MID-LIFE (NOT) CRISIS

I’m in my thirties now. Well, truthfully I’m nearing the end of them. Up until just recently I’ve never really thought much about what a midlife crisis actually was, or who would fall victim to such a drastic phase of life. I was certain it wouldn’t be me. Yet here I am. Although I don’t so much consider it a “crisis”, more along the lines of a mid life “awakening”. I am definitely going through something. Something that is changing the entire being of me, but in a good way.

For the last 20 years I have coasted through life like every wife, mother, and woman should. Raising our children, maintaining our household, building a career, and walking hand in hand with my spouse as a typical modern age family would. Trying to create the life of a home with a white picket fence, our well behaved, always respectful children, and jobs that we wake up and repeat, each and every day. 

Two years ago I started a random journey. I read books, blogs, and listened to podcasts, all about the benefits of minimalism. It seemed worth trying, especially considering all the benefits that are supposedly helpful with ADHD, which my youngest daughter had recently been diagnosed with. 

So I dove in head first. I got rid of a sh*t ton of our toys, books, clothes, and loads of other useless items that we have been saving for who knows what reason. , organized drawers and closets. Cut back our schedules, even made weekly meal plans.

I simplified our lives.

It was surprisingly refreshing, so much that I couldn’t stop. I obsessively read and researched starting with the book, Simplicity Parenting, by Kim John Payne. It was inspiring. To be completely honest, it was life changing. It was the beginning of a whole new world for me. From there I went on to read over a dozen books about  parenting; mainly what’s known as the concept of peaceful parenting. I loved the message they were promoting. I loved the idea to treat our children as well as we want to be treated ourselves. How communication and problem-solving was much more effective than punishment and threats. That’s when I decided to step out of the box, and onto my own path.  

My children haven’t sat in time out since. They haven’t been sent to their rooms or put in a corner, or had threats of favorite toys being taken away. There is way more out there. I just needed to learn it, and then think for myself. Way back when, a psychologist gave me the great advice to, lock my daughter in a room, by actually flipping the doorknob around so it locks on the outside. 🤦🏼‍♀️ It was not effective, but did get holes kicked in the door, and a lot of sh*t wrecked. It was stupid, but without knowing who I was or what I believed it was so easy to just follow. Now things are different and slowly over, like, really slowly, I started to see the difference. Our relationships were improving. Their problem solving skills have changed. I felt like they finally believed we were all on the same team.

I loved it. I loved the impact it was having, but there was something still missing. As I was working so hard to improve the lives of my kids, I was neglecting myself. So my next chapter began.

The journey of finding me.

I began researching and reading about the  keys to happiness (actually it was called “Hardwiring Happiness”), mindfulness, and finding my purpose. How could I focus on being a better parent, without being a better me? That’s when I learned that really, I didn’t have a passion, or a purpose. I was just following the path, everyone’s path, not the one that was specific to me.

What is my path? My purpose? I still don’t think I really truly know, but I am determined to find out. Slowly but surely I am piecing it together, I am finding what I am passionate about, what makes me happy. As I learn it about myself I feel more and more whole.

For the first time in my life, I am finding me. It feels f***king amazing.

Holly

Stephanie Frein