Enjoying a Cold Summer “Limin-ade.”

Enjoying a Cold Summer “Limin-ade.”

I will never forget the birthday when my ex staged a surprise party at a circus school. Suddenly, I was thirty feet in the air with my friends cheering me on as my impatient teacher was nudging me off the platform for my very first flying trapeze solo. Talk about your liminal moment.

Of course, to be liminal is to be in between, the fine line between what was and what will be. It’s a place of transition and, often, awkwardness. When we were liminal in adolescence, we may have been self-conscious, but we also knew our peers were in a similarly liminal place. We were going through adolescence together.

But, as an adult, we can feel alone in our liminality, as if we are flailing on the trapeze. Just as adolescence represents the threshold to adulthood, middlescence is our limbo period between being an adult and starting to own our elderhood. Unfortunately, in modern society, the child aspires to be an adult while few adults aspire to be elders.

Instead of embracing the stomach-turning liminality of our real-life trapeze, we often retreat. We climb down from that platform, feeling ashamed that we don’t have the capacity to fall forward, even when there’s a safety net below us.

Of course, if we are going to enjoy more meaningful lives, we must find ways to embrace that liminal space trapeze that marks our transition into elderhood.

I don’t know about you, but my solution is a nice refreshing glass of lemonade, or in this case, “limin-ade” — my go-to summer drink that reminds me to slow down, relax and embrace the flow of the changing moment. The truth is, we could all use a little more “limin-ade” in our lives, and maybe that’s a cool drink, or perhaps it’s someone to cheer you on or a teacher to be your liminal role model. Maybe it’s simply a stronger safety net.

Whatever it is, make your own brand of “limin-ade,” then drink up and enjoy the feeling that comes when you take that bold and glorious first step into the air.

Cheers to your beautiful second half of life!

Chip Conley

This article first appeared in Chip Conley’s Wisdom Well blog