umph, but compromise. Authentic lives are those in which we incorporate all our experiences and reinvest our energies in today and tomorrow. After we have relinquished the old, outdated ways of thinking, doing, and being, we are brought to the final stage of mourning, a creative reorganization of our days. As the process nears completion, we are able to embrace new people, ideas, activities, and work. We establish a new equilibrium. We are increasingly free to create the rest of life with intention and responsibility. If we reach our dreams, we are thrilled; when we fall short, we are proud to have taken the chance. So often we feel that we have lived accidental lives; midlife can change that feeling. This is a time of promise.
We will examine more of these successful struggles and the resulting creative changes in pages to come. If this is the process of letting go, what is it that we specifically relinquish at midlife that will allow us to move freely ahead?
Quote in chapter title is from Willy Russell, ( 1988), Shirley Valentine, in Shirley Valentine and one for the road. London: Methuen Drama.