Life Reimagined: The Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife
As many of you know, I am an avid reader. I recently read Life Reimagined: The Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife by Barbara Bradley Hagerty. It is a new favorite of mine! I also had the opportunity to interview Hagerty on the TODAY Show.
In her book, Hagerty mentions there is no such thing as an inevitable midlife crisis. Rather, midlife can be a great new adventure! She sites neurology, psychology, biology, genetics, sociology, and her own personal story of midlife to help readers reshape and understand their health, relationships and even futures.
Hagerty explains that the midlife is about renewal with focus on two transformative elements:
1. Sense of Purpose
People with a purpose driven life are more likely to take care of their health, getting checked out for high cholesterol and for various cancers such as breast, prostate and colon. They also spend significantly less time in the hospital. A sense of purpose does not necessarily have to be volunteering for a good cause. It can be something like being an avid gardener or a vivacious reader. This point really resonated with me. I immediately thought of my mother-in-law. She is 83 and you would never know it! Being a supportive and active grandmother gives her purpose. She fills her days attending the soccer games, dance recitals, and school activities of my four younger children. Having a strong reason to get up, get dressed in the morning, and stay active all day surely enhances her health and keeps her feeling rejuvenated.
2. Refocusing relationships
A clear theme emerged from people who are thriving during the middle third of life. Relationships moved into the foreground, as career and other accomplishments receded into the distance. As a life gets hectic with kids, career, and family, people tend to let go of relationships. Relationships provide support and engagement when life can get you down. And, it is not the quantity of social connections, but the quality of those connections adds years to life.