By Peter A. O'Connor

The last decade among fifty and sixty is uncharted territory, a part of lifestyles that's principally overlooked. but for plenty of humans it is a time of turbulent switch as they face the lack of youthfulness, menopause, maybe redundancy, retirement, a brand new position as teenagers depart domestic, and the decline or dying in their mom and dad. Dr Peter O'Connor, who formerly tested the mid-life years in knowing the Mid-Life concern, now explores the that means of the fifties transition. Peter O'Connor attracts on interviews with women and men of their fifties in addition to his large adventure as a psychologist to redefine this very important level, which might be as powerful as early life. dealing with the fifties indicates a ceremony of passage that permits us to mourn what's misplaced and rejoice new probabilities as we get older. considerate, demanding, and infrequently arguable, it bargains a map for the adventure in the direction of a renewed feel of self, and a valued position in society.

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Extra resources for Facing the Fifties: From Denial to Reflection

Sample text

For the gay community, “coming out” has the qualities of a rite of passage accompanying a transition from one socially defined sexual orientation to another. Such rites of passage, often institutionalised in ceremonial form, 23 Facing the Fifties accompany us throughout our lifetime from birth to the ultimate ritual of a funeral. We need these markers, these rites, to consciously and explicitly make a public declaration and thereby give public weight to the major turning points of our lives. This public declaration legitimises an individual’s change of status, facilitating acceptance of the newly acquired status and the roles that go with it.

This will include the critical one from maidenhood to motherhood and the changing relationships with their own children. These fundamental changes, all involving loss and separation at some point, prepare many women for the menopausal change and they are therefore receptive to the understanding that loss and change is the essential quality of human experience. For women who have not had children, no matter how consciously they regard themselves as having made the choice not to, menopause removes the choice completely and the possibility of the experience of giving birth is foregone with a powerful sense of finality, indeed a death-like finality.

By and large men go into full-blown denial, continuing to delude themselves that they are permanently somewhere 41 Facing the Fifties between thirty-five and forty-five and still irresistibly attractive to women. It leaves open the thought that despite the obvious complexity of menopause, whether natural or induced, it is a profound marker of the transition, a marker that men do not have. For a woman it heralds the end of reproduction and the end of one way of being a woman, the death of one’s maidenhood and motherhood and the initiation into the role of wise old woman, or crone.

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