If you begin to think you are solely responsible for keeping your loved one alive and safe, you will eventually find yourself playing God. This phase can develop into an unhealthy, codependent relationship.
I did not give my daughter the kind of childhood anybody would want. The vision of the divided loyalty between a mother and father who don't live together and don't share in decisions is a great depravation for children.
I do think taking the 20s to take the most chances you can is important, because you're not going to hurt anyone else during that time. And if you do have a partner, you need a couple years to rehearse that relationship.
In the first phase of shock over, say, your mortgage being called in or your job washed out, it's essential to engage with others and share the fear, release the feelings, do fun things to take your mind off it.
If you're the person living closest to the parent who's going to need help, and you take on the whole role of primary caregiver, you can be pretty sure your sibling who lives farthest away is going to call you and say, 'You don't know what you're doing.' Because they're not on the spot, and they probably feel guilty.
I was devastated when I got the review for my first book. The book came out a couple years before the women's movement broke through, and people were putting it down, asking, 'Why does the woman in this book need to get a divorce? Why can't she just shut up and be happy?'
In my memoir, I admit that I've been as fearful of success as of failure. In fact, when 'Passages' was published, I so dreaded bad reviews that I ran away to Italy with a girlfriend and our children to hide out.
Adapting to our Second Adulthood is not all about the money. It requires thinking about how to find a new locus of identity or how to adjust to a spouse who stops working and who may loll, enjoying coffee and reading the paper online while you're still commuting.
Would that there were an award for people who come to understand the concept of enough. Good enough. Successful enough. Thin enough. Rich enough. Socially responsible enough. When you have self-respect, you have enough.
The dream for many millennial women is to make a difference as social or political entrepreneurs. They are using the social media and marketing tools they have mastered to empower less fortunate women and direct them onto career tracks that women have traditionally avoided, like science and technology.
Most women have learned a great deal about how to set goals for our First Adulthood and how to roll with the punches when we hit a rough passage. But we're less prepared for our Second Adulthood as we approach life after retirement, where there are no fixed entrances or exits, and lots of sand into which it is easy to bury our heads.
I know I'm never going to probably see the Taj Mahal or, you know, climb Mt. Everest, but I can still maybe influence peoples' way of thinking by a story that I do, by something I learn about the world.
I found the happiest woman in America is between 50 and 55, is happily married, has made significant progress in her career, and lives in a community where she can easily exercise outside. But the most important single thing was she had her last child before she was 35.
Career-driven millennials are strategic about working obsessively while they are single and earning enough money to afford advanced education. Most are patient enough to wait until 30 or later to develop their dream.
Ah, mastery... what a profoundly satisfying feeling when one finally gets on top of a new set of skills... and then sees the light under the new door those skills can open, even as another door is closing.
My mother had demonstrated that the best way to defeat the numbing ambivalence of middle age is to surprise yourself - by pulling off some cartwheel of thought or action never even imagined at a younger age.
If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we are not really living. Growth demands a temporary surrender of security. If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we are not really living. Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.
Phases of the creative process: Preparation-gathering impressions Incubation-letting go of certainties Immersion/Illumination-creative intervention/risk Revision-conscious structuring and editing of creative material.
A seasoned woman is spicy. She has been marinated in life experiences. Like a complex wine, she can be alternately sweet, tart, sparkling, mellow. She is both maternal and playful. Assured, alluring, and resourceful.
The work of adult life is not easy. As in childhood, each step presents not only new tasks of development but requires a letting go of the techniques that worked before. With each passage some magic must be given up, some cherished illusion of safety and comfortably familiar sense of self must be cast off, to allow for the greater expansion of our distinctiveness.
If menopause is the silent passage, 'male menopause' is the unspeakable passage. It is fraught with secrecy, shame, and denial. It is much more fundamental than the ending of the fertile period of a woman's life, because it strikes at the core of what it is to be a man.
As we reach midlife in the middle thirties or early forties, we are not prepared for the idea that time can run out on us, or for the startling truth that if we don't hurry to pursue our own definition of a meaningful existence, life can become a repetition of trivial maintenance duties.
Be willing to shed parts of your previous life. For example, in our 20s, we wear a mask; we pretend we know more than we do. We must be willing, as we get older, to shed cocktail party phoniness and admit, 'I am who I am.'