Midlife And The Road Not Taken

Many people have written about midlife, me included. One of the most fascinating concepts came from psychologist Carl Jung. Jung talked about the arc of life from birth to death (sun rise to sunset) with midlife obviously falling around the after

noon. He posited that, for the early years of adulthood, we work at being/doing all sorts of things, for example, being a student, friend, lover, parent, teacher or whatever else you have made the focus of your time and energy.

Then, during the middle years, we begin to yearn for the life we did not live

during the first half of life – the road not taken. If we married young, we miss the years of experimenting, if we worked hard, we envy those who can “chill out”, if we went down road X, we wonder what our lives would have been life had we traveled on road Z. Whatever we DID NOT pursue, did not develop, we may discover the urge to find it and reclaim it.

Of course, there are always things that we haven’t pursued. We all make choices and create our lives. And, with those choices, we put other activities or people aside until, at midlife, we long for the missing pieces, search for them, and perhaps try to bring them into our lives.

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