Coffee & Naughty Thoughts

Author Linda Bolton - Writer, Blogger

Month: May 2011

When Is Mid-Life

    I’ve heard about the dreaded “Mid-Life” my whole life.  My parents talked about it like it was a disease.  I’ve had friends who have reached it. But the big question is, “When do I reach it, or have I”? 

    My parents and their friends, all almost forty years my senior, equated “Mid-Life” with menopause (his and hers).  Now that my friends and I have reached our forties, and beyond, we look for the dreaded “Mid-Life Crisis”.  I know those ten years plus my age still considered “Mid-Life” to be a woman’s menopausal years, but with men it was when they bought the red sports cars, divorced their wives and dated their secretaries and assistants twenty years their junior. I have begun to look at it as a turning point. 
    After watching many of my friends divorce in their mid to late forties, find new careers, and see their kids all grown, it gave me a new meaning to “Mid-Life”.  Not every “Mid-Life” moment is a crisis. My husband retired from the military at thirty-nine.  He started a new career with Homeland Security thanks to 911 – 09/11/01 was his original retirement ceremony and was rescheduled due to the terror that day. He found a new career, we moved and started over. I think that time in his life could be considered his “Mid-Life”.  Of course, five years later he dreamt of a motorcycle, tattoo, and helped his daughter buy a red sports car that ended up in our driveway.  He had a relapse….but no crisis, unless you want to count the car payment we added to our budget. 
    I have a friend that divorced her husband of over twenty years, has bought her own house and is going back to school for a new career.  The only crisis is that she was forced out of her old job but it has helped her take a leap of faith into a new career. 
    I have another friend that suffered in a difficult marriage for many years for the sake of her children. Once they were grown, she was able to free herself of the bondage she was in to find true, selfless love with the man she was meant to be with. 
    So why does “Mid-Life” have such a negative connotation? Maybe because many figure out they need to go down a path that their spouse doesn’t want to follow. For many that may mean a divorce. No one ever said life would always be the same or easy. 
   Have I stepped into “Mid-Life”? I think those that know me the best would say, by my definition, I have. I have lost some weight (not as much as I would like – yet), I’ve started a couple new careers (writing being one of them), and my outlook on life has changed. Is it causing difficulty in my daily routine?  Have the changes I’m making made an impact? Oh yeah.  Now what do I do? Not rock the boat or go where I am lead?  Lead and see who follows….
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Are You Speaking The Same Language

    Have you ever wondered why your “significant other” can’t read your mind? Send all the right signals and they still can’t seem to figure out what your saying? Are you speaking the same language? Love language, that is.
    In the book Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman,  is listed the five ways we love. Unfortunately, not all of us have the same language as our partners. This can cause hurt feelings and miscommunication in our relationships. Figure out your love language and see if your partner speaks it:
1-Words of Affirmation – you desire unsolicited compliments. This one is mine. I didn’t get much praise growing up and love to get a compliment.  I’m not always very good at accepting them but I love to hear them.  These can include anything from “dinner was great”, to “you look amazing today”.
2-Quality Time – this is receiving your partner’s undivided attention, whether its talking about your day or having dinner together.  No cell phones, no distractions.
3-Receiving Gifts – receiving an unexpected gift where thoughtfulness, love and effort were put into it.  Its not about dollar value.
4-Acts of Service – Surprise!  The dishes are done, or the kids have already been picked up. These are the “let me do that for you” moments.
5-Physical Touch – I know you’re expecting this to be sex – not exactly. Some people are very “touchy”, lots of hugs, pats, holding hands, thoughtful touches.  These are ways to show excitement, concern, care and love.
    OK, now think about those. Which is the most important to you? They are all great and we all like them but which one speaks to you the most? You can have more than one but usually one is dominant. I have already admitted Words of Affirmation is mine but so is Physical Touch.  I’m a patter. I touch folks when I talk to them. Now think about your loved one. What is their love language? They probably do examples of theirs to you. We tend to give examples of our love language to others, thinking they like it too. For instance, I have a friend who’s husband likes to receive gifts so he buys her things all the time. Her love language is physical touch and he rarely touches her (except for sex). So she tries to hold his hand and he’s not interested. See how this works?
    The goal would be to learn each others language so you can meet each others needs. So, your homework assignment, should you chose to accept, is to figure out yours and your partner’s love language.  See if you can speak each others language.
  

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