From time to time, BoomerCafé publishes stories of reinvention and renewal. That describes author and psychotherapist Laura Lee Carter, a.k.a. The Midlife Crisis Queen, to a tee; after a tough transition in her mid-40s, she became a writer at age 50. Writing from Ft. Collins, Colorado, she says it led to a much better life. And it leads her to counter the question, Are Boomers A Bummer?
Among the many lovely reviews of my new book about boomer psychology and personal change, one stood out. It said that the first 40% of the book was “dark and negative.” The reviewer called me a ‘Debbie Downer.’
I immediately looked back at those “dark and negative” pages. They contained a summary of the results of years of research on where we came from historically as a generation, and what we therefore share emotionally as Boomers.
Yes, research shows we do exhibit more clinical depression and substance abuse than our parents’ generation. In our lifetimes, we have seen a gigantic cultural shift away from some powerful social institutions like marriage, and towards authenticity and personal choice.
So what was the point of my book? To make us all aware of the challenges we share, while also sharing the good news: Boomers have the intelligence, courage and creativity to make the most of this amazing time we share in human history.
Unlike our parents, most of us have the time in midlife to stop, take a good look at our lives thus far, and make some important changes.
New research suggests that those of us who possess attributes like openness, a tendency to be more unconventional than others, and a strong desire for uniqueness, can convert criticism and crisis into creativity.
[Laura Lee Carter's book - Find Your Reason To Be Here: The Search For Meaning In Midlife - is available from Amazon.com.]
I know that when the crises arrived in my mid- 40s, I found great opportunity. The loss of a marriage or a job and career create no small trauma. But these challenges turned out to be just what I needed to invest in a major life do-over.
Luckily, as a Boomer, I had time to absorb the trauma which shattered my belief system, challenging most previous assumptions. I found midlife to be the perfect time to go in search of new purpose and meaning, and I am absolutely not alone in this experience!
Yes, millions of us may struggle in midlife, and some might fault us for that. But I find great beauty in rediscovery and reinvention. This is just an example of our courage and creativity at work.
No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress, you’re still way ahead of everyone who isn’t even trying. ~ Tony Robbins