Natalie Gelman's blog

Aging Gracefully (Or Not): A poem for your thoughts

I came to fully understand the process of entering midlife when I researched, reflected, and wrote my dissertation. And the awareness that others shared the same experience was validating and clarifying. Hopefully this writing is helping others achieve the same appreciation.

I named my dissertation “Prime Time – The Experience of Women Entering Middle Age” because I discovered that the essence of the experience is a positive one. I wrote the following poem reflecting what I learned about that time:

        The Revolving Door Read more >> about Aging Gracefully (Or Not): A poem for your thoughts

Aging Gracefully (Or Not): The dissertation

I came to fully understand the process of entering midlife when I researched, reflected, and wrote my dissertation. The awareness that others shared the same experience was validating and clarifying. Hopefully this writing is helping others achieve the same appreciation.

I named my dissertation "Prime Time - The Experience of Women Entering Middle Age," because I discovered that the essence of the experience is a positive one. I wrote the following poem reflecting what I learned about that time:

The Revolving Door Read more >> about Aging Gracefully (Or Not): The dissertation

Aging Gracefully (Or Not): The freedom of choice

The freedom to make one’s own choices becomes clearer as we enter midlife.

I have gotten to the point in my life where I pick up a book and if I don’t like it, I put it down. Whether I’ve paid for the book or borrowed the book, I don’t have to push myself to read the whole thing. If I don’t like working in a doctor’s office, I won’t continue to do so. I feel secure, safe, happy, whatever the word is, enough with myself that I can say that and do it. Read more >> about Aging Gracefully (Or Not): The freedom of choice

Aging Gracefully (Or Not): Finding fulfillment

Once women enter middle age and are aware of aging, they initially feel empty and discontent. They tell themselves they should feel fulfilled at this time in their lives. Based on prior learning and expectations, they think that their accomplishments should have led to happiness. In an attempt to understand their disappointment and unhappiness, they begin to look within, becoming enmeshed in finding meaning in their lives. Read more >> about Aging Gracefully (Or Not): Finding fulfillment

Aging Gracefully (Or Not): Relationships

Relationships take on new meaning during midlife. In the past, friendships were maintained for historical reasons or expediency. Friendships from school that had been maintained are questioned as values and lifestyles change. Relationships that were formed around children’s activities and interests often diminish as we age. We begin to focus on people with common adult interests, values and beliefs. Read more >> about Aging Gracefully (Or Not): Relationships

Aging Gracefully (Or Not): The blur

There is no doubt that the midlife transition is disconcerting. It is a time for evaluation, refocusing, looking backward and forward at the same time, and creating or enhancing values. It certainly can lead to a heightened awareness of how we choose to live our lives, but this new awareness evolves out of uncomfortable realizations. Read more >> about Aging Gracefully (Or Not): The blur

Aging Gracefully (Or Not): With Loss

After my mother died, I realized for the first time in a pronounced, internal way that people who are significant to me will die, that mothers die, and that I will die. That reality as a definite meaning had eluded me. Years ago when I saw the movie “Splendor in the Grass,” I was stunned by a scene in which a class was discussing Wordsworth’s “Ode on Intimations of Immortality.” I prided myself on being mature enough to have given up the fantasy that I was immortal. I was wrong. In my head I had given it up, but in my heart I still believed I would go on forever. Read more >> about Aging Gracefully (Or Not): With Loss

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