By today’s sociological standards midlife ranges between approximately 40 to 60 years of age. Initially, it might announce itself with the question, "Is this it? Is this all there is?" We might feel a vague sense of stagnation, at a loss for how to go forward. By the time we reach the midpoint of our lives, imperceptibly, something may have changed deep within us, as if our personal atmosphere flattened in tone, became somewhat gray and indistinct. Our days and weeks may seem to run together, merging into dull normalcy. In the background of our lives we might feel a vague sense of disenchantment, as we yearn for something more.
The fact of aging is not a problem, but our ideas of aging are. Aging reminds us that we’re mortal and that time will run out on us. It’s a wakeup call that we have to ease our grip on whomever or whatever we're holding, so that we travel lightly. This gesture of surrender permits our human journey to evolve, but we have great resistance to letting go because it confronts us with uncertainty.
The irony is that if we’re not able to die, in the sense of letting go, then we’re really not able to live fully. Without an ever present sense of impermanence, life is insipid. Our awareness and benign acceptance of our necessary mortality can heighten our love of life.