Thoughts on The Age of Miracles: Embracing the New Midlife
In an effort to anticipate the next phase of my life and make the most of the current one, I have been listening to inspirational and spiritual audiobooks targeted at people–especially women–who are 10 to 15 years my senior.
Many of them are writing now because they’ve come through a difficult period, gone deep within to analyze the lessons, and are now sharing the regrets of my current and next life phases but has not yet traveled there. Funny, but it’s like having a wise older sister to give me an edge so I don’t have to learn the lessons too late for myself.
The most recent “big sister” came in the form of Marianne Williamson’s audiobook, The Age of Miracles, a follow-up to her popular work on A Course in Miracles. Just some of her points that I’ve thought about before, paraphrased, with my own thoughts added:
* We seem to be aging differently and experiencing time differently. If 40 is the new 30, that’s great…except that we don’t seem to be reaching the same level of spiritual maturity as previous generations at these points either. Williamson says it’s because we have more stuff to work through and it’s taking us longer. Maybe that’s why we’re reaching puberty earlier and mid-life later. We need more time.
* Appreciating falling in love. It’s not that women over 40 can’t fall madly in love again, as crazy in love as a 17-year-old. I’ve proven that at least once myself. However, women over 40 have seen love come and go enough to realize that those giddy first-love feelings don’t stay permanently giddy and they know how to relish that feeling when it’s in the moment. It’s all that much more important when you know how ephemeral that initial burst of in-love feelings is.
* All relationships will end. None are permanent. Even the longest, happiest relationship will end in death. In some ways, that’s an unsettling thought, but a reminder to enjoy what’s presented for while you have it.
* The “heat” of women at mid-life. I’ve been considering how some women seem to become more dominant with age, even when they were very submissive when young. It comes from a sense of comfort with themselves. Williamson amused me, explaining that young women will tell a guy, “Oh, yeah, give it to me–I’ll do anything for that,” whereas a woman at mid-life is like, “Hmmm, that was nice. But what else have you got?” Guys have to work harder to please a woman at mid-life and in more ways than one. That’s because while a man spreads his genetic seed, a woman spreads her spiritual seed, according to Williamson. A younger woman may conceive a physical child while a woman with maturity will help the man conceive “himself.” I really like that idea.