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03 | Grit and Grace in Midlife Transitions: Beginning with an ending; are we saying “no” to the new wine?

We think of life as unfolding chronologically. A story with a beginning, and middle, and an end. 

Life, however, will bring us what we don’t expect from time to time. Sometimes that involves an ending.  

The ending might be eagerly anticipated, like retirement, getting rid of THAT boss at THAT job, ending your life (by marriage, I mean – I should say your “single” life 😂😂😂).  Or the ending might be feared: getting fired, looking for work in a new career at age 45, or 55. Or unexpected: a health setback, realizing you’re too darn old to play basketball with the boys, or your adult daughter who shows little interest in engaging with you any more. 

Transitions start with an ENDING. 

After the ending, there’s a middle. But it’s not a nice, linear, go from point A to point B middle. It’s the Messy Middle where the direction forward is unclear. We are looking around but don’t see the straight and narrow path that leads us to success! 

After spending a while in this twilight time, we realize something’s a little different. We realize we have a little more light on our path. We are emerging into a New beginning. 

Some transitions are small and some are large. We like to call the large ones “life quakes,” which is a term coined by Bruce Feiler, who wrote the book Transitions

We focus on the ENDING in this episode. The power of the ending. Recognizing the ending. Having an ending. 

In Luke 5:39, we read how the person that’s drinking the old wine says “Hey, I’m good with this! I don’t want to try the new wine! Don’t move my wine! ” That’s the Curtis standardized version in case you were wondering. We don’t like to try new things, that’s human nature. 

When Jesus was talking about endings in the parable of the wine skins, he was breaking the news to the Jews that His Kingdom was not what they were expecting. Their beliefs and perspectives about the Messiah had to come to an ENDING. Because they simply didn’t fit with the new thing Jesus was bringing to the world. 

That’s how transitions work. We have to recognize the ENDING. So we can get rid of our old habits of mind and receive the new grace that will surely come to us, if we can receive it. 

We discuss how these phases might be showing up in your life. 

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karen and curtis herbert as a midlife coaches

We are Karen and Curtis Herbert, founders of The Catholic Midlife. Our mission is to spark a catholic midlife renewal and help YOU to step into your next season with purpose, hope, and a clear vision for the rest of your life.

Because the rest of
your life matters. 

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