By Peter A. O'Connor
The last decade among fifty and sixty is uncharted territory, a section of existence that's principally missed. but for lots of humans it is a time of turbulent switch as they face the lack of youthfulness, menopause, possibly redundancy, retirement, a brand new function as childrens go away domestic, and the decline or demise in their mom and dad. Dr Peter O'Connor, who formerly tested the mid-life years in knowing the Mid-Life challenge, now explores the that means of the fifties transition. Peter O'Connor attracts on interviews with women and men of their fifties in addition to his extensive event as a psychologist to redefine this important level, which are as effective as formative years. dealing with the fifties indicates a ceremony of passage that permits us to mourn what's misplaced and rejoice new probabilities as we get older. considerate, hard, and occasionally arguable, it deals a map for the adventure in the direction of a renewed feel of self, and a valued position in society.
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Extra info for Facing the Fifties: From Denial to Reflection
For women this heroic journey can sometimes be 29 Facing the Fifties more appropriately depicted by the symbol of a spiral where the journey involves a circular movement that deepens awareness which constitutes the initiation. As part of this initiation and return, the heroic figure sometimes undertakes the significant role of mediator between the world of mortals and the world of gods. He or she has a foot in both camps, so to speak, the mortal world and the divine, the known and the unknown, the material and the immaterial.
Yet optimism and embracing of a reborn self is vulnerable to sabotage and abortion from within the woman herself, and also from the external patriarchal world in which she resides. The difficulty that women experience in sustaining their own rebirth is most clearly seen in dreams in which the symbol of a new baby often depicts the reborn self that we have been discussing. Joan was just approaching fifty when she had the following dream: I find my baby but I can’t remember where. She is tiny but beautiful and very alive and smiling and bright-eyed.
Culture after culture records the rituals that go with such a change in status, rituals that are often bound up with biological rhythms and in pre-technological societies with meteorological rhythms. The change of status from child to adult in our society is marked when a young person is eighteen and/or twenty-one by such rites of passage as a twenty-first birthday party, the acquiring of a driving licence, entitlement to consume alcohol in public places and the right to vote. Marriage is another rite of passage that we are familiar with, conferring a change of status from single to married.