Midlife Isn’t a Crisis, It’s a Calling: Uncover Your Passion in Act Two of Life

Show Notes:


Valerie discusses the concept of midlife as a calling rather than a crisis in this episode of Five to Thrive. She shares personal stories of individuals who have embraced their midlife calling and offers actionable steps to shift from crisis to calling. Valerie emphasizes the importance of reflection, embracing change, surrounding oneself with a supportive community, focusing on what matters, and staying curious. She encourages listeners to see midlife as an opportunity for personal growth and fulfillment.


00:00 Introduction and overview of the episode topic

00:58 Midlife is a time for transformation and reflection

03:43 Midlife as a time of renewal and personal growth

05:43 Shifting the perspective from crisis to calling

09:33 Examples of individuals embracing their midlife calling

12:48 Actionable steps to shift from crisis to calling

15:36 Answering a listener’s question about discovering midlife calling

17:01 Conclusion and encouragement to embrace change fearlessly

17:01 Midlife as a calling, not a crisis

17:35 Subscribe, rate, review, and stay connected on social media

17:35 Aging with grace, style, and a touch of sass

Key Takeaways:

  • Midlife is an opportunity for transformation and personal growth.
  • Reflection and evaluation of choices can lead to a rediscovery of purpose.
  • Midlife is a time to redefine success on one’s own terms.
  • Surrounding oneself with a supportive community is crucial for growth.
  • Staying curious and open to new possibilities is essential for personal development.

 Connect with Valerie:

* Facebook, Instagram, and Threads @iamvaleriehatcher.  

* Email at hello@agingwithgraceandstyle.com

Join Us Next Time:

If you enjoyed this episode please rate and review. Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode! 

Stay tuned for more inspiring chats, tips, and stories about the midlife journey.

See you soon! Let’s continue to age with grace, style, and a touch of sass.


0:00:03 - (Valerie Hatcher): Hello, beautiful ladies. Welcome back to another episode of Five to Thrive. I'm your host, Valerie Hatcher. Our mission is to provide empowering tips for women over 50 to help us navigate this vibrant stage of life with grace, style, and a whole lot of fun.

0:00:21 - (Valerie Hatcher): Each week, I bring you five practical and engaging tips on a specific topic. I hope you find them relevant and relatable, and we'll come back for more. Ready for today's episode? Then let's go. Happy Tuesday, my friends. This week's, Five to Thrive is going to be a little bit different, but it's another one of those topics this close to my heart. It's about embracing your midlife calling. Yes, you heard that right.

0:00:58 - (Valerie Hatcher): It's not a crisis, it's a calling. I recently read an article in the Oprah Quarterly magazine that talked about midlife as a calling versus a crisis. And so this has been on my mind since reading that article, and I decided we needed to talk about it. So let's dive in. Before we dive deeper into the midlife calling, let's address the origins of the infamous phrase midlife crisis. It is quite fascinating.

0:01:33 - (Valerie Hatcher): The term was coined in, like, the 1960s by psychologist Elliot Jocks, who suggested that it's a normal stage of psychological development, but hey, who said we have to stick with that definition? When I hit my 50s, I felt like maybe many of you have. I questioned if what I was doing was enough and if I was on the right track. And yes, those doubts crept in. But guess what? It's perfectly normal. Midlife is an opportunity for transformation, not crisis.

0:02:18 - (Valerie Hatcher): It's a second chance to explore your passions. I recently had a conversation with a friend, Lisa, and she shared her own midlife journey. And it struck me how she transformed a midlife, quote-unquote, crisis into a midlife calling. So Lisa went from feeling lost to discovering her passion for community service, and she's now making a significant impact in her local neighborhood. As a matter of fact, she told me she's even thinking about running for political office.

0:02:59 - (Valerie Hatcher): So here's the thing, ladies. Midlife has a purpose. It's not just a random phase. It's a time when we begin to reflect on our journey, to evaluate our choices and consider what truly matters. Now, that reminds me of an important distinction that I want to make about midlife being a time of renewal rather than decline. You. Contrary to the midlife crisis notion, research shows midlife can be a time of reflection and personal growth.

0:03:43 - (Valerie Hatcher): Studies show that our sense of well-being actually improves in our fifty s and sixty s. So midlife marks an opportunity to rediscover purpose. I remember at some point after 50 looking in the mirror and not quite recognizing the person I saw. Yeah, I mean, I looked the same, sort of, but I looked older, actually, because I was older. I had lines under my eyes. My face was fuller. It was like who is this person?

0:04:21 - (Valerie Hatcher): I longed for the slimmer body I used to have, for the thicker and fuller hair that I had. It's normal to feel a sense of longing, but guess what? It's also when we begin to understand what is truly important and focus on designing the life that we want to live. Everything is based on the lens that we see it through. And when it comes to midlife, perspective is everything. The thought of a midlife crisis evokes feelings of distress, upheaval, and decline.

0:05:01 - (Valerie Hatcher): But what if we saw it not as a crisis, but as a midlife calling instead? Research shows that midlife can actually be a peak time for life satisfaction. As we gain emotional intelligence and clarity about our priorities, like, a sense of purpose often emerges. I've witnessed many friends discover their passion in midlife after being unfulfilled in their younger years. Like the corporate accountant who became a yoga instructor or the banker who launched a nonprofit.

0:05:43 - (Valerie Hatcher): Sometimes it takes time to figure out what we want to do when we grow up. Heck, some days I'm still trying to figure it out. While I'm perfectly happy in my full time career, that's not all that I want to do in this next chapter. With longer life expectancies, midlife marks the beginning of act two, not the beginning of the end. There are decades left to pursue dreams. For example, let's look at some historical figures like Nelson Mandela, J. K. Rowling and Julia Child.

0:06:24 - (Valerie Hatcher): They all accomplished major achievements in their midlife years. With modern health advancements, our youthful energy can extend long past midlife. Just imagine what you'd do if, let's say, money, time, and obligations didn't exist. What latent dreams would you pursue? Midlife offers the chance to explore this period of reflection, helps us understand our unique gifts, and how we want to spend those precious years ahead.

0:07:04 - (Valerie Hatcher): When seen through the lens of possibility versus decline, midlife becomes a calling to live fully. So let me share a story about my friend Lynette. She worked in finance for years, and when she hit her 50s, she realized numbers wasn't what she wanted to do anymore. Now, I knew she painted. As a matter of fact, when we went to those painting party things, her paintings were always the best ones. Now, mine, on the other hand, were horrible.

0:07:37 - (Valerie Hatcher): Trust me, painting is not my gift. But I digressed. Anyway, she discovered that her true calling was actually painting. Can you believe it? So now she is an incredible artist who's following her heart and inspiring us all. Let's talk about the transformational journey. Midlife has a profound purpose. It's not just a random phase. It's when we begin to question and evaluate our choices, seeking what truly matters.

0:08:16 - (Valerie Hatcher): Did you know, on average, people are living longer than ever before? According to recent statistics, the average lifespan has increased significantly over the years. Women today can live well into their 80s or even 90s. This means that midlife is no longer a midpoint. It's a new beginning. A time to explore, a time to redefine success. The conversation around aging is changing. We're rewriting the script on what it means to age gracefully.

0:08:52 - (Valerie Hatcher): Now, let's not sugarcoat it. This journey isn't without challenges, but with the right mindset, you can overcome barriers, doubts, fears and uncertainties. They might pop up again. I ask, what if midlife wasn't a crisis, but a calling? I know I keep mentioning it because it's a powerful question and it's one that I think we should explore. This is when we realize that there are more choices in midlife than we ever knew.

0:09:33 - (Valerie Hatcher): Who would have thought that at 60 I would have even attempted to start a podcast? Who would have thought at this age that I'd be so involved in social media that I'm honing in on my photography skills that I am doing social media campaigns for brands? Who would have thought? None of this was anywhere on my radar. Until one day it was. Yes, there were. And there sometimes still are moments when I question myself, but I continue to push through.

0:10:11 - (Valerie Hatcher): Remember, age doesn't define your potential. Imagine a woman named Maria who I met not too long ago. She had a successful corporate career, but she felt a little unfulfilled. And it was during her midlife that she realized her true passion was as a fashion stylist. Now she dresses people for a living. To give you another real-life example of someone who embraced her midlife calling. As I was preparing for this episode, I visited with a lady named Sarah.

0:10:54 - (Valerie Hatcher): She's a successful entrepreneur who started her own business in her late 50s. Sarah had a thriving career, but she reached a point where she felt like something was missing. She told me that one day, over a cup of coffee with a family member, she shared her dreams of starting her own business. She was met with skepticism, like, girl, why would you leave that good job you have and start a business that you don't even know whether or not it will succeed?

0:11:29 - (Valerie Hatcher): You're doing good for yourself, said her relative. She told me that she even found herself feeling skeptical. But she knew in her heart this was what she wanted to do. And she knew it was at this time that she wanted to do it. So she decided to take the leap. It wasn't easy, but she persevered, learning from her challenges. And now she is running a successful company that she's truly passionate about.

0:12:04 - (Valerie Hatcher): You. You. So now that hopefully, we're shifting our mindset, I want to focus on five actionable steps that we can take to shift from crisis to calling. Number one is reflect. Take time to reflect on your journey, your dreams, and what truly excites you. Journal regularly. For me, things become much clearer when I write them down. Have candid conversations with loved ones, but don't be surprised if everyone isn't as excited about what you want to do as you are.

0:12:48 - (Valerie Hatcher): I'm not saying don't listen to solid reasoning, but also use your own judgment and make the best decision that's right for you. Sometimes family and close friends can be your biggest naysayers, and they think they're trying to protect you. But the decision ultimately has to be yours. Number two embrace change. Don't be afraid to make changes and redefine success on your own terms. It can be really scary at this point in life to shake things up, but sometimes the best things happen on the other side of fear.

0:13:28 - (Valerie Hatcher): Take a class. Pick up a new hobby. Be open to career shifts that align with your passions. Number three community surround yourself with a supportive community that encourages your growth. You know, I say this a lot because I truly believe there is something to be said about your circle. Join personal growth groups. Be vulnerable. Sharing your journey with your friends. Vulnerability can be hard. I know it's often a challenge for me because I don't want people to judge me.

0:14:08 - (Valerie Hatcher): But those who are truly in our corners won't judge us. Number four focus on what matters. Use midlife as an opportunity to focus on what truly matters to you. Volunteer for causes that you care about. Prioritize connection over achievement. And five stay curious, keep learning and exploring new possibilities. Travel. Read on new topics. Have engaging conversations with diverse people. We can learn so much from talking to people who think differently from us if we continue to talk to people who think the same as us.

0:14:55 - (Valerie Hatcher): This is like talking to ourselves to learn and to grow and to open ourselves up to a different way of thinking. Sometimes we have to expand our circle and talk to people and interact with people who think a little differently. At the end of the day, small steps can add up to big personal growth. Remember, you determine how vibrant this chapter will be. Before we leave, I want to share a question that I received from a listener.

0:15:36 - (Valerie Hatcher): Her name is Monique and she wrote hi Valerie, I love your show. I'm in my fifty s and feeling a bit lost. How do I start discovering my midlife calling? Hi Monique. First of all, thanks so much for listening to the show. And then thank you for your question. Let's see discovering your midlife calling really starts with self-reflection. Take some time to think about what truly excites you, what you're passionate about, and what brings you joy.

0:16:13 - (Valerie Hatcher): Don't be afraid to try new things and seek support from like-minded individuals. Remember, it's never too late to embrace change and redefine success on your own terms. You there you have it, ladies. I hope this gives you a new perspective on midlife as a calling rather than a crisis. So next time you refer or you find yourself referring to midlife as a crisis, or you hear someone saying, oh, I'm having a midlife crisis, or you hear someone referring to someone else who's having a midlife crisis, how about we change that narrative?

0:17:01 - (Valerie Hatcher): How about we tell them what we have learned? That it's not a crisis girl, it's a calling. So if we get everyone to start thinking of midlife as a calling rather than a crisis, just imagine what the conversation will be like. Remember, you have the power to make this stage purposeful and fulfilling. So until next time, here's to embracing change fearlessly.

0:17:35 - Thank you so much for joining me for Five to Thrive Tuesday. If you haven't already done so, please subscribe so that you don't miss an episode. If you enjoyed the segment, please rate Review and share it with a friend. Let's stay connected on Instagram, Facebook, and or threads at I am Valerie Hatcher, or email me at hello@agingwithgraceandstyle.com. Until next time, let's continue to age with grace, style, and a touch of sass.

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