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Response: The Autumn of Our Years
Mike, You know, I think this "midlife" period happens differently for women than it does for men. I think a lot of women begin to face their own mortality sometime during their thirties when their children begin growing up and not needing them so much. I also think most women don't consider themselves in midlife until menopause. So that could happen for a woman much later than 40 or 45. Also, let's face it, women live longer than men....I personally plan to live to be 100! So, I think women between 40 and 50 are in "indian summer" rather than autumn. (You know, indian summer is that warm, summery period after a first freeze)
Does that sound like a valid analogy?
Indian Summer Woman
I am in the process of writing a paper for a university class. It will be on the topic of Menopause as a process of Midlife. I really appreciate your perspective as the stage being like autumn. It has given me a fresher look into that whole developmental stage. I could probably write on and on but the evening has passed by and I need to rejuvenate by going to bed. I work full time and it is getting more tiring year by year...good day.....
I also see "Autumn" as rounding 2nd base and getting close to 3rd. It is a time rich with growing wisdom, deepening relationships, etc. My father was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's and it changes things "real quick" for family members. Each day becomes more precious as I relate to my dad and as I relate to my teenage children. I am drawn to making the most of each moment. Life is more precious and more fragile...I handle it with more care than I did in years past.
March 4, 2000
I have just read your column and wanted to tell you how much I enjoy it.
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