Okay, here we are. Somewhere in the middle of our life and in the middle of a divorce. (Before we get any farther, let’s realize that the definition of midlife is in flux and can be anywhere from 35 – 75 because of lots of things that are happening culturally. I have had women from 32 to 77 in my RADiCAL support groups.) The fact is, some of us are in the middle of menopause, too. I went through menopause in my early-mid forties. As much as you feel as if your life is careening uncontrollably downhill if you are experience divorce plus menopause, let’s just stop a minute and understand that this can very well be the beginning of something unexpectedly good. Really. Keep reading!
Here’s how Luann Brizendine, MD, author of bestselling The Female Brain looks at it: “At menopause, the female brain is nowhere near ready to retire. As a matter of fact, many women’s lives are just hitting their peak.” Many women are taking a second look at life. Research in books like The Female Brain remind us that when kids become more independent, the “mommy” brain disconnects a little so that midlife, even menopausal women are ready for new, more personally exhilarating adventures. After our kids are on their way, it seems many of us begin to want to do new things ourselves.
A midlife divorce takes that process and sends you racing down that hill whether you’re ready for it or not. If you had decided on your own to look at life with new eyes, the process would not be so abrupt and disruptive … it would be a more normal progression. But because of our unexpected divorce, we are forced to create new goals on a pressured timetable … we are forced to expand and rethink things, and we have to do it NOW!
Obviously, there is more stress because we suddenly have more responsibility for everything from finances to mowing the lawn. However, that doesn’t mean our new life can’t be just as wonderful as it would have been had we gone looking for it on our own. In fact, sometimes being forced to do something is the quickest way to get where we want to be.
If you are in midlife (divorce or no divorce), now is the time for an adventurous new look at the future. Who knows, your personal peak may just be coming into view! So instead of being discouraged, look forward to this opportunity to create a new and better and more adventurous, fun life. God himself reminds us, it can absolutely be our most grace-filled rewarding time yet!
“So we’re not giving up. How could we? Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us; on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 (The Message)