you need to fully understand and appreciate this important new stage in adult development. Do not miss out on this ripe opportunity for personal change. You deserve understanding, support, and encouragement as you finally make the decision to become who you are inside!
See on www.huffingtonpost.com
- Once a Boomer, Always a Boomer: Best of Boomer Blogs #303 (sobabyboomer.com)
- Mutually Assured Devotion – New Yorker (mamblahg.wordpress.com)
- 10 Things That Will Make You Stronger in Midlife (tomfit247.com)