Skip to Content

Looking Back on Midlife

Would I rather be on Midlife Boulevard
Or The Appian Way
Madison Avenue
or the Champs Elysee??

midlife, malibu, midlife women, looking back, senior citizen, california, new york,

By Emustonen at en.wikipedia [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
I’m inclined to choose Midlife Boulevard for many reasons, but specifically because I can drive in reverse and revisit my midlife. I am sure what I would see along the way is a broken heart, a change of heart, some heartless cads, and some heartfelt hopes and dreams. At times, it seemed as if I had checked into the Heartbreak Hotel. NOTHING at midlife was as I had expected it to be.

I was no longer living in my home state of New York , but in some faraway place called California. California?? There was no theatre district in this place, no subways, not many skyscrapers. No one to walk past and say “hi” to and no one to pass me on the street and say “hi” to me. My husband and my two children were here and feeling just as misplaced/displaced as I did.

I longed for the 59th Street bridge… the bridge that went directly into the heart of NYC. That skyline was mine, that city belonged to me. There could not possibly be such a feeling in California – could there?

And then one day, not long after we moved here, I drove across Malibu Canyon, not knowing how it twisted and turned and wound around. Where was I? Suddenly, glistening bright rays began to appear. The sky became bluer, the air so fresh and clear. Malibu Canyon had taken me to my first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean, with it’s colors of light blue, dark blue, brilliant aqua and frothy white foamy waves. I was so stunned that I was actually looking for The Beach Boys to appear in front of me, crooning “California Girls.”

BUT… this is what became surprisingly interesting. The anonymity that I feared turned out to be a serendipitous gift. No one knew me in California, so there were no expectations of who or what I should be. All alone in this faraway place, I had to figure it out for myself. And so began the midlife reinvention.

Different roads take us to different places. If we are willing, we can find various aspects of ourselves on each road we take. I am too old now for Midlife Boulevard. I no longer drive on canyons… way! No twists and turns for me. I no longer can drive over the 59th Street bridge – too high, too scary, too fast.

What shall I name the street I am on now? I know one thing – there will be a sign on the street that says SLOW…and I will see more than I ever have before.

midlife, midlife women

Judy Williamson


Judy Williamson

I recently retired, after working for 32 years as a psychotherapist, in private practice. Now I am able to pursue my interest and love of literature and writing. To that end, I am studying creative writing and memoir writing at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, CA. I am married, and am enjoying my new pursuits, my freedom and my children and grandchildren .

More Posts

Jody - Fit at 56

Friday 7th of February 2014

Such a wonderful read! I know I am the age of midlifeblvd but honestly I don't feel like I am in any one group... I am not sure why but I just want to reach all with my message so maybe I refuse to box myself in.. :)

Sandra Sallin

Thursday 6th of February 2014

Hi there Judy,

I'm a professional artist turned 72-year-old blogger. I'm also a friend of your daughter's. Would love to meet you. I live in LA also. Very enjoyable piece.

judy williamson

Thursday 6th of February 2014

Hello, Sandra Sharon has told me about you and it would be wonderful to meet each other.

Claudia Krusch

Thursday 6th of February 2014

Judy, As a Brazilian that moved here with no relatives or other friends than my husband to be, I really enjoyed reading your post and appreciating your view on what lies ahead. My journey is just starting, but I know by now, change is part of growth!


Thursday 6th of February 2014

Judy, thank you for sharing this perspective. As a family we're facing the possibility of relocation again, and while part if me dreads it, I think about the possibility of reinventing myself, and it is calming. Your words are a good reminder that life is continuously changing.

judy williamson

Thursday 6th of February 2014

II appreciate your very sweet post. Good one really chooses change, it chooses us. Good Luck to you


Estelle Erasmus

Wednesday 5th of February 2014

Judy, Great post. I would love to hear your name for your new road that's beyond Midlife Boulevard. Estelle

judy williamson

Wednesday 5th of February 2014

I would like to know the name of that street, too, It has not come to me yet.

Stay Tuned.

Thank You


Comments are closed.
Read previous post:
fashion over 50, fashion for midlife women, flattering clothes, finding your style, midlife, midlife women
Cover Girls and Bicep Curls

There I was …standing innocently in the grocery store line…waiting to get home after a long day… when suddenly, there...