I was listening to a song titled “Place in this world”(Michael W Smith) and that got me thinking. I mean, I’ve been listening to this song for decades now and it is somehow on my anytime playlist. I like the artist’s raspy voice. I don’t mind admitting that I sometimes make my own lyrics for a song I enjoy. And so it is with this one.
The song, like every song, always starts a thought process. This one makes me feel that our existence is a lifelong experience in finding ourselves and our place in this world . . . the triumphs and hardships. . . each one marking a milestone in our lives.
Have you heard of the 7-year cycle? I’m a firm believer in this.
It is the notion that cells in our body are completely renewed within a seven-year period.
Also, that we change in personalities through the years in this general order:
0 – 7
7 – 14
14 – 21
… and so on.
It is a continual cycle of new development where we learn but also grow old and wise through our experiences.
Let’s explore this concept and see how it reveals some of the transitions we face in life, helping us find ourselves—and our place in life at various stages.
The Early Years (0 – 28)
These early years are formidable ones because we’re naturally impressionable.
We’ve set out on an adventure called Life.
From birth to our early teens, most of us enjoy being coddled by our parents. We begin our time at school, learning new things, and about the world around us. It’s that time we make best friends and begin to form our self-identities. Then puberty strikes and now we’re interested in relationships.
Before long we’re in the rebellious stage of those late teens and early 20’s. Some, like me, enter the workforce, while others go off to college. Others want out—a way to get away from their parents.
This is also a time when some commit to long-term relationships, which triggers that feeling of wanting to settle down. I did that when I was 24. I worked with a moving company to relocate from my apartments and home across vast distances, to find internships to get my foot in the door, and later, joined communities to make real-life friends, and even considered the big leap of having children. However, I did wait, while most of my classmates went ahead and started families. Oh, parenting!
The Middle Years (28 – 56)
By our middle years, we’re on that fast track toward:
- A stable career
- A long-term relationship
- A realization we’re getting older
And of course we remain impressionable because we wish to climb the corporate ladder—or start a business. This is the best time to listen to the advice of successful leaders since, at this stage, money and resources are usually available.
While some may have jumped in early with relationships, the middle years may be where most are in one. This is also the stage when people settle into their careers, consider a house, and having children. Now you’re the parent—juggling spending time with the children, while trying to achieve that work/life balance.
At this point, one might assume that most people have reached a point in their lives where they’d like to think they’re at peace.
But in reality, that’s not always so. Many face the monster called mid-life crisis. The essential dread that we’re getting older and have so much to accomplish or reflect on what little we may have done creeps in. What if we focused on self love? We find balance—an ability to be grateful for what/who we have, a calming of the mind, and a new thirst for what life offers.
The Late Years (56 – 84)
We now usher in the late years.
The difference in mind, body, and soul are substantial since one has gone through multiple cycles. We are not that young kid anymore. We’re “winding down”. We’ve found ourselves..
During these times, we experience heavy realizations: we say good-bye to many loved ones. The passing of parents and friends. Life somehow hardens us a little, yet it doesn’t make it easier to bear. It’s important to grieve during these times, but also celebrate life, and relive the joy of this cherished journey with these wonderful people.
I’d say that it’s not all doom and gloom, though. Happiness comes in the form of:
- Seeing our child(ren) grow into adulthood
- The success of hard work via retirement
- Enjoying experiences that we had to put on hold due to a lack of time and resources
There is so much to reflect upon. So many moments that will bring joy and many more to be had. You’re free from the daily grind. Your opportunities are now boundless.
Now tell me:
What do you think of the 7-year cycle? Does it make sense? Have you noticed a change throughout the years in your life? Please do share in the comments!