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My Midlife Crisis

My Midlife Crisis

Yippee, skippee, I just turned 50. Plus, 20somethings in quarterlife crisis mode: don't even think about stealing my thunder
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I just turned 50! I kind of want to shout it from the rooftops. And kind of not.

I've been reading more and more about how 50 is the new 30. Sounds great on the surface, until I consider what my thirties actually looked like: three school-aged sons, a baby on the way, and the worst acne of my life. Not necessarily a life stage I'd like to revisit.

As I approached the big 5-0, I also caught wind of a growing phenomenon among Millennials—something called a "quarterlife crisis."

To that I say, Oh, no, no, no. I've been waiting far too long to have a true, full-blown midlife crisis. After graduating college, quickly marrying, and then moving into my career and motherhood almost simultaneously, I've felt on the verge of a breakdown plenty of times, and became all too familiar with the psalmists' cries for wisdom and mercy. Believe me, if a quarterlife crisis had been a thing when I was in my 20s, I would have had one. But it wasn't, so I put a lid on my dark ponderings for the past three decades, waiting for the day I could legitimately cry "Uncle." And that day has come. No one who's lived half the years I have is going to rob me of this moment.

Not to diminish anyone's experience—life can be confusing in your 20s, and young adults today are more stressed out than ever before. And like it was for George Harrison, it'll probably be unclear at Thirty-Three & 1/3 (the album he released commemorating both his age and the speed at which the record spun). Forty probably won't feel much better. And 50 … let's just say whatever you didn't figure out at 20, 30, and 40 will reach a crescendo, and you'll be stunned at how loud you want to scream along.

That's where I find myself today. Crying out to God for wisdom to understand how to age gracefully in a world that values all things fresh and new.

Why does Dr. Oz care about my belly fat?

Throughout this past year, I've noticed a disturbing pattern on my Facebook page: Around the same time I started to get a little inner tube around my mid-section, I started seeing banner ads on web pages seducing me with secrets for losing belly fat. Dr. Oz's tips about losing belly fat and getting rid of wrinkles started emerging on my news feed, and I never even friended him.

I still don't know what the mystery food is that will eliminate my squishy spots. But apparently some stealthy algorithm has deduced that I'm among the women of a certain age who should be concerned about this unsightly feature. And I am. A little. But I'm not concerned enough to sign up for Pilates or get serious about a 40-day juice fast.

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Marian Liautaud

Marian V. Liautaud is director of marketing at Aspen Group. Follow her on Twitter @marianliautaud

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Claudia Gerwin

July 07, 2014  4:47pm

Marian: Stunning! I'm WAY past 50, but I remember that year as one of calmness - a kind of sabbatical in life as I assessed where I'd been and where I would like to go. The craziness of my youth was in the past, and I could take a deep breath and look forward with great anticipation (not fear) of what was ahead. Thank you for your excellent, insights!

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Susanne Renberg

July 01, 2014  9:31am

Preach it, Marian! I am 48, totally gray, loving the wisdom and perspective I've gained, and looking forward to more. No, my body does not look as good as it did 10 years ago, but it has served me well and deserves some grace, just like the rest of me. We need to do whatever is necessary to remain healthy, but avoid comparison, as it will rob us of joy. As Christian women we need to embrace - and enjoy - what life brings us at every stage and turn off the media circus that tells us we need to run from our aging selves.

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RC Hall

May 13, 2014  7:16am

Where is the Godly counsel for dealing with this issue. The eternal perspective for a temporal emotional issue?

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