September 19, 2010
My girlfriend just turned 49 yesterday. That got my friends and I talking about seven-year cycles. Most people give Rudolf Steiner full credit for this theory, but I believe developmental theorists Erickson and Piaget also had similar theories and when there are universal truths, eventually most people come to the same conclusions. I sent her this article to explain her next cycle. Reading it brought insights into my own my life, my teenagers’ life, and even my parents’ journeys.
When I was a new mom, I was aware of the first cycle of 7 and felt a shift with both of them neared their seventh birthdays. Before seven, they felt like an extra limb, or a permanent fixture on my hip. If they hurt their finger, I swear I felt it. But after seven, they became fully formed kids. I saw them as separate from myself. (Or they made that their declaration).
One of my teens has made it successfully past 14 and the other is nearing it. This passage explains a lot of what is happening at our home ¨At the age of fourteen comes the second series of defiances. Once again a total change of the system occurs. It is a creation of a private space and the physical preparation for adulthood.¨ I am happy that the house where we just moved to has plenty of space for them both. They are spending time alone and I’ve intuited that this is necessary for their journey. (Although I really want them always hanging out talking with me, they are finding their friends or their alone time, way more appealing. They are creating another level of separation.)
I was surprised to read about the shift around the 35th year. “The thirty-fifth year is the cutting of the emotional umbilical cord and true emotional adulthood arrives. Here one stands alone, able to withstand being influenced by the emotional attitudes of others.” I moved from the US to New Zealand when I was 36. (It took me a year to plan.)
I’m sure that everyone has their own pace and journey, and there are so many other factors that go into the lives we lead (like temperament) but I find this research helpful. I am particularly looking forward to 56 when many venture off into something new…a global sailing trip perhaps?