A woman lying awake in bed at night with thoughts of clocks and hourglasses spinning around her head.

Mortality and Insomnia: Feeling Old Keeps Me Awake at Night

I just reached a big milestone in my life, and I hate it. Just yesterday, I reached the 1-year mark of amenorrhea. That means I have officially entered menopause. Um, yay, I guess. I really didn’t need another thing to keep me awake at night, but I got 1 all the same: morality and feeling old with insomnia.

Reaching this milestone cemented my age. Don’t get me wrong. I knew I wasn’t a spring chicken but it made me feel my age. Another chapter has closed in my book of life, and I have begun to wonder exactly how many chapters are left.

Mourning life's chapters makes me depressed

How many chapters do I have left? One. I think I have a single chapter left, and that depresses me. Some don’t understand when I say at my age I believe I have a single chapter left in my life. Let me explain.

As a woman, I’ve had a chapter before my childbearing years. That was childhood. Then I had the childbearing and child-rearing years. I completed raising my children just a couple of years ago. Despite knowing I did not want more children decades ago, I still mourn the ending of this stage of life. What is left to do? The rest of life is the march toward death. There are no big stages.

Wondering what to do after middle age

I’m 48 years old. Midlife has passed. I am not middle age. For those that don’t believe 48 isn’t middle age, think about what middle age is. It’s the estimated midpoint of life. Thinking 48 is midlife feels overly optimistic to me. I don’t think I am going to live to be 96.

So here I am stuck in a phase of life that I don’t even know what to call. I don’t feel like a senior. I don’t think I’m a senior. Since I have passed middle age and haven’t reached the age of a senior, what am I? What am I supposed to do during this stage of life? What is my purpose now?

Lying awake and trying to find my purpose

I now lie awake at night trying to figure out what I am supposed to do now. I feel too old to do many things and too young to simply resign to a life without goals and ambitions. What do I do?

Life isn’t a video game. I don’t have extra lives, and I feel like I’ve completed all the levels. What do I do for the rest of my life other than wait to die? Seriously, what do I do now? I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing. I’ve been staring at the ceiling at night trying to figure out what my purpose is.

Pondering the perpetual changing seasons

Life has various seasons, and we are all in a state of perpetual change. None of it makes sense but this is how it is. We spend our youth growing to the prime state of the human body. We reach that stage in our 20s. That’s when we are done growing and developing. Our physical development is complete.

After we finish developing, we start the slow descent to death. Our bodies begin to decline, and we spend the rest of our life falling apart. At a young age, we start slowly decaying until we die. Such is our mortal existence.

Feeling old causes me stress

I am feeling my age and maybe then some. I know I have lived more years than I have left, and that weighs heavy on my mind. We all reach that realization at some point and it’s a huge wake-up call.

How much have I really accomplished? Do I still have time to do all the things I want to do in life? What do I have left to do? Mortality and feeling old with insomnia are so much to think about and it causes a lot of stress.

Contemplating mortality fuels my insomnia

I really didn’t need something else to keep me awake at night, but I certainly have a new thing on my list. Feeling my mortality and trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do in a new stage of life is the newest fuel for my insomnia, and I feel like I will never get a good night’s sleep again.

Have you dealt with a later-than-midlife crisis? How do you handle contemplating mortality and feeling old with insomnia?

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