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Living Midlife With A Purpose

Well, I'm here. I'm a midlifer. Actually, I've been here for a while. Apparently, midlife is considered to be between the ages of 40 and 60, so at 51 that puts me in the midst of midlife. What does that mean anyway?

Maybe for some, it's nothing more than a period of years, as in halfway between 0 and 100. Technically, though, for each person that will vary because we won't all live to be 100 (hence the range from 40 - 60). And, since we don't typically know when we will die, we think about it in general terms. That sounds just fine to me. I hope to live to be 100 anyway (if God is willing), so thinking I am halfway there is pretty nice!

Back to being midlife. What does that mean? As far as looks go, I suppose I look a bit older. I don't have a lot of negatives - the creases by my eyes are laugh lines, moles are beauty marks, I have a few extra love handles, and God has given me some natural highlights in my hair. Not a big deal. ;) I'm pretty healthy too - I've only had skin cancer and precancer (skin) removed twice, my cholesterol was higher but is now normal, I have lost some of those love handles, and menopause seems to be over (5 years was way too long). Regarding family - the kids have all grown up and have families of their own now. It's just my husband, the dog, and myself here at the house. Is this what midlife is all about... aging and changing family dynamics? I think there's more.

Besides the physical changes taking place in this stage of life, I think there's a great opportunity for spiritual changes to take place too. I know that, for me, no matter how much I thought I was focusing on my spirituality when my kids were young, it doesn't even compare to the focus I have now that they are no longer young and at home. My time is more my own now, and I can soak in and give more personal attention to God's Word. It's been a wonderful time of spiritual growth!

Whether one is employed or retired, healthy or sickly, has children at home or is an empty nester, or is experiencing any other situation, I think midlife offers the perfect chance to find a new and greater purpose. We can do so much with the time we have left. We can exchange bad habits for good ones, focus on bettering ourselves and helping others, we can spend more time with our Heavenly Father, and so much more because we know we're getting closer to that inevitable end of life. It's a time when the little things in life start to take on newer, and maybe more urgent, importance.

In a couple of weeks, I'll turn 52. I'm quickly inching my way to the end of midlife and into the beginning of the next phase. I'm not sure what will be in store for me at that point, but right now I get to enjoy where my focus is as I live my midlife with a purpose!

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