Reintegrate Into Life
Life may not be all we wanted it to be.
That’s a realization every middle-aged person wakes up to one fine day… and lives with for many years.
Where did all our dreams go?
The question haunts and taunts you. Keeps you awake late into the night, or awakens you in the early morning hours. Pops up inconveniently at odd times throughout your work day, sapping energy and kindling nostalgia for the “good old” past.
The cure to this ‘problem’ is reintegration.
A gradual, jerky, uncertain process of figuring out where we are now.
A journey to regain a sense of purpose and identity that may have shifted and changed from an earlier period, when our hearts were young and free!
On our daily evening walk, my daughter and I explored this process.
I kicked off the discussion with a comment.
“Somewhere around the age of 40, you realize life isn’t all that you hoped or expected it to be when you were younger.”
You fought well for the things you wanted.
You won some. You lost some.
You got some. You missed out on others.
And while you could choose to feel bad or sad about stuff that didn’t work out… you might also choose to focus instead on what you did manage to achieve.
Your life won’t be any different.
In fact, it’s absolutely the same.
But how you see your life will change.
My young chip-off-the-old-block challenged me back with this question:
“If you accept that life just happens to you, then won’t that kill all motivation? People will just exist!”
“No. That won’t happen. Because, think about it this way… If you hadn’t tried, hadn’t put in an effort, would you have got the things you did?”
“And without those things, would your life have been as good as it is today?”
“Hmm… maybe not.”
“So, if you go for whatever you want, like or dream about, you may not get all of them… but you will get a few of them.
Or even many of them.
And those things you get will make your life better. That will always remain your motivation.”
She nodded slowly.
And then I pulled my knockout punch!
“The nicest bit is that you’ll only try hard for the things you actually want – and not stuff that OTHERS think, feel or decide you ought to want!”
The process of middle aged reintegration has this amazing upside.
If you’re smart and perceptive, seize the opportunity to redefine what truly matters in the frame of “my choices, not yours”.
Then it can become a pivot point where you transform your future to be meaningful and fulfilling to the person who most needs to feel that way…