When my ex husband was 36 he claimed he was having a mid life crisis. I said that he couldn’t be as it wasn’t possible until he was mid life, which would mean about 50, not 36. His retort was that he didn’t expect to live past 70!
So, what is a mid life crisis, does it exist even?
If it does, when does it happen?
It does seem that it is a phenomenon that hits men more than women, but it’s not exclusive. And it does tend to happen at different ages, although I believe I was right in my previous presumption that it was more common around 50 years old.
Midlife Crisis or Midlife Stressor?
When a person reaching the mid part of their life, which can actually be any time between 40 and 64 years, they can experience a lot of changes. It’s a time when you start to re-evaluate your life, when you think about what you have achieved and where you are. It’s different for everyone.
Maybe you have a family, home, job and everything is settled and fine. But somewhere inside there is a trigger which is asking…is it enough? It probably is enough, but as you see how fast life has sped past so fast and you know that time isn’t eternal, you get an urge, an itch, just a feeling, and you question your life, your very existence.
Some are not so lucky, maybe they don’t have the things they have striven for. Their marriages may be broken, the kids barely seen, or even the time seems to be running out to make that perfect family. Maybe family hasn’t been what you’ve wanted from life and you are happy single and child free. It doesn’t matter, the feeling of is it enough, is always there, an itch that can’t be scratched.
Most people just carry on regardless. It passes and as you get older you learn to settle for what you’ve done. What seems very little at a time of crisis, suddenly seems like so very much.
Those that don’t pass through this can become depressed, or start acting out of character. This is when a mid life crisis becomes a mid life stressor.
Dealing with a Mid Life Crisis
So, how do you deal with this mid life crisis? First of all, are you having one at all, can you acknowledge your feelings? Great, that’s the first step. If you understand that you are going through changes you can accept them and deal with them. Ignoring them can only make things worse.
If you are stressed or depressed, then it’s important to acknowledge this too and seek help from the professionals. Ask your doctor, find a mental health centre. It’s not wrong to ask for help, it’s not wrong to feel bad, it’s okay not to feel okay.
Talk about how you feel with your loved ones. No matter how long you have been together, they are not mind readers. They will be more understanding if you can explain that you are not feeling your usual self and this can help stress between you.
Don’t do anything rash or make radical changes. Often at these times a person may consider leaving their job, or their spouse, or spend money on things they can’t afford thinking that these things will make them happy. Sadly, it rarely does, it only makes things worse. So talk to someone before making these decisions, get a different perspective.
I’m not an expert but I am a woman, mid life, wondering what the hell I’m doing here, where I am going and what future do I have. Am I in crisis? I am way more happier with the things I’ve achieved than those I haven’t, I guess that’s a good start.
As the Great Sir Terry Pratchett said;
It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it’s called Life.”Terry Pratchett – The Last Continent