“Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.”
When my daughter, Kristen, was growing up she and I frequently visited used book stores. One afternoon while I was completely absorbed in the stacks she tapped me on the shoulder and when I looked up, she handed me a book. It was a copy of Gail Sheehy’s, Passages. “Don’t you wish that you’d written this mom?” she asked. “Why honey?” “Because I see this book in every store we go to, she must have sold a million of them!” she replied enthusiastically.
My little girl was right on both counts, the book had been a best seller (making Tom Butler Bowden’s list of 50 top psychology classics) and yes, actually, now that she’d mentioned it, I did wish that I’d written it.
Sheehy reassures us that once we reach our mid forties, it truly isn’t “all downhill from there.” In fact, as we enter what Sheehy describes in her follow up book, “New Passages,” as our second adulthood, we’re presented with a multitude of opportunities for self discovery, reinvention, and “new and more meaningful ways to live. involuntary losses can become the catalyst for voluntary changes in the practice of our lives, altering the efforts that we make to connect with others, the values we choose to make congruent with our actions, the habits we change to support better health, the responsibilities we accept for mentoring the next generation and civilizing our communities, country, and planet… The massive shift in the passage to second adulthood involves a transition from survival to mastery.”
During our second adulthood the world cries out for our wisdom as never before.
Following is an interview with Gail Shehy speaking with Diane Rehm about the life passages that we each face.