The Strange Moment That Turned My Midlife Into An Adventure, Not A Crisis

I'm only getting older, might as well enjoy it.

Middle aged woman white water rafting in the Grand Canyon Jupiterimages, David Ilécio | Canva 

When you think about midlife, do you think about reading glasses, colonoscopies, weight gain, boredom at work, and empty nest syndrome? How about a constant stream of going to work, coming home, falling asleep, and repeating it every day? I did, too. Most aren’t comfortable admitting to something called a 'crisis.' I wasn’t, that’s for sure. But many of us start to feel like life is passing us by and we haven’t accomplished everything on our list yet. We always tell ourselves we'll do something next year, or visit that friend next week, and we never do. We think we have all the time in the world until suddenly we don't.


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I remember when I realized this. It was an odd little encounter at my gym and I didn’t see it coming. I recognized a neighbor at the front desk. I had never had a single conversation with him before, but I recognized his daughter and said hello. We started talking and he told me that he had just come back from a white water rafting trip in the Grand Canyon. BOOM! What he said hit me like a ton of bricks.


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I had always wanted to do this and here I was, smack dab in my midlife chapter and a trip like this wasn’t even on my agenda or radar. That was the moment I realized I wasn’t living an intentional life. I was responding to my hectic, chaotic, busy life with my three teens, husband, job, and pets, rather than figuring out exactly what I wanted and making it happen.

Time was ticking by … and I was starting to feel that life was short and I needed to get going! I hadn’t allowed myself to dream in decades. Probably since college. This chance encounter at the gym changed my life. (And I don’t even remember that neighbor’s name.) Suddenly, I realized the only thing that was holding me back from living my dream life was me.



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Needless to say, it didn’t take much convincing to get my husband on board. So I booked a six-day white water rafting trip with Western River Expeditions during the summer when all three kids were at camp and we had a fantastic adventure! That trip sparked my imagination again. It ignited my passion to not have regrets. And it started me down the road to MY more intentional midlife chapter. If I could have the confidence and spontaneity to book this trip, imagine what else I could do. Time is a gift many aren't granted, so be sure to use yours wisely.

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Suzy Rosenstein, MA is a master certified life coach, midlife coach, mentor, and host of the popular podcast for midlife women, Women in the Middle.