Chapter 15 : Finding meaning

What do you want your work life and leisure to be like in middle age? If you are middle-aged, what are your work life and leisure activities like now? If you are an older adult, what were these activities like for you in middle age?


The typical US middle aged adult has a life that is largely shaped by their career (Santrock, 2019, p. 481). Though it is a period in which many adults reach their maximum earning potential and position in their jobs, it is also a time in which individuals are impacted by many financial pressures including mortgages, child care, rent, etc. (Santrock, 2019). It is also a period of transition. Though workers may be the most effective and highly ranked in middle age, it is also a time in which individuals may realize that their jobs are limited, and that retirement is coming (Santrock, 2019, p. 483) . They may need to switch gears in order to anticipate the future (Santrock, 2019).

Middle adulthood also often presents an opportunity to engage in more leisure activities, as

spending increases and paid leave also tends to increase (Santrock, 2019, p. 482).

I hope that my middle adulthood includes being a parent and having a family life. I aspire to lead a life that is less based around my work, and hopefully a little more geographically settled. I have no doubt that I will continue to engage in many leisure activities. I love hobbies. I also hope that I will have managed to secure a little more financial stability so that I can have a more relaxed relationship to money.


Santrock, J. W. (2019). Lifespan development (17th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.