The Midlife Crisis thread

Scr77

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Feb 15, 2014
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This has been on my mind for a while, ever since a 20 something AFF member mentioned their midlife crisis (apologies as I don’t remember your handle). It sticks in my mind because AFF members pointed out that there was plenty of time for that later!

I have a great family and have done well for my mid 40’s. I have nothing to complain about. A fantastic, loving and supportive wife. An awesome, well rounded only child who is blitzing year 12 and will go on to change the world.

But here’s the rub, why can I tell a midlife crisis is coming? Is it because the needy child is no more? Is it because the challenging years have past? Is it because I’m financially stable and now have time to think/feel in a more selfish way? I ask this as I have just started a solo trip to Petra, in a mix of J and F. I wonder, is this the start of my midlife crisis?

I would like to make this a safe and unjudging place to share suggestions or personal experiences. What does a midlife crisis feel like and what made you realise you were having one? Did that Harley or sports car really help? Did you just need a new focus as you became empty nesters? Is this what spurs AFFers on to travel? Or is the idea of a midlife crisis all made up? Please enlighten me before I get there 😀
 
I never went through any moody etc stage during the “teenage” years, and as a 53yo nothing really changed for me after my late 30’s. I kinda/sorta don’t get these excuses people use for behaviour that’s not necessarily supportable …
 
Well, my 'mid-life' 'crisis' is actually neither. It's not mid-life, me being late 50s, and it's not a crisis of any kind!

Basically, I was sort of forced to retire early, but I'm now enjoying the gifts that our late parents have generously bestowed on us children, and what I've made myself, to have as wonderful a time as possible. This includes an almost sports car (actually a Volvo convertible of my late mother's) and business class travel all over the world as often as can easily afford. Having no more dependent children, no work, and no responsibility is absolutely glorious!

Driving leisurely along the French Riviera for an autumn getaway in Italy, with my girlfriend by my side. An October cruise to see the Northern Lights in Norway. What's not to like!
 
I think at age76 I am entering my crisis. Can't call it mid life.
As @ZigZagWanderer says i basically have it all. finally fully retired at a time of my choosing, happily married for 52 years, our son doing exceptionally well and 3 gorgeous grandkids. very busy travelling but in the last month or two can't help thinking there is something missing. I have no idea what. Time will tell.
 
Is mid-life crisis a point in time where you realise life is not a bed of roses?

For me that point was covid but I would not call it a crisis. It was time to reflect and re-assess what's important and stop focusing on the things thrust in your face and you're expected to do in order to make a few even richer.

Time to enjoy life. Time to spend more time in my house working on my house and prepare to get off the grid.
 
I'm in my early 30s and have no experience in any life-crisis yet.

However, I look at my dad who recently retired and I think as @tgh mentioned it is the "purpose" that might be missing in most people's life after they retire. For instance, after retirement my dad did not know what to do. He worked all his life, stayed away from home on account of work/travel etc for years so that we kids got good education, uni, work etc. Now, he seems to be searching for things to do (and most times get into trouble with my mum lol, who also retired recently). He helps my sister with her business, runs errands for her, delivering orders, helping her purchase items etc and helps mum in the kitchen and others around the house. But I also think that he'd get back into workforce in a heart-beat. The whole idea of waking up in the morning and wondering what you need to do might be causing the feeling of crisis, again, I have no idea! :)

CoVID was certainly challenging times because he was affected and had to spend 6 weeks in a hospital etc. But he's back now and wants to do something. Knowing my dad, he certainly won't talk about the crisis that he might be, potentially, going thru. Like many a subcontinent parent, he prefers to keep things down within himself and only mention a few things when really pressed for details/information. His panacea these days is watching telly in the corner room of the house (that used to be my room until I moved), far away from the rest of the household. He's always a ear-shot away, but prefers to be left alone during his telly-time.

There are some traits that I think I might have picked up from him. I love to watch telly in peace. I don't even check my phone when it's me-time.

Mum, on the other hand - still goes thru her routine - same thing that she did for all her life - wakes up, coffee that dad prepares, mum prepares all meals, sister helps when she can (given her business etc) and talks to all our relos etc. So my understanding is that mum wakes up with a plan on what needs to be done on that given day, however, dad wakes up and may be doesn't have something to look forward to? IDK!

I might not have contributed anything to this thread, but I think I understand what people might be going thru. I'm told, I'm very perceptive to human emotions, so may be, yea, I get it.
 
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at 50yo, did not have a mid life crisis, but instead a bloody health crisis.
diagnosed with prostate cancer out of the blue from a random blood test. WTF.
life changing surgery coming up soon
You and me both, though mine was just an enlarged prostrate. I'm 78. However, latest laser surgery 2 weeks ago which took 40 minutes was a complete success and life has changed for the better.
 
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To me it was in my 40's when I started to question myself: is this the career I want to continue doing, is this the marriage and love life I want and can have, is this... [fill in all the blanks] ...or is there more to this life than I have now?

Since then, I've had couple major changes in life and it's looking a lot more like me now (including a job I like and an amazing partner). Onward and upward from here!
 
There are some very personal stories here and I presume most of us are male. So thanks for opening up and sharing.

I can relate to some common themes mentioned. The main one seems to be a “meaning of life” or what fulfills one’s life with purpose. For me, work (and private investment decisions) have been more financially rewarding than I could have ever planned, but it has never been a passion. I’m also starting to feel like the greyhound that caught the pace setting rabbit. Many people would say you have it all, but I guess I just need the next thing to aspire for or achieve.

I also relate to the health issues mentioned. Although i‘m so far unscathed, I’ve had the pleasure of knowing much younger people who have passed. This has been a catalyst to make me assess my priorities.

It’s a pleasure to be amongst such a community.
 
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The latest (what is hopefully going to be a) mid life crisis (at 77) is the lack of ease of travel at preCovid levels. Well and the added risk of not getting travel insurance? And what the semi annual check-ups would like you to follow up.
And to a hope for many more hours of happy wandering
Fred
 
Interesting story @Ade.

I remember 30+ years ago working in chemical factory where one of of the office clerks (a lady) was going through a crisis at home. Happily married for 50 years but husband then retired from navy and home all day and constant arguing as they were getting in each other's way.

Need to make sure one has some hobby(ies) when retiring.
 
The latest (what is hopefully going to be a) mid life crisis (at 77) is the lack of ease of travel at preCovid levels. Well and the added risk of not getting travel insurance? And what the semi annual check-ups would like you to follow up.
And to a hope for many more hours of happy wandering
Fred
I’m a similar age and can identify with everything you’ve said. It’s been difficult to adjust to the new lifestyle after the excitement of years of travel anywhere in the world to catch up with friends. Having had a life full of amazing experiences I was not ready for this change thrust upon us suddenly. I was expecting and hoping for many more years.
 
There are many many sad stories about working males who found retirement difficult and depressing.
Dreams of endless golf turn to a sense of loss when they discover golf every day gets a little stale.
Our new village is mostly older folks and there are always groups of men sitting in coffee shops chewing the fat to pass the time.
Imo, the key is to stay engaged ,even challenged, by something that absorbs the mind and body.
Finding the something may be very difficult to do , but seems essential for longevity
 
At 20 I moved country
At 30 I got my motorbike licence and jumped on a GSX-R 750 for a first bike
At 40 I decided to build the same hoon car I had when I was 17. Just better and I didn't break it
At 45 I found AFFF and Business class with points so have our 5th RTW trip planned for next year.
At 50 I bought an old Mustang. And hot rodded it.
At 55 I decided Kart racing was for me. Them darn kids are quick, but.
Late last year I thought being a truckie would be cool so I got my semi licence to move trucks around for work.
In September I am going to a NASCAR race and a drag racing series in the US for the first time.

Seems I just lurch from one crisis to another :) and the 'crisises' are happening more regular.

But, its not a crisis if you don't think it is. I see it in my case as being able to do all the things I wanted to do when I was younger but was still working things out. I have no desire to buy a Harley and all the associated clothing just to roll around the street with a god-awful noisy exhaust to go to a café. If you want a V Twin Ducati make a very good unit.
 
There are many many sad stories about working males who found retirement difficult and depressing.
Dreams of endless golf turn to a sense of loss when they discover golf every day gets a little stale.
Our new village is mostly older folks and there are always groups of men sitting in coffee shops chewing the fat to pass the time.
Imo, the key is to stay engaged ,even challenged, by something that absorbs the mind and body.
Finding the something may be very difficult to do , but seems essential for longevity

I told the owner of our local coffee shop that it was starting to resemble a men’s shed.
On most days there are at least 2 groups of males gossiping and at least 4 males sitting by themselves doing crosswords. :)
 
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This is a really good read. I am in my early 30s as well, it's funny as I have recently been thinking I'm in a bit of a early mid life (I hope!) crisis. Complete uncertainty about what I really want the future to hold, who I want to be in it, etc. It's led to a lot of stress actually which is somewhat of a new experience for me. At this age I think it's somewhat hard to actually diagnose if it's a more classic type of mid-life crisis, or a relatively juvenile approach to not wanting to grow up - that is, settle down in a more certain sense, be less of a lone ranger type especially when it comes to travel and free time.

Weighing up a few things including my current relationship at the moment but I think a big positive of the focus on mental health in workplaces and in the community these days is that one is not scared to think or talk about it. A lot of companies are really good at providing easily accessible services to help if things don't feel quite right. I would encourage anyone to reach out and use such services if they feel the need to, while it's true there is no miracle cure I think it can help you understand you and those around you a bit more.
 

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