Searching for Meaning in Midlife: Book Review

If you are the parent of a teen, tween or young adult, you are probably at midlife (often defined as between the ages of 40 and 60, although this varies). As someone who is in that stage myself, I was very interested in reading Laura Lee Carter’s new book, Find Your Reason to Be Here: The Search for Meaning in Midlife.

Laura Lee Carter has become a Midlife expert, having researched and written a great deal about midlife. Her other writings include Midlife Magic: Becoming the Person You Are Inside and her blog, The Midlife Crisis Queen. I had not realized until I read this book that midlife is the stage of human development least researched, with childhood, adolescence and old age most focused upon. This makes Carters writings even more valuable.

Approximately the first half of Find Your Reason to Be Here: The Search for Meaning in Midlife is informational. I learned a great deal about midlife and the study of it. The second half is more advice driven and discusses dealing with midlife crises. I thought the combination was perfect.

I want to share with you some of the information that I found in Laura Lee Carter’s new book (Reading the book yourself, you will learn so much more):

  • “Researchers found the risk of depression was lowest in those younger and older, and associated the middle-age years with the highest risk for depression among both men and women.”
  • “I realize that our view of midlife does not begin to grow and change until we ourselves reach our 40s”.
  • “The idea that is was normal for men to have a psychological crisis or shift in midlife gained popularity among Americans during this time (70s), but the fact that women were experiencing similar psychological transistions got lost in the shuffle.”
  • The first major study of midlife in the U.S. did not occur until 1989 – The MIDUS study.
Carter went through a bad midlife crisis of her own when she lost her job and got a divorce within a short time of each other. In addition to being a researcher, show knows first hand what it is like to experience a midlife crisis and how to come out on the other side. I recommend Find Your Reason to Be Here: The Search for Meaning in Midlife to anyone in their midlife years.

See also:
Cope With Aging Through Comics and Laughter
Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves


  1. 1989 Really, that is amazing! Oh how things are a changing.

  2. Thank you for sharing Laura Lee’s Book.

  3. Thank you for sharing, Jennifer! As we all know, memory loss can also, unfortunately, plague many of us in our midlife years;) Here are some tips on how to know whether that memory loss is related to menopause:
    -Ellen Dolgen

  4. I would really like to read this book just to know what could happen when I do reach my 40’s. I have suffered from depression since a child and did not realize that it could get worse in mid-life. Thank you so much for sharing this book!

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