The phrase prime of life was used 2300 years ago by Aristotle who saw midlife as the ideal time in life when we are most balanced between the excesses of youth and age. He called this equilibrium the “golden mean” of life – not naively optimistic, but realistically so, expecting life to be hard but still believing in the ultimate triumphs of good, still passionate about our beliefs and values.
Midlife is the old age of youth and the youth of old age. We are standing on the threshold of a “new youth.” This second chance is called midlife.
Midlife is a normal developmental life stage. It’s essentially positive and has the specific goal of facilitating the process of becoming a whole person. You can’t avoid it, just live long enough and it will come to you.
No one avoided adolescence so you won’t avoid midlife. It may be denied but not escaped. Adolescence was meant to transform you from a child to an adult and never meant to be fun. Midlife is also meant to transform you. The midlife experience provides an opening to psychological and spiritual growth
In life we have two major identity crises. The first, occurring in adolescence, is to establish an identity. You must get a sense of who you are. The second identity crisis is at midlife when you must give up who you think you are so you can become who you were meant to be. This transition is not easy and is greatly resisted. Midlife is ultimately about the search for true meaning in life. Whenever we ask about meaning we have asked a spiritual question. Midlife is an opportunity for an awakening into a deeper spirituality.