The moment we hear about mid-life crisis, the first few words come to our mind is financial burden, stagnant career or a disturbed married life.
What is mid-life crisis? It is nothing but a normal transition in one’s life generally about the 40’s. During this period most people reach a responsible position, both in personal and professional life. This transition looks like a crisis because we are playing multiple roles. In personal life, we need to be a parent and have formed a clear view as to how we want to raise our child /children. At the same time, we are playing a role of a son/daughter to parents/in-laws who are going through an old age. Usually parents who were our pillar of strength, start becoming fragile both physically and emotional. There is also a high financial need at this stage of life, retirement plan to children education and health insurances take a major chunk of our earnings. Here are few tips to have a mid-life transitions rather a crisis:
Reach out for help
Be it personal or professional life, delegation is the key. At work, learn to delegate which not only gives you time but also an opportunity for your team to learn and grow. At home, outsource chores which are possible, teach your kids to be independent. Simple tasks like laundry can be delegated to kids. Discuss with your spouse on your work schedules and accordingly divide family responsibilities.
Spend quality time with family
Spending quality (not quantity) time with family and kids goes a long way in a relationship. Even if you are able to take out only 30 minutes/day for family ensure you are not distracted by phone calls or messages. Give your undivided attention for those 30 minutes. If you are unable to make for our child’s annual day at school or missed to go out for dinner on your anniversary, it is fine you can make up later. These are more Bollywood hyped responsibilities than the real ones. Talk it out, if you have differences with your spouse, instead of sending lame jokes on wife/husband on a family WhatsApp group.
Prioritise financial needs
Yes, it is tempting to upgrade your phone or car but do prioritise your finances at this transition stage. Savings are important but that does not mean that you are not allowed have fun. Create a balance, every outing need not be at malls and every meal need not be at a speciality restaurant. Take it easy if you have not been able to save in your 20’s or 30’s, remember it is never too late. Making a list of your priorities and not splurging, can be a good start. Buying a home at 50 is not considered late, it is just doing things at the pace you want to.
It is important for you to relax and recover. Taking a day off and doing nothing is definitely a good start. However, if there is a hobby or you want to learn something new, go for it. But make sure this hobby has nothing to do with your responsibilities (don’t use it as a second income). Just do it for yourself and have some fun while you learn. Yoga/gym or music can be good start. At this transition stage we are introduced to diabetes, back aches, insomnia etc. Do watch out your lifestyle and medical needs, but there is no need to overdo it.
Discovering through LinkedIn that your batch mate is a now a CEO now, definitely adds some anxiety. But that does not mean you are incompetent; you do not know the entire story of your batch mate. So, work on your goals slowly and steadily and at your own pace. Remember we all have unique capabilities and have our own pace, don’t burn yourself to compete with someone you hardly know.
At the end, do not use mid-life crisis as an excuse to shy away from your responsibilities for self and family. Seek help when needed from your family, friends, counsellor, therapist and make best out of this transition. After all 40 is the new 20 , you see