I didn’t think about midlife much. No one ever talked about it. I just basically figured that I’d work a reasonable job, have a nice life with a complete family, and then retire. I didn’t know how to do that, but I figured surely all I had to do was try my hardest and not be too stupid. Then the decline felt more like a slower coast. But the image was always calm and unburdened.

Well, I have come to decide for myself that it is not a decline. That is undetermined and massively influenced by our understanding of what’s possible and what resources lie untapped within us.

In fact, regardless of decline, it is a definitive spiritual, and even a physiologically based opening. An undeniable opportunity for expansion. And there’s no telling what may rise up within us if we honor that.

Here is why I consider it an opportunity:

Hormones: Hot flashes get a lot of play in the midlife space. But consider this: Aside from not having a period for the first time since we can remember, there are some very interesting benefits of the shifting of hormones at midlife: don’t care, see things as they are, equal with men.

We think a lot about empty nest, or the isolation of retirement or divorce, and other feelings that boundaries can bring, but what is also true is that these circumstances offer (we are amidst) a tremendous amount of release of responsibilities and identities. Yes, it’s unnerving and seems less preferable than our familiar roles, but it is an undeniable opportunity to let go of what used to be, and see what shows up. We have been showing up for everyone else.

We are at our wisest right in this moment. God damn we are powerful. Look at what you’ve accomplished in your life, the skills you’ve learned, the connections you’ve made, the knowledge you possess and humanity you’ve stewarded in your spaces of influence. The assholes you’ve handled. You.Are.A.Badass. Is there a better time to reinvent and design the second half of your life?

There is a drive. An itch that needs to be scratched. That is the sound of opportunity.

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