I was reading a blog by Sarah A. Hoyt (Yes, the SF writer) that made me stop and think about how we all have to stop and take a look at where we are in life on a regular basis. http://accordingtohoyt.com/2012/08/02/im-not-that-guy
This is the response I posted on her blog.
I think many of us of a certain age go through that whole process you wrote about, no matter what career they chose and what kind of “fame” it creates – or not. We reach the point of self evaluation through many avenues, but at some point, unless very shallow or so lost in depression etc., it tends to happen.
I think it comes in stages throughout life. In our teens, we grow up and have to decide what the next step will be. In our 20’s we are striving to learn a multitude of talents to reach the step we decided on, often changing course and objectives along the way. In our 30’s we are generally in a long term relationship and having our children. Another big step for most of us because having kids is a very scary thing.
Then we hit 40. Oh boy, 40 . . . how the heck did that happen? It’s OK, because by then we have settled into house, home, career, relationship, and it is a good time to either cruise through the next ten years or re-evaluate our choices and decisions. Most of us re-evaluate, and either stay where we are because we are happy with our choices, or we panic and decide on a mid-life crises (women too), or, many of us realize that life is passing by fast, and we are no where near where we want to be in life.
I’m pushing 60 now. And looking back, I can honestly say I did the mid-life crises thing by going off to England to complete my doctorate. Life stepped in, however, and at the loss of our eldest son, we became parents to his one year old daughter. I had to re-evaluate big time at this juncture in my life.
So, at the age of 41, I was a new mom, and just to make things crazier, my husband and I decided to work our way around the world. We moved back to England, on to Hong Kong, and finally to New Zealand before coming home to the US nearly eight years later. It was worth it, every moment.
Now my granddaughter is 18, going to college, in a long term relationship, and expecting her first child. Holy CATS! I am going to be a great grandmother at the age of 58. Time to re-evaluate again.