I am Monika, a typical ‘middle-aged’ adult currently living in Germany.
In my life I have had the pleasure to live in and travel to several countries, first with my parents and now with my little family, thus giving me the opportunity to get first hand experience with different cultures, religions and languages. I was born in India to Hindu parents, have lived in Muslim Pakistan, in Christian USA, Germany and Sweden, atheist Czechoslovakia and Buddhist/Confucian China. I have visited almost 40 countries as a tourist. Over time I have learned (and unfortunately also partially forgotten) Hindi, English, Urdu, German, Spanish, Swedish and some Mandarin Chinese.
In all these countries, with their different cultures and religions, I seldom had problems finding friends and relating with people. I realized, that in all these places, people shared similar ambitions and aspirations, conquered life’s challenges and sought pleasure and fulfillment by attaining social, financial and personal goals which were not so different from one another, even though spread across the globe. Life of those with similar academic and economic backgrounds followed similar patterns no matter which part of the world they lived in.
Of course you can not compare the life patterns of the super rich with those living on poverty level. But for those in the middle-income group, especially with academic backgrounds, I noticed that the patterns of life seemed to converge. During school and college-going age, naturally, everyone my age was also going to school or college. But even in the following years, similar patterns ensued for a great number of my friends and colleagues around the globe. The vast majority in the same age group seemed to be starting their first jobs, getting married, entering parenthood, purchasing property etc. in waves. Also, negative news, such as divorces or sickness of parents, children, or of my friends themselves seemed to come bundled.
This made me think about Universal Stages of Life.
I researched and read several books and articles about the stages of life. Not having a background in psychology, I found many interesting and, for me, new theories, but none of them did justification to what I saw around me. There are numerous and detailed theories on child development (Freud, Piaget,..), but only few on adult development. Many stage theories define adult life in very broad terms and longish periods (such as Eriksson’s 20-40 and 40-65 stages). Several studies and theories are outdated and do not consider the ever-increasing age of our elders (most defining old age as anything beyond 60, such as Levinson). Some still hold on to very traditional gender roles and even fewer consider the new stage of “emerging adults“, since many theories are based on studies conducted a few decades ago.
After some thinking, and based on my readings, experiences, discussions and observations, a division of life in stages of 6 years, which I call Blobs, seemed natural and in harmony with today’s lifestyle. So now, via this blog, I would like to reach out to a wider audience to share my thoughts and trigger interesting discussions.
Hope you enjoy reading and am looking forward to your comments!