The Midlife Crisis thread

If you can get into a Porsche without either ruining your knees, or with your ruined knees, then it's not a 'mid-life crisis' unless you're planning on dying young. 🧎‍♂️
I don't have bunged knees and have driven many Porsches but never owner one. As we (MrsM and I) are both in our 50's I had suggested a few years back I would be be a supportive husband and would go through male 'menoporshe' with her ;) yes I stole/ reused the the words of our supplier/ vendor. When she worked out what I was upto it is fair to suggest that I still do not own a Porsche :(
 
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you don't retire from anything especially life

you finish up
like a sports career finishes up (many who win gold medals, the pinnacle of the podium, and then what?)
or a professional career
or a marriage
or raising children
or paying taxes

a job per se is not a purpose
a routine is not a purpose
neither is watching endless hours of TV

this is the plateau effect - where we reach a place in the pyramid of employment where there won't be further paid promotions (- you need to get on Youtube for paid promotions)
where we might moonlight in a side hustle that becomes a paid hobby, but cling onto a paid job which if we quit, dumps us back to where we were before the moonlighting, and in any event often small businesses go bust

in finishing up you consciously do so and you deliberate upon life after

do what pleases you
what pleased you as a child? seems most kids want to be online content creators
often we yield up the things we loved for the things that made us money
often we live a frugal life while paying down mortgages, paying large tax bills and spending money on child support, let alone housing utilities
of course what happens when mortgages are paid off, taxes reduce when superannuation starts and most often cease at age 60, children grow up become adults and spread their wings in far flung places




for in a capitalist world the reality is it is money we must make


my mid life was getting annoyed that I had less cash to support a spouse and 4 kids than the equivalence on Unemployment at the time in the late 90s. However, while instantly that was disappointing, because frugal living sucks, I realised, unlike my neighbour frugally living on the system supporting jobseekers, I was going to have a paid off house (hopefully, but didn't work out that way until much later as divorce happens, and after a touch of living on the poverty line (yes, no thanks to more than 6 months of that!) and a healthy salary replacement superannuation

there's that line of if you got no money you're poor and unhappy
if you got money you're rich and unhappy
well, I would rather be unhappy and rich cause then you got cash to splash

so beyond the mid life crisis
learn everyday (noting learning a new language, musical instrument isn't for the faint-hearted, its much harder the older you are)
movement everyday The isometric secret: 15 ways to get much fitter – without moving a muscle, if you can't run you can ride a bike or walk
try a range of different things ‘We share beds’: Onumonu laments Nigeria’s resources after World Cup exit
don't put up with other peoples cough


your purpose is to contribute to a happier society
productive and generous
have a faith in something

Spend money (by superannuation time, most tax obligations finish up)
find some charities you can get behind and support - give with a warm hand
volunteer (and be very aware that you may well be doing it as a labour of love but many will not, their hand will be well and truly out for some cashola)
Help out your adult children while you are alive - we are living longer, we have decent pots of superannuation money, we are having less children later in life so they may not inherit until after age 60 - that cash is rather unuseful then. our own parents are aged and we may well inherit substantial amounts around age 50-60 when that is rather useless too
Hobbies - join AFF (jokes, there's lots of different forums you could join - eg digital papers enable you to take your inner author or poet for a run)
chase status credits and cheap points! a few status runs
be a FIFO - sign up to interstate or international FF events HKG lounge crawl 9 June 2024 (the annual Asian lounge crawl)
go to international conferences of topics of interest (Upcoming International Conferences in Australia 2023, 2024)
better still, learn to negatively gear those directly related to your job role via the tax system (equivalence of investment property, but this time its in your own professional development) Claiming tax deduction for business class flights
Walk or Bikeride around your city - there's lots to learn about the history of streets and buildings
take lots of photos
spend time with a variety of Friends and acquaintances
sports spectating - pick a few and watch them on TV, go to live events, travel and go to live events


avoid the "I'm going to win the lottery" trap - can't win it if you don't have a ticket!


Frivolous living has a lot going for it!
 
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I don't have bunged knees and have driven many Porsches but never owner one. As we (MrsM and I) are both in our 50's I had suggested a few years back I would be be a supportive husband and would go through male 'menoporshe' with her ;) yes I stole/ reused the the words of our supplier/ vendor. When she worked out what I was upto it is fair to suggest that I still do not own a Porsche :(
Are you aporscheoning blame?
 
Are you aporscheoning blame?
Of course not, we have been married for 25+ years she will normally work out what I am up to. We will be taking delivery of a new SUV within the next few weeks which is a sub 6 second vehicle (not Porsche branded) but is apparently a vehicle the whole family can use :rolleyes: I am not convinced our learner driver will be behind the wheel.
 
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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.
Golf everyday does not get stale. That'd be Utopia but I'd settle for golf Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in Australia.

For Thailand golf Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
 
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. :)
I have an older friend who goes with his male friends weekly to a local coffee shop. The owner is cheeky enough to have made a fancy 'Grumpy Old Men' sign and places it on their regular table to reserve it for them on those mornings.
 
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.
I cheer for that! A lot of my current better state comes down to spending a lot of time healing from old mental baggage from early life. Books, "Instagram therapy", a counsellor, many difficult conversations with myself and truckloads of forgiveness toward a few people had an awesome effect. I'd be far behind in my life and how I feel about it without the time spent in focusing heavily on the mental side.
 
The midlife crisis is real and I've hit mine (mid 40s) unless it's just a post-covid crisis. Either way it's not good, I've gone from being totally comfortable and in the position of being paid to do what I love, to completely checked out regardless of what I promise myself I'll do to fix it.

I'm sure there's a way back onto the freeway but if I had any path to just packing in the whole work part of my life I'd do it tomorrow, not a second thought. I feel like Peter from office space, it's like I got asked one too many times about TPS reports and the rubber band just snapped.

Great therapy session by the way, see you next week. I have to go see a porsche dealer about a thing.
 
The midlife crisis is real and I've hit mine (mid 40s) unless it's just a post-covid crisis. Either way it's not good, I've gone from being totally comfortable and in the position of being paid to do what I love, to completely checked out regardless of what I promise myself I'll do to fix it.

I'm sure there's a way back onto the freeway but if I had any path to just packing in the whole work part of my life I'd do it tomorrow, not a second thought. I feel like Peter from office space, it's like I got asked one too many times about TPS reports and the rubber band just snapped.

Great therapy session by the way, see you next week. I have to go see a porsche dealer about a thing.
You know, checking / tuning out is a coping mechanism. A great indication that there's more to the story, worth digging up and airing the laundry. Been there, done that, and to me at work a lot of that culminated in just being in a wrong kind of a role. I was doing project management (I liked it, in general) but am much better with processes, planning, organisation, guiding people. Now that I'm more of an "internal specialist / consultant" in my own area, the role keeps me a lot happier (apart from execs doing decisions against data or process which frustrates the h#ck out of me... 🫣). The key difference was in my people pleasing, etc patterns, which in themselves were trauma responses and coping mechanisms - unsuited to being a PM but especially now I'm in the right role.

There's a lot a good midlife crisis can clear out of the way and take us to a better place. And if it involves a Porsche, or something, that's a great symbol of the steps taken forward.
 
You know, checking / tuning out is a coping mechanism. A great indication that there's more to the story, worth digging up and airing the laundry. Been there, done that, and to me at work a lot of that culminated in just being in a wrong kind of a role. I was doing project management (I liked it, in general) but am much better with processes, planning, organisation, guiding people. Now that I'm more of an "internal specialist / consultant" in my own area, the role keeps me a lot happier (apart from execs doing decisions against data or process which frustrates the h#ck out of me... 🫣). The key difference was in my people pleasing, etc patterns, which in themselves were trauma responses and coping mechanisms - unsuited to being a PM but especially now I'm in the right role.

There's a lot a good midlife crisis can clear out of the way and take us to a better place. And if it involves a Porsche, or something, that's a great symbol of the steps taken forward.
the Plateau effect


the plateauing trap
Structural - advancement is unavailable because the pyramid of the hierarchy has trapped you in
content - the day to day learning excitement has come to a conclusion
life - trapped in ongoing routines, cycles, obligations and relationships
 
My midlife crisis started at age 45 (21 years ago) when me and my +1 threw in a perfectly good and stable job and went on the road in a little motorhome. After 6 months the money ran out and had to think about working again so went Apple picking in Stanthorpe during the summer season. Was successful so stayed into the mid-winter doing pruning on the trees. Snow and sleet in Stanthorpe in the middle of winter put an end to that, (the water in the pipes of the motorhome were frozen most of the time). So gave up my midlife crisis and moved to just north of Brisbane and started working full time again in a good and stable job and now saving for the next midlife crisis. I've already bought a much bigger motorhome. :D
 
My 'crisis' came in my early 20s, realising that I hated my job, and that it wasn't as simple as just finding a different one.

This is generally a high-achieving professional group of people, so many might not relate. But I hate(d) work full stop. The restriction of needing to be a certain place for a certain time (and to a lesser extent the role itself) is like a straightjacket. And I realised that if I didn't do something about it, I'd have to carry on doing that same core duty (being in any role for five days a week during the best time of the day) for another 45+ years.

But I think it's only really a crisis if you feel like you don't have options and are literally trapped with whatever circumstance you're unhappy with.

So I set about working towards early retirement. That was the solution to my problem.

I wasn't born into money or family connections, wasn't blessed with good looks, charm, or any discovered talent to help me ease into success. But I had a high level of resilience to work towards a goal. And so for the following almost 20 years I worked, saved, invested; worked, saved, invested. And now I'm almost a year away from retiring at 40 (and it certainly helped that I found a partner that had the same goal), and being able to properly call myself a frequent flyer.

I think the key is being honest with yourself about what you want, and taking control of what areas you can.

You can't control getting older. But you can control your money, influence people in your life for the better; and have a good hard think about what you want your life to be.

I'm tickled pink by what the next hopefully 50 years has to bring, and hope others can work personally and professionally towards a fulfilling life.
 
I think the biggest thing was passing 50 made me realise the bottom of the sand timer had more sand in it than the top. But it's also made me want to do more, with tinges of regret about wasted time with work in the past. However all roads lead to where you are now I guess.
 
I think the biggest thing was passing 50 made me realise the bottom of the sand timer had more sand in it than the top. But it's also made me want to do more, with tinges of regret about wasted time with work in the past. However all roads lead to where you are now I guess.
I hear you! The tinges of regret I treat with some amazing memories of deeds past, and I try to focus on continuing to learn new things. The world fascinates me and I plan on much more than just crosswords (which I love, incidentally) when I retire, hopefully sometime in the next 5 or so years. I've just built a workshop and plan on learning some more woodworking skills to make furniture and other bits and bobs. I've found that a recent renovation project was a therapeutic experience that allowed me to have renewed energy in my business, which is very white collar. I think it was a combination of doing the manual labour, with all of the associated health benefits that brings, plus the growing idea that I now have a plan for when I hang up my spurs.
Best of luck with your journey.
 
This is the most interesting thread I've read on AFF since joining over a decade ago - I think.

I'm in my mid thirties, in a good Project Management job which is well paying. In a poisonous industry though.

4.5 years ago I was early thirties, chasing girls, drinking when I felt like it, childless and single... Fast forward to today and I have a wife, 12 year old and 8 year old (from wife's first marriage) and a one year old. Head is spinning. Wife and I work FT.

Over the past few years I've started questioning just about everything.

- my friends and the quality of my friendships
- my job and whether it is the right fit for me
- my goals of financial security.. wife and I do a lot to save money with the goal of paying off the mortgage
- myself and my [lack of] hobbies
- my mental health and dealing with childhood trauma stemming from first generation immigration and doemstic violence (have seen a psychologist over the past 4 years, best thing I ever did)
- whether I'm "doing life right"... What if I get sick aged 45, with money but not having lived life to the fullest

Bloody hell, there's so much to think about... In the meantime I continue on the treadmill.
 
Over the past few years I've started questioning just about everything.
...
Bloody hell, there's so much to think about... In the meantime I continue on the treadmill.
If I may offer, those questions of yours are excellent ones to ask! And it's fantastic to hear that you are working on recovering and healing from your past life. Perhaps you are also breaking the generational cycle. All the best with everything and may the next 50 years bring many smiles!

Should we ever bump into each other in a lounge or neigbouring seats, I'm more than happy to air out these sides of our lives and also be an ear, if that's the case.
 
Golf everyday does not get stale. That'd be Utopia but I'd settle for golf Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in Australia.

For Thailand golf Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Three or four days of golf a week seems like the perfect retirement. Playing different courses regularly would be key.
 
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

Don't talk yourself into a disaster.

I was diagnosed with PC in 2011 (age 62). Low grade, small focus. I decided on active surveillance and it was not for another seven years before the grade changed and I had a prostatectomy.

That gave plenty of time for preparation to avoid the most undesirable consequence (incontinence) and plenty of time to prepare for work-arounds for the other concern (impotence).

Now, at age 73, neither factor into any 'crisis' for me. One is not an issue; the other is gooood. (I'll leave it to you to work out which is which. ;))

Life is f* good, so to speak. :)

Mate, do not hesitate to reach out by PM - seriously.
 
My mid-life crisis came at what I hope was mid-life (circa mid-80s). I worked in the NSW Public Service, had progressed steadily up the grades, all on the basis of HSC entry, and sitting for internal qualifications for promotion (I am sure very few on here would know what Reg 119 and 122 were). I found myself working in IT related positions without any formal training, but it was a great opportunity (who remembers 80 column punch cards).

Had a wife, two beautiful girls, a house I was paying off. And then my FIL passed away suddenly, a WW2 veteran that died too young. MIL came to stay (for the last 20yrs of her life), and I realised I needed to take things more seriously, stop coasting and counting on my charm and good looks for everything 😎. I was now responsible for 3 generations in our household.

Did various UNI degrees as a mature age student at UNE and USYD, and parlayed my experience and quals into a consultancy job in the private sector, working in and around government IT.

I should say that the mid-life crisis, brought on by family tragedy, led me to UNI where I was totally self indulgent and studied politics and history, that had little direct application to my work in IT. But the pieces of paper made all the difference and I am still invited to review government IT systems, now in my early 70s.

That personal crisis in mid-life changed everything.
 
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