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Midlife Transition: Dreams
submitted by Susan Dunn
on June 12, 2002

Midlife transition lasts longer for men and starts later. It's full of challenges. One thing you tend to do is start thinking about dreams. If you look back, you may wonder what happened to your dreams. If you look ahead, you may think the time has passed.

When you stop to reconsider the dreams of your youth, the dreams from the first part of your life, make a list of them and then ask yourself these questions:

1. Have you outgrown this dream? Is it still suitable for you at this time of your life?
2. Who was this dream for? Was it really for you, or was it for parents, peers, bosses, spouse or someone else?
3. Did one of these dreams come true and turn out to be a nightmare?
4. Did having this dream come true turn out to be transitory?
5. Did having this dream come true turn out to be very different from what you expected?
6. Was one of these dreams just a fantasy you kept that you never really meant to have happen?
7. Did the core of this dream come true, though not the particulars?
8. Was this dream motivated by proving something to someone else rather than by something you really wanted?
9. Is this dream something you'd still like to have happen? If so, is it possible?

Because you're changing at midlife, it's a good time to take stock, weed out dreams that no longer suit you, and start planting the seeds for new dreams.

One of the best things you can do at this time of life is give yourself permission to dream different dreams and forget about the old ones that did or didn't come true.