I just finished reading a book called "Find Your Reason To Be Here: The Search for Meaning in Midlife" written by Laura Lee Carter. It is a fast read, (I could have read it in one long sitting) but I did it over a 3 hour drive with a 4 & 6 year old, then in several 20 minute sessions squeezed in between the end of a major house remodel project that we just finished. And I finally have time to write this post about this fabulous book that I wanted to share with other midlife women (and men).
The book is not so much a 'how-to' as it is the 'how did we get here?' and the encouragement and guidance we all need from a midlifer who has already "found her reason to be here".
I began reading this book for myself but several chapters in I decided to share some of what I was learning with my husband, who is also age 50 and dealing with many of the same conundrums of midlife as I am. The first half of the book goes in to great detail about the history of midlife to help you understand how we got to this place in our lives known as 'midlife'. What a learning experience this was for us! Since Laura is a Psychotherapist and a researcher she shares the history of midlife from a psychological perspective. We found this to be very interesting because we discovered that this phase in life is not unique to us Boomers. We mid-lifers (especially us women) are just learning to deal with it in a whole new way compared to our parents and grandparents.
Laura shares some of her own life tragedies such as a divorce, losing her job of 20+ years, and losing a close family member, that propelled her into discovering her reason to be here. This helped me to see why sometimes we need such tragic life events to sort of kick us in the pants, to be the catalysts to become our better selves.
She says that "midlife can lead to both crisis and opportunity" and
that it is a "natural rite of passage that is too often spent feeling
alone, confused, isolated, misunderstood, and marginalized, when it
should be celebrated as a time to come into our own power, embrace what
is unique within us." In my own midlife journey I have felt at times very alone and confused because I didn't know what to do with my new feelings. Sometimes my emotions feel almost like a physical need, that I would describe as being similar to the feeling of thirst (and sometimes to the point of dehydration) for something more out of my life. I did not understand these feelings. I thought this feeling was unique to me so I never shared it with anyone before. But now, after reading Laura's book, I realize that this desire for finding my reason or purpose for being is a normal feeling. I just have to learn to listen to and trust my own inner wisdom and not put my desires on the shelf to be dealt with at a later date...that may never come. It is time to take responsibility for my own satisfaction in life so that I can grow into this next stage of my life without regrets.
Laura Lee Carter says she writes another book when she gets an "uncontrollable urge" to write, this is her third book. You can find this inspiring book "Find Your Reason To Be Here: The Search for Meaning in Midlife" available in Paperback at Amazon. You can also find her two previous books (which I cannot wait to read myself) "How to Believe in Love Again" and "Midlife Magic: Becoming the Person You Are Inside" at Amazon as well.
About the Author: Before Laura Lee Carter transitioned into her work as a professional writer, author and psychotherapist, she worked as an academic librarian, teacher and researcher for over 25 years. After finding inspiration in her own midlife difficulties, she now feels compelled to provide hope and support to those of us struggling to transition into a better life in midlife. Be sure to visit Laura's Website to learn more about her.
Disclaimer: I was not paid by the author to post this review, however I was provided a free digital copy of the book to read for reviewing purposes.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Book Review: Find Your Reason To Be Here: The Search for Meaning in Midlife
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