How do you relate to aging?

A colleague of mine sent me a link to Patricia Cohen’s new book, In Our Prime: The Invention of Middle Age.

Although I haven’t read the book, I consulted the comments of reviewers on Here is one comment:

If the author is trying to give people in midlife a pep talk, fine. I agree that most people in middle-age look younger than their parents did at that age and that people today remain more active longer than those mid-lifers of previous generations.

But to ignore or deny that countless people struggle with midlife issues is downright cruel and disrespectful. Many at midlife DO experience empty-nest syndrome. Their children have defined their lives and their identities for years and the loneliness and loss of purpose are difficult to overcome. Careers come to a close, dreams die, parents become ill, the midlifers themselves often find these years to be filled with their own burgeoning health issues. For those still raising children and working and taking care of aging parents while trying to come to terms with menopause and weight gain and loss of vitality, financial struggles in a failing economy, life at this point can be grueling. And yes, I believe mid-life crises are very real and necessary. This is a period in people’s lives when losses have to be mourned in order to regroup, recreate and move on. It CAN be done though many are often too weary or jaded to make the effort.

This person would seem to an adherent of Paradigm 1. For those following this blog, you know I espouse Paradigm 2.

Paradigm 1:

  • Retirement Planning
  • Survival
  • Active
  • Spectator
  • Doing
  • Busy
  • Tourist
  • Prevention
  • Dying Older
  • Age Markers
  • Other-Directed
  • Success
  • Stagnation
  • Scarcity Mindset
  • Looking back – the best day in the past
  • Rearrange My Life
  • Leave Work is the Goal
  • Third Age

Paradigm 2

  • Growing Older
  • Life Planning
  • Choice
  • Vital
  • Player
  • Being
  • Engaged
  • Explorer
  • Wellness
  • Living Longer
  • No Age Markers
  • Self-Directed
  • Significance
  • Later Life Development
  • Abundance Mindset
  • Looking Forward
  • Enlarge My Life
  • Option to continue working on my own terms
  • Third Quarter – don’t miss it

How do you relate to aging?

Dr. Frank