Midlife is a phase in everyone’s life. To start with, I was curious to find the start and end of midlife. An online search result defines midlife as the ‘wrong side of 40’. This was really shocking to me! What is meant by ‘wrong side’? On the road, if someone is on the wrong side, it means he or she is driving in the wrong direction, and can be fined for it. That’s my understanding. So here is the World Wide Web trying to make me understand that I am going in the wrong direction and I owe a penalty!!!
Now, when does midlife really start and when does it end? As I couldn’t get a clear answer, I decided to do a little maths.
Suppose we live up to 100 years. Oh no…maybe too much of an expectation?! OK, then let’s make it 80 years. Then according to mathematics, the median value (midpoint) is 40. So I fixed the start point as 40 years. The next challenge was fixing the end point of midlife. For this I took the easy way. I found the midpoint of the 40 to 80 years span, 60, and fixed that as the end point of midlife. I further felt that I need to have a name for the balance period. And so I called it ‘life after midlife’!
Many of us would have married before the age of 25. So by the time we are into midlife (the early forties for those who forgot!), the kids start leaving home and living on their own, for college or work. And leaving the nest empty!
I had the empty-nest feeling for the first time, when my son left home for college in 2012. After 3 years my daughter did the same. Suddenly I felt a vacuum and emptiness within. Initially I was depressed and frustrated. Later I realized that it was mainly because no one was available for me to control! 😉
The children were increasingly absorbed in their own lives. The feeling that my kids have become independent and they don’t need me any more slowly crept into my mind, and the realization that I am not wanted all the time like before struck me hard. Initially it was not easy for me to cope up with my empty nest, especially as I had become a full-time homemaker around the same time.
On the positive side, as a full-time homemaker and an empty nester, I ended up having a lot more time on my hands. So I started watching YouTube videos and blogs related to food, lifestyle, fitness, travel, fashion, beauty, and so forth. But I felt that the wavelength of my interests and the content of those blogs/vlogs were not in sync. I concluded that as a woman over 40, maybe I have become wiser and more mature 😉 and that’s why I could not relate to those videos.
Days passed by. One day I decided to rediscover who I was. Like any woman out there, I have been playing the roles of daughter, sister, cousin, friend and wife at various points in space and time. But after becoming a mom, I suppose, I slowly (and happily) started forgetting all the hobbies and interests I once had. I was enjoying life fully then. But now I realize that somewhere along the way I lost my identity to some extent too.
So, I decided to redefine myself. I started listing down all the hobbies, passions and interests that I once had. Then I started thinking: what do I want to be when (and if!) I ‘grow up’. 😉 What am I going to do with the rest of my life?
I prepared a list of options, and after analyzing it I was convinced that I didn’t want to go back to my corporate career which was my bread-and-butter for more than 20 years! Incidentally, interior decoration was always my passion. I never tired of spending hours and hours poring over books, periodicals, websites, Pinterest, and so on. But I had no clue about where to start and how to follow my passion on my own. That was when my son planted the seed in my mind about starting a blog myself. And what better topic than my passion, Interior Decoration.
I lost my father unexpectedly in 2016. That completely transformed my outlook of life. I was completely lost and I had no clue how to come out of it. My father was everything to me: my hero, teacher, inspiration and best friend. I still miss him badly. Usually midlife is when many of us lose our parents.
So, though I had started my Interior Decoration blog 2 years ago, due to these unexpected happenings, I could not do full justice to it. I haven’t launched that blog even now (November 2017) because it is still in its infancy. Now I am thinking of slowly building it up from where I dropped it. (You can have a sneak peek at my first blog at www.minteriordecor.com)
In the meantime, to have a positive diversion from the loss of my father, I joined some online classes on Machine Learning, and thus I started a technical blog too. (www.mineetha.com)
Now I am a happy empty nester full of hopes and dreams about myself. Never in my wildest dreams did I have the idea that I would become a full-time blogger! I had never ever thought of doing anything outside of my professional field. We never know where life will take us. Whatever you do and wherever you are, always listen to the inner voice and follow your passion. Thus we can make our empty nest more colourful and midlife more melodious!
Always remember : You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream!
Happy empty nesting! 🙂