LiveLifeAfterFifty

Crushing It Every Day Of Your Life

Midlife Crisis – Fact, Fiction Or Fate

Wikipedia defines midlife crisis as “a transition of identity and self-confidence that can occur in early middle aged individuals.”
Why do some people exhibit this behavior and others are seemingly unaffected?
Apparently personality type and a history of psychological crisis are believed to predispose some individuals to it and can affect men and women differently because their stressors differ.
Studies indicate that some cultures may be more sensitive to this phenomenon than others with Japanese and Indian cultures least affected.
What are indicators of a middle life crisis? Is it an increased emphasis on younger-looking clothes or a new interest in a sport or a younger crowd?
Many men and women want to feel better, lose weight, look younger & energize by cultivating healthier habits. For others, the hidden rebel surfaces with significant and often life altering repercussions. Having an affair or dumping other responsibilities to find yourself can be profoundly damaging to your friends, family and your brand.
One extreme Hollywood example is depicted in the television series “Breaking Bad “. Although hyped up like only Hollywood can, the audience has high hopes and sympathy for the protagonist Walter White a.k.a. Heisenberg who struggles to overcome his midlife financial, marital and confidence issues after being dealt a bad hand in life. Interestingly enough this audience/character bond continues as he tackles his challenges by entering into and effectively dominating the local drug trade. His is not a happy ending as is sometimes the case in real mid-life crises.
Shelley Emling – Senior Editor, The Huffington Post wrote in December of 2013 :
     Studies do show that at least  a third of men in their 40s and 50s  admit to forking out big bucks on a new car as a result of a midlife crisis. And some women admit to getting Botox or making some kind of drastic change to their appearance during this transitional period.
Peter A. O’Connor – a psychologist with a private psychotherapy practice in Melbourne, Australia wrote in his best-known book Understanding the Mid-Life Crisis (1981)  that:
  • The period between the ages 35 and 45 is a time of crisis for many men and women, a time when feelings of frustration and personal inadequacy may surface and strains in marriages may be felt.
  •  The mid-life crisis is a stage when many men and women are plagued by feelings that their life has no meaning or that their physical and mental powers are spent.
  •  This time of apparent crisis can also be seen as a creative challenge, as a stimulus for deeper understanding and growth.
  •  It can be a time of coming to terms with yourself, understanding more about yourself and a time for taking new directions.
Although I’ve never felt that I have entered into this phase consciously I have bought the motorbike, taken up skydiving, scuba diving and entered into the world of musicians with very little background in it. Geesh-sure looks like a midlife something! Regardless, I love it all and feel it has helped me to grow as a person.
So what about you? What have you noticed in your own circle of friends? I’d like to hear from you!
MLC

About john.folkes@gmail.com

I am Canadian and married to a lovely wife for 28 years with two step daughters that I adore. My wife and I are recently retired and are appreciating the time afforded to us to pursue our interests. This blog will hopefully help you and us to discover new opportunities and generate some lively discussion of the topic of enjoying your senior years. Welcome aboard and please sign up for my weekly blog and newsletter. -Enjoy life John

2 Replies

  1. Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your blog.
    You have some really great articles and I believe I would be a good asset.
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    1. I’m not interested at the moment but will add you to my email list. We may be able to work something out in the future.
      Take care.

      John

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