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Midlife Black Out

It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning. I woke up full of joy - another day to officiate the union of a couple. As a marriage officiant, I have officiated a few weddings and it never gets old. Watching the bride and her father walk down the aisle arm-in-arm, with her veil hiding the emotions beneath. Watching the groom stand at the altar with his displayed mixed emotions of joy, nervousness, awe, as he sees the woman he loves draw nearer to him. The most common thought in both their minds being - “It’s here…the day is finally here…I get to marry the love of my life.”

I got to the church and prepared myself for the service. At exactly 10:00am, we began the ceremony and as I looked around the church, I saw the vast array of stunning "aso-ebis" (traditional Nigerian attires). The ceremony continued and it was time for the couple to say their vows. I had noticed earlier that the bride did not have the usual mixed emotions of joy and nervousness, she seemed distant. I may have even seen tears at a time but I was unsure if they were tears of joy or pain.

Why was this bride, Jackie, different? Was it because she was already at midlife? Should she not have been the happiest person that her day had come?

As I read the vows for the couple to repeat, the groom did so happily but when it was Jackie’s turn she could not speak. It was then I realised that something was definitely off.

What happened to Jackie?...

The Midlife Encounters series 12 - Black Out - highlights the unique challenges we go through in life that can lead us to experience a time-out or Black Out. This experience is common at midlife and triggered by different things.

The primary source of blackouts is our heightened expectations from life, people, situations, or things. We create expectations based on self-assessed assumptions. We have internal dialogues; feelings we think we are communicating with our partners. We believe that they know what we want or that they should know what we want.

We mirror our assumptions and mindset on others, expecting them to reason and come to the same conclusions as we did. When things don't pan out and people begin to question our assumptions, we flip and go crazy, discussing a scene in the movie we played in our heads as if it were real.

Then comes the Black Out.

You might not be experiencing a Black Out at your wedding ceremony, it might be at your new job and you are asking yourself the question - “What am I doing here?” “How did I get here?” - the Black Out moment.


Stay tuned to the Midlife Encounters Blog to find out what Jackie did next.

This Friday, we return to our career series. Like Jackie, maybe you are experiencing a blackout but in your career.


What are these crossroads? Are they as a result of a career blackout?

Two more days to find out.


Article by:

OyeStir (The Midlife Coach)


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