There is something interesting about the expression middle age; what comes to your mind if you read it? I am in my early 40s and consider myself middle-aged. I think there is something unique about this period. I have seen some studies that have shown that life satisfaction is dropping for many when they are in their mid-30s, and a low is reached sometime in the early 40s. Luckily, from there happiness is on a steady recovery path pretty much into old age.
Take your body. Up to the age of around 30 many of us have to do very little to maintain a great body. We eat, we drink, pull all-nighters, you name it, yet the body just looks perfect. But then reality strikes and you actually have to do something, in most cases you actually have to do a lot to maintain the same sexy body. Self-discovery is a little bit like it. In your early years you just are, without thinking much about yourself. But then, at some point you have to figure out what life is all about: Who are you? What is your soul trying to tell you? What have your foes and your friends to teach you? Why do some occurrances happen over and over to you? I would call this experience the fine-tuning phase. A spiritual diet and excercise regime if you wish. Some get to it earlier in life, some later, but we all seem to stumble upon it sooner or later.
But once you adjust, you are literally born again. I am sure this experience is unique for everyone very much like the struggles before were. Personally, I was wondering whether Tim McGraw's recent song was about this realization of being born again as well:
He said I was in my early forties
with a lot of life before me
when a moment came that stopped me on a dime
and I spent most of the next days
looking at the x-rays
Talking bout the options
and talking about sweet time
I asked him when it sank in
that this might really be the real end
how it hits you when you get that kinda news
man what would you do?
And he said
I went sky diving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named fumanchu
and I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter
and I gave forgiveness I had been denying
and he said someday I hope you get the chance
to live like you were dying.
He said I was finally the husband
that most the time I wasn't
and I became a friend a friend would like to have
and all the sudden going fishin
wasn't such an imposition
and I went three times that year I lost my dad
well I finally read the good book
and I took a good long hard look
at what I would do if I could do it all again.
Like tomorrow was a gift and you got eternity to think about
what would you do with it what did you do with it?