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A-Z of Midlife: T is for Transition

January 11, 2010


Taa-daa! Yes, here we are – we’ve finally arrived at the ‘jewel in the crown’ of this A – Z of Midlife. T is for Transition and this folks, is the one that says it all! Transition hasn’t had much of a look-in up until now, having being pushed aside by its more dramatic counter-part, ‘crisis’…. but not any more…. it’s high time we kicked all notions of crisis into touch and instead, paid due deference and attention to Transition.

Now, you might well be thinking that I’m repeating myself here as I’ve already talked about  midlife change way back near the start of this series, with C is for Change and you might think that transition is just another word for change…. but in truth, they have very different meanings. Change is something that happens to us, an event or an occurrence – like getting married, motherhood, redundancy, bereavement, divorce, the menopause… whereas transition on the other hand, is the psychological reorientation we go through to adapt to these changes.

Change can happen in an instant, whereas transition is a process. The midlife transition is a process of metamorphosis every bit as transformative as the one that turns the caterpillar into a butterfly. We too, go through a process of internal change, where we gradually shed the skin of our old life in order to develop the new…… AND, just like the butterfly, we don’t suddenly appear in all our glory without hanging around as a bit of gloopy stuff first! AND… this is the brilliant bit….when we are ready…. we emerge from the process, transformed and truly magnificent.

ButterflyThe midlife transition is our ‘cocoon of change’- it may feel as if nothing is actually happening and yet an incredible personal metamorphosis goes on inside. Transitions can be the most productive periods of our lives if we go with the process rather than resist it. Let’s develop our understanding and awareness of this precious midlife phase so that we welcome, embrace and value our time in transition. (Yes, let me just run that by you once more… welcome, embrace and value our time in transition.)  

So, put your hands together and let’s hear it for transition, the unsung star of the midlife show, helping us find our way to a more fulfilling future. Hip hip. Hooray

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