Why You Need to Prioritize Adventure in Midlife


Women in midlife (i.e., those near and over 40!) tell me they’re bored and need more excitement in their lives.  They want to have more fun and feel like they used to before getting tied down with responsibilities, parenting, jobs, etc.

Hear hear!!

As we enter our 40s, most of us are starting to emerge from underneath the weight of starting a career and raising a family.  We have a little more space in our hearts, and we start to crave “more.”

In our 40s, we begin to resist the “shoulds” and the demands on our time.  We question what we’re supposed to do, and we feel more empowered.

But, that transition can be scary!

We want to have more fun, we want to be more adventurous, we maybe even want to be a smidge irresponsible, but we’re not sure how to accomplish this desire.  Or, if we even should do it! What would people think? Will I upset my partner, my kids, etc.?

So, for many of us, we fail to chase this spark of curiosity.  But, to ignore that growing desire means we endure life instead of enjoying life. Life remains a routine, and we settle more deeply into those comfortable feelings of boredom and emptiness.

Adventure as a Chief Desire for Women over 40

At some point in our late 30s or early 40s, a wake-up call shakes us to our core. I call this the midlife crisis stage, and it’s the first of three phases of the midlife transition.  It’s when we realize we’re not content with life as-is, we question if this is all there is, and we know some things need to change.

Being bored out of our skull and following a well-choreographed daily routine starts to grind on us and is one of the first things we realize needs to change.

That’s why I include “adventure” as one of the three chief desires of women over 40, that when maximized and prioritized leads us to our midlife awakening.

Related Topic: The 3 Chief Desires

But, the word “adventure” can feel daunting or even triggering for some. So, let’s back up and redefine this word.

What is Adventure?

If you do a Google search on anything related to “adventure” and women over 40, the results that come back seem to suggest that travel is the only option for being adventurous in midlife.

While I love traveling and have traveled solo, with girlfriends, with romantic partners, I believe adventure can be so much more than just traveling!

If you hit up Google again and search on the definition of “adventure,” you’ll find a description like this:  an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.

Nowhere in that definition does it say the word ‘travel.’  While I always encourage women to flex their travel muscles (especially solo travel!), I’d discourage anyone from limiting their definition of adventure to simply travel more frequently.

Here’s the thing:  WE get to decide what “adventure” means for ourselves and how it’ll look in our lives.  In other words, we get the unique opportunity to create our own definition!

I also don’t believe “adventure” has to involve anything risky, dangerous, or hazardous (again, WE get to decide what adventure looks like for ourselves).

My definition of adventure likely won’t look like your definition and vice versa.  But, that’s the beauty of it! If adventure could only be defined by ONE definition, very few of us would be able to live up to the requirements.

So, the key to being adventurous is to jumpstart our excitement and fire up all of our senses!  When we’re adventurous, we feel alive!

If you’re craving more adventure, or even just the desire to have more fun in your life, it helps to reject society’s definition of adventure and define it for yourself.

Why You need Adventure in Midlife

Midlife affords us a little more breathing room.

We’re no longer trying to prove ourselves at work - we’ve already done that.  We’re not likely raising infants and toddlers - so time is more open. And, we’ve had years of experience at this living thing, so we have a better idea of what we like and don’t like.

Inviting adventure into our lives at this stage keeps us younger.  I know that sounds cliched, but it’s true!

When we’re adventurous, we’re laughing; we’re firing at all cylinders, our blood is pumping, we’re fully engaged.  In other words, we’re at our peak in aliveness.

We’re not old at this point in life, but we’re not spring chickens.  We may not have the same energy as our 25-year-old self, and staying out all night isn’t our idea of a good time, but we certainly have the capacity and energy to fully engage our senses and our mind with activities that get us excited.

Another reason adventure is key to maximizing our midlife experience is that, by nature, we’re likely trying new things.  Experiencing something new and pushing past our perceived limits is critical for our personal growth and development. Otherwise, we stay stuck in a time capsule.

Since travel isn’t something we can regularly do, all the more reason to define “adventure” in a way that allows us to sprinkle it into our lives frequently.

Think how much more exciting life would be with a few adventures on the calendar this month!  And next month!

Final Thoughts

Adventure doesn’t have to be a scary word.  And, it shouldn’t be the proverbial can we keep kicking down the road.

Our happiness, our health, our personal growth, and our overall enjoyment of life depend on our defining what adventure means to us and making it a priority in our life.