Friday, January 3, 2014

Caught In The Middle: Author Marlene Legaspi-Munar Talks About Mid Life

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Changes and problems during mid life are unavoidable, but a balanced perspective can help mid lifers breeze through it all.

Explore the intricacies of middle age and discover ways to cope beautifully with its realities. In her witty and conversational writing style, Marlene Legaspi-Munar invites forty- and fifty somethings to a lighthearted yet meaningful journey in Life in the Middle: The Search for a Satisfying and Significant Midlife.

Reflect on your experiences as a midlifer on your own or with friends through discussion points and suggested activities in each chapter.

Make peace with your past, make the most of the present, and look forward to the future. Grow beyond the crisis, and enjoy a satisfying, meaningful, significant, and fun life in the middle!

Nitoy Gonzales of Delighting Grace talks with Marlene Legaspi-Munar, author of the new book "Life In The Middle" to discuss about mid life, its challenges and how to make much of that stage in life.

At the Manila International Book Fair signing session

For those who dont know, what is mid life? How about mid life crisis?

Marlene Legaspi-Munar: Midlife is that stage of life somewhere around late 30s or 40s. You can also call it middle adulthood. The term “midlife crisis” was coined by psychoanalyst and social scientist Elliot Jacques. This refers to the emotional challenges that people in middle age experience and their desire for a change as a result of growing older.

What are the common signs that you are in that stage of life? Do we become more of "makulit" or "maramdamin" on our mind life stage?

Marlene Legaspi-Munar: People in midlife experience physical, emotional, and mental changes as well as social and professional challenges. Many midlifers now see the need for reading glasses, their hair turn white, and they put on weight. They have body fats in unwanted places (in short, bilbil and beer belly!) Body metabolism slows down.

Some are getting forgetful. Nagsisimula na ang senior moments. Some tend to worry about the future, about their financial status, their aging parents, their health, and many others.

Professionally, this could mean the peak of one’s character, a re-evaluation of one’s calling, or early retirement. On the other hand, some could be facing a crisis, a discomfort in their current job. They could be looking for more challenges or more meaning in life. This is the stage when the search for significance and the meaning of life becomes more intense. Maybe that’s why others become sensitive or “maramdamin”.

Although this is a general description of what midlifers experience, some people in this stage are flourishing and are probably enjoying their life. It doesn’t mean that just because you’re in midlife, you’ll have a midlife crisis. What’s important is to be aware of the possible changes and challenges that one will meet when he or she reaches middle age and prepare for it with a positive mindset.

Marlene Legaspi-Munar with blogers Dems Angeles and Nitoy Gonzales

Marlene Legaspi-Munar with inspirational speaker Chinkee Tan

Marlene Legaspi-Munar

The subject is near to your heart because you are on you're mid life already. Have it change something in your life like your priorities?

Marlene Legaspi-Munar: Before I reached my forties, I read books about midlife and asked my older friends what to expect. I treated entering midlife as a milestone for me. I also realized that I’m not getting younger, instead I’m growing older and so I must make the most of my remaining years. Each year, I always look back to what has happened in my life and thank God for every good thing that happened. I try to learn from my mistakes and ask God to lead me always so I can live life, my midlife, to the fullest. Now that I’m in midlife, I always ask God to help me do the things He has planned for me to do and to care for the people around me.

What is the biblical response to mid life or mid life crisis?

Marlene Legaspi-Munar: As I shared in the book, we can deal with life in the middle and live healthy, happily, and significantly. The book details the ways how we can do this. But for a start, midlifers can do the following things:

*Be informed of the possible changes they will go through—phsical, mental, emotional, social.
*Be prepared for these changes. You may have to change your diet before it’s too late.
*Be positive. There are so many things you can be thankful for at this stage of your life.
*Be open. Don’t stop learning. And be more yielded to God. God is Lord over every season of our lives and even in our middle age, God still has good plans for us.

I'm a Generation Xer, a few years from now I will enter that level. So how can I make much of it? How can I magnify Christ by preparing for it? I remember that line from John Piper's book " Don't Waste Your Life" (which by the way you can buy at Amazon or download it for free on " Let none say in the end, I've wasted it". Very fitting words... aren't they?

Marlene Legaspi-Munar: You’re right. Someone said that life is God’s gift to us. What we do with it is our gift to Him. To do that, we have to take care of our mind and body. Nurture your relationships with yourself, with others, and most especially with God. Keep growing, keep looking forward. Reflect on your past to look for the gracious hand of God in your life (how God has led you, provided for you, taught you). Learn from the lessons of the past years, but keep looking forward. Let God always lead you and give back to Him the glory for your every success.

Please invite our readers to check out your latest book "Life in the Middle" and how we can contact you?

Marlene Legaspi-Munar: I hope you’ll include Life in the Middle in your reading list this year, and give it also to your family members and friends who are in midlife. The book is very informative and encouraging for midlifers, especially if you’re going through midlife crisis. You can buy a copy from National Book Store, PCBS, and other book stores. You may also visit my blogsites where I share my reflections and where I keep a record some of my travels (I like to travel!) Please visit also my website

You can also check Delighting Grace blog for Ate Marlene's interview ( and book review on her previous book "Add Mo Ko As Friend" ( I hope you enjoy that too.

Any parting words for our readers of Wazzup Pilipinas?

Marlene Legaspi-Munar: If you’re in midlife, or are about to enter this stage, you don’t have to fear this stage of life. Midlife can be lived meaningfully if we live it not just for ourselves but for God and for others. Midlife is a great opportunity to share our skills to others, to mentor, and to leave a legacy. Success is sweeter when shared with the people you love and when the thanksgiving and glory is given back to God. And this is a promise of God we can hold on to:

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them.
Isaiah 42:16

Contributed by Nitoy Gonzales

Marianito "Nitoy" Gonzales is a 30 something introvert who's passion is to proclaim the good news about God. He wears many hats but he is just an ordinary guy serving an extraordinary God. You can reach him at his Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram.

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