Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Over 40 the Mid Life Crisis

I am over 40. I have seen the mid life crisis and it was I.

Today's post explores the mid life crisis. I speak to this issue from a first hand, past tense male perspective. I am 55. I also speak to the issue as a partner to a beautiful woman now in the midst of her early 40's mid life experience.

Mid life is real and the experience does have the character of a crisis. In a nut shell, when you turn 40 you realize that if you live to be 80, you just used up half of your life and you realize how fast the first half went by. And if that wasn't bad enough, you also look back on your youth and realize a) just how lucky you were to survive those 'close calls' where you probably should have been killed or died, b) realize how poorly you have been treating your poor metabolism with junk food, bad habits and a passive or inattenive lifestyle and c) start to examine in retrospect all of those opportunities missed or opportunities you never had in the first place. Of course, we blame our parents for all of our short comings.

Do not despair. All of those little aches and pains you are having are not tumors. They are from some strenuous activity you did three days ago. Some activity you use to perform as a younger soul without thinking, without any consequence what so ever and Oh, did I mention the grocery store glasses (you can get a 3-pac at WalMart for $8) Here's the test. Never wore glasses you say? Turning 40? OK. Get out the 'ol phone book and see for yourself. You will become acquainted with the terms .75's, 1.25's etc, as the years go by.

Listen, there's good news. The crisis passes and everyone goes thru it. Talk to older friends and family who have been there and don't take it personally when they laugh or giggle when they respond.

The bad news is that it happens. The good news is, it happens very slowly. The metaphor for mid life is seen as a rocket trying to escape the earth's gravity. The rocket expends most of its fuel during take off and through the initial phase of its journey. That's the youthful phase of life. If all goes well, the further out into space get, the less fuel you need. That's the mid life. Finally you reach orbit and free from the earths gravitation. Once there, you don't need much rocket fuel at all. Just enough to keep you in orbit.


  1. "Finally you reach orbit and free from the earths gravitation. Once there, you don't need much rocket fuel at all. Just enough to keep you in orbit."

    Another great post. I still have few years ahead of me before I will go thru it, yet I found this post really eyes opening. I have been the listener many times to my older friends... All kinds of crisis we have to go thru in our lives... But it all makes us who we are. One just has to be a fighter, never give up.

    PS. I know this may seem like a silly question, but as you know about jackets... I wondered would you be able to recommend a good winter jacket for me... if you've got a time... It's impossible for me to decide. Lol.

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