In 1900, the average life expectancy was 49 years—the parents soon died once the children grew up. Today’s life expectancy is 80+ years. What about those extra 30 years?
These can be vibrant years of rediscovering one’s spouse and early hobbies. They can be filled with a sense of accomplishment and a desire to share with others the wisdom we have accrued in the first half of our lives. These years can even be an opportunity to reinvent your life to begin to meet some of the needs that have not been fulfilled so far. No matter what, though, these are years of transition. As we approach 50, our parents may be reaching 80 and the end of their lives. Our children may be in college or their first career. We are often looking across the breakfast table at our spouse wondering, “Who are you? And for that matter, who am I?” These are expected transitions. We will all navigate them in one way or another.