A life stage created by longevity patterns of the 21st century.

Cultural norms and rampant ageism have labeled midlife as a crisis riddled with stagnation and decrepitude. The reality is entirely different and full of potential. Old constructs no longer apply. We are trailblazers.


Noun.   /mɪd.əˈles.əns/

pronounced  middle·essence

A transitional period, between the ages of approximately 45 and 65, created by longevity patterns of the 21st century. Like adolescence, a term popularized by psychologist Stanley Hall, it is often accompanied by physical, emotional, social, and economic changes.
adjective  middlescent

word origin  blend middle and adolescence (circa 1960-1965)

Have you bought into the myth of the midlife crisis?

You’re not alone. We live in a culture that believes anyone in midlife is on a slippery slope towards their demise. Birthday cards telegraph that the best years are behind us. Brands and companies target us with terms like anti-aging. Suddenly it feels as if our only choices are retreat or submission.

Yes, midlife can be a time of questioning many of our choices. But growth, clarity and fulfillment come with examining what changes are needed to live authentically and on purpose.

Did you know that happiness increases after age 50, particularly when it dips so low in our 40’s? No generation before us has had the potential to experience the benefits of increased longevity, sustained vitality, and the capacity to consciously curate decades of a meaningful life.
Middlescence U-Shaped Curve of Happiness Barbara Waxman

We have more years of living, not dying.

"Current life structures, career paths, educational choices, and social norms are out of alignment with the emerging reality of longer lifespans."

Lynda Gratton, Fellow
World Economic Forum

I’ve spent most of my career listening to people at the midpoint of their lives, helping them make sense of where they are and where they’re going. The pattern is clear: everyone used the same language and expressed the same feelings. Even those with extraordinarily high achievement, report feeling lost, and as though something was missing from their lives.

Far too often, stereotypes become ageist arrows we point at ourselves. Most people don’t understand that we continue to develop and grow as adults. Once we have the tools to harness our energy, creativity, and wisdom, we can begin to forge a vibrant, exciting path forward.

It's time for a paradigm shift.
Are you ready?

Begin your journey today with the Five Essential Elements© to thriving in Middlescence. Please select all that apply:

Your request and information are kept confidential. We value your privacy.

Barbara Waxman | Middlescence | Executive Coach | Midlife Coach | Gerontology