There has been a change in perspective, which actually occurred a few days after the post. The answer to midlife transformation (as opposed to crisis) was right in front of me. It was, in fact, contained in a picture I had used. This one:
And then, I went and found a few more. Like this:
And that last one was the one that did it for me: I have been chasing something that wasn't actually there.
In Buddhism, life is seen as illusion. As real as it may feel living it and being in life, it is still illusion, and the illusion is of our own making. Instead of seeing opportunity in midlife, I was seeing disaster. I believed the best of my life was over. Fuck you, world. And so on.
In a moment of clarity, it occurred to me that the drama of the midlife transformation was illusion. Yes, it feels very real, but by giving it that much power in my life, I was allowing myself to become stuck in the proverbial mud.
Then I read this. "The more I age, the more life feels precious. Each day, each hour, each minute, each moment, a new gift that is not to be wasted with wrong action, wrong speech, wrong thoughts. There are long run decisions to be taken, and micro ones to be made every day." (Ayya Khema).
And I was reminded of this:
The quote, to paraphrase is: "The thing to remember is that there is no spoon. It is not the spoon that bends, it is your mind."
There is no midlife crisis. It is not the midlife crisis that bends. It is my mind.