This broad-ranging, solidly researched new work examines the transformation of women's experience at midlife, illuminating the journey for women who want to create intentional, spirited lives.
The subject of midlife has been dominated by the woes of aging—menopause, divorce, hormone replacement therapies, aging parents, and fleeing children. Now a broad-ranging new work by clinical psychologist Linda N. Edelstein, Ph.D., The Art of Midlife, describes the freedom and authenticity that can be made a cornerstone of the middle years. She describes three healthy and predictable phases. First, women relinquish old ways, untying themselves from the past and mourning the losses of youth and its illusions. By placing less emphasis on the needs of others, women can live more creatively and enjoy the present. The women Dr. Edelstein studied have been able to move to the next step, in which they reconnect to themselves. They regain their authentic voices, simplify life, and allow long buried aspects of themselves to emerge. Finally, women refocus their futures. With courage, they embrace new people, ideas, activities, and work—and pursue adult dreams regardless of external rewards.