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Mid life crisis - laughable notion, or real issue?

TravelingGal

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Thinking of Arnie's and Maria's divorce, made me wonder about mid life crisis. Not saying that was an issue there, but wondering...

Do you thnk once people approach mid life, it's common to really have a "crisis?" For me, I wouldn't call it a crisis, per se, but I do think life perception does shift when you realize most likely you've lived more than half of what you'll likely live. Life becomes much more finite - especially after having children when you start counting your age in tandem with theirs and realize that 30 years does go by in the blink of an eye.

What have you contemplated midlife?
 

junebug17

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I wouldn't say I'm going through a crisis, but I think I'm experiencing some depression about reaching midlife. I'm reflecting back on my life, second-guessing some decisions and just generally in shock over how the years have flown by. On occasion I feel that I didn't accomplish very much during my life. On occasion I feel as if my life is over. Sometimes I really miss being young. And I fear what's down the road - health issues, dementia. I think a lot of this is fueled by taking care of an elderly parent. Sort of looking at my own mortality right in the face.

I guess the stereotypical midlife crisis is buying a fancy sports car, or having plastic surgery. Trying to hold on to youth. Now that I'm 50 I can appreciate that it can be scary to acknowledge that you've lived a decent amount of your life, and that things are winding down. I can understand why some people try to hang on to youth by trying to act and look young. I guess I'm too much of a realist for that, though. No matter what I do, I'm still my age and at this stage of my life.

I try to combat these feelings by forcing myself to exercise, eat right (or try to), remind myself that I'm healthy (that's a biggie, and a really good thing), and that I'm wasting years by being so down. I've been considering therapy too, but keep putting it off for some reason.

eta: I just realized that I guess I'm past midlife? :lol: But I handled 40 just fine - it's 50 that's thrown me for a loop!
 

Jennifer W

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Interesting question! I still don't feel like I've quite reached the midpoint yet, although I could be delusional about that. ;))

I still see my life as being ahead of me (I'm 36 and the women in my family all seem to make it to their 90s in robust good health). I must be reaching the tipping point soon though.
 

MichelleCarmen

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I'm not mid-life here in my 30s, but already have felt "crisis" here and there due to choices I've made in the past and the innability to fix those. For example picking the wrong field in college and now not being able to go back and study what interests me. There's other stuff too, of course, but I'm not going to blab away about everything.... probably bore you all! ;-)
 

TravelingGal

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junebug, thanks for the honest post.

And my friends and I were talking about 40 vs 50. I have always looked forward to 40, but I was saying that I think 50 might be another animal altogether for me. I mean, I'm looking forward to 50 in that Amelia will be done with school then, and hopefully my husband and I will travel and enjoy our lives just the two of us again. Plus I still see 50 as pretty young! However, we were saying that women in their 50's do seem to lose "mainstream sex appeal." (see my other topic today in terms of "expiration dates") I mean, a "M*LF" doesn't apply to women in their 50's, right? :rolleyes: I think maybe 45 is the upper limit of that.

And yet...Helen Mirren. Holy cow is that woman sexy IMHO! Classy AND sexy!

But it's not just sex appeal, I'm talking about. It's the concept of "feeling young." We were at a lounge in Korea town, filled with other Koreans (which I haven't done in like, 20 years). At some point a table of guys were checking us out, and our immediate thoughts were...I bet they're looking at us wondering why a bunch of old ladies (there's a Korean term for this, but I can't get the translation quite right) are out at a place like that. (We were there because my friend's friend own the joint, by the way, and we ate nearby). We didn't think they were actually *checking* us out.

We all FELT young, but surrounded by the 20 somethings around us, it was quite obvious we WEREN'T young. And that was kind of a weird feeling, because I think I'll always feel so much younger than I am.
 

Dancing Fire

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junebug17|1305563490|2923091 said:
I guess the stereotypical midlife crisis is buying a fancy sports car, or having plastic surgery. Trying to hold on to youth. Now that I'm 50 I can appreciate that it can be scary to acknowledge that you've lived a decent amount of your life, and that things are winding down. I can understand why some people try to hang on to youth by trying to act and look young. I guess I'm too much of a realist for that, though. No matter what I do, I'm still my age and at this stage of my life.
junebug...so when are you gonna buy that RED BMW convertible? wife said she was going to buy one soon and i was...LMAO.. :lol:
 

february2003bride

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I agree with you that having kids makes life seem like it goes by in the blink of an eye. If I had a quarter for every time I said "I can't believe summer/winter/1st grade/etc is over", I'd be a little richer. I always just chalk it up to how busy I am with life, but I really think having kids makes everything go much faster, when really I want it to slow down, so I can savor and soak up everything my kids are doing.

As for the mid-life crisis, I'm 33 (soon to be 34) and I'm not sure I count as midlife yet, or I do and I'm in denial about it :-o However, I do have a friend who turning 40 was so hard for her, she had an affair. Now she's 41, almost divorced (her DH discovered the affair) and now a single mom to two kids. She talked to me a lot about how hard it was going to be for her to turn 40 but I never in a million years thought she would have an affair to feel younger. Ugh. :nono:

Coinicdentally, this was just being discussed at a party I went to over at a friend's house last week. Many of the women were between 40-43 were saying that turning 40 was a huge turning point in there lives. They became more aware of the world, several started volunteering (one woman went to Haiti after the earthquakes, a few of the women became very involved in hte Avon breast cancer walk) and almost all of them said they took stock in the people around them and stopped being friends with other women that were frenimies, toxic friends, etc. That they realized that they didn't want to spend more time and energy focused on fake "friends" when they wanted to enjoy TRUE friends. And all of them said that being in their 40's was better than their 30's and definitely better than their 20's.

So yes, I do believe it exists and happens in men and women. DH hasn't gone through one and he's 43.
 

TravelingGal

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Feb03Bride|1305565383|2923122 said:
and almost all of them said they took stock in the people around them and stopped being friends with other women that were frenimies, toxic friends, etc. That they realized that they didn't want to spend more time and energy focused on fake "friends" when they wanted to enjoy TRUE friends.
Interesting! I'm at this stage now where I think I'm ready to give up my friendship with my BFF, and she with me. Not that anything has happened, or that we're frenemies or anything...but we just don't have ANYTHING in common and we probably get on each other's nerves. Not that I'd cut her off or anything, but it seems like we've moved on and stopped making a huge effort when there are other friendships are more fulfilling. Plus she and I don't live near each other, so maybe that's why. Still, it's a 20 year friendship...
 

Jennifer W

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TravelingGal|1305564456|2923109 said:
junebug, thanks for the honest post.

And my friends and I were talking about 40 vs 50. I have always looked forward to 40, but I was saying that I think 50 might be another animal altogether for me. I mean, I'm looking forward to 50 in that Amelia will be done with school then, and hopefully my husband and I will travel and enjoy our lives just the two of us again. Plus I still see 50 as pretty young! However, we were saying that women in their 50's do seem to lose "mainstream sex appeal." (see my other topic today in terms of "expiration dates") I mean, a "M*LF" doesn't apply to women in their 50's, right? :rolleyes: I think maybe 45 is the upper limit of that.

And yet...Helen Mirren. Holy cow is that woman sexy IMHO! Classy AND sexy!

But it's not just sex appeal, I'm talking about. It's the concept of "feeling young." We were at a lounge in Korea town, filled with other Koreans (which I haven't done in like, 20 years). At some point a table of guys were checking us out, and our immediate thoughts were...I bet they're looking at us wondering why a bunch of old ladies (there's a Korean term for this, but I can't get the translation quite right) are out at a place like that. (We were there because my friend's friend own the joint, by the way, and we ate nearby). We didn't think they were actually *checking* us out.

We all FELT young, but surrounded by the 20 somethings around us, it was quite obvious we WEREN'T young. And that was kind of a weird feeling, because I think I'll always feel so much younger than I am.
I think this is probably true. However, it does beg the question, do you aspire to be seen as having sex appeal? I'm not trying to be smart, just curious about whether this is a factor. I personally find it to be more of a distraction and a problem than anything else - it's got me into difficult situations that I could have lived happily without when I was younger. Overall, I'm just shooting for healthy, clean and tidy these days. ;))

ETA I'm sounding like some deranged femme fatal here - I'm not quite explaining what I mean. I'm just questioning the automatic connection between young and sexy, and whether that's beneficial or desirable.
 

TravelingGal

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Jennifer W|1305565755|2923131 said:
TravelingGal|1305564456|2923109 said:
junebug, thanks for the honest post.

And my friends and I were talking about 40 vs 50. I have always looked forward to 40, but I was saying that I think 50 might be another animal altogether for me. I mean, I'm looking forward to 50 in that Amelia will be done with school then, and hopefully my husband and I will travel and enjoy our lives just the two of us again. Plus I still see 50 as pretty young! However, we were saying that women in their 50's do seem to lose "mainstream sex appeal." (see my other topic today in terms of "expiration dates") I mean, a "M*LF" doesn't apply to women in their 50's, right? :rolleyes: I think maybe 45 is the upper limit of that.

And yet...Helen Mirren. Holy cow is that woman sexy IMHO! Classy AND sexy!

But it's not just sex appeal, I'm talking about. It's the concept of "feeling young." We were at a lounge in Korea town, filled with other Koreans (which I haven't done in like, 20 years). At some point a table of guys were checking us out, and our immediate thoughts were...I bet they're looking at us wondering why a bunch of old ladies (there's a Korean term for this, but I can't get the translation quite right) are out at a place like that. (We were there because my friend's friend own the joint, by the way, and we ate nearby). We didn't think they were actually *checking* us out.

We all FELT young, but surrounded by the 20 somethings around us, it was quite obvious we WEREN'T young. And that was kind of a weird feeling, because I think I'll always feel so much younger than I am.
I think this is probably true. However, it does beg the question, do you aspire to be seen as having sex appeal? I'm not trying to be smart, just curious about whether this is a factor. I personally find it to be more of a distraction and a problem than anything else - it's got me into difficult situations that I could have lived happily without when I was younger. Overall, I'm just shooting for healthy, clean and tidy these days. ;))
I should clarify...we were talking about sex appeal, partially when it just came to wearing younger clothes. My friends and I don't care for sex appeal to other men - or even our husbands, hahaha. But we do like feeling a bit sexy! We were saying, at what point do we stop wearing cute summery tops (read, not as much fabric because they have spaghetti straps or what not), or butt hugging jeans? At what point do we go from MILFY to BARFY?

I know I'm not being PC here, or for that matter clear, but it was sort of a meandering conversation.
 

MichelleCarmen

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Jennifer W|1305565755|2923131 said:
TravelingGal|1305564456|2923109 said:
junebug, thanks for the honest post.

And my friends and I were talking about 40 vs 50. I have always looked forward to 40, but I was saying that I think 50 might be another animal altogether for me. I mean, I'm looking forward to 50 in that Amelia will be done with school then, and hopefully my husband and I will travel and enjoy our lives just the two of us again. Plus I still see 50 as pretty young! However, we were saying that women in their 50's do seem to lose "mainstream sex appeal." (see my other topic today in terms of "expiration dates") I mean, a "M*LF" doesn't apply to women in their 50's, right? :rolleyes: I think maybe 45 is the upper limit of that.

And yet...Helen Mirren. Holy cow is that woman sexy IMHO! Classy AND sexy!

But it's not just sex appeal, I'm talking about. It's the concept of "feeling young." We were at a lounge in Korea town, filled with other Koreans (which I haven't done in like, 20 years). At some point a table of guys were checking us out, and our immediate thoughts were...I bet they're looking at us wondering why a bunch of old ladies (there's a Korean term for this, but I can't get the translation quite right) are out at a place like that. (We were there because my friend's friend own the joint, by the way, and we ate nearby). We didn't think they were actually *checking* us out.

We all FELT young, but surrounded by the 20 somethings around us, it was quite obvious we WEREN'T young. And that was kind of a weird feeling, because I think I'll always feel so much younger than I am.
I think this is probably true. However, it does beg the question, do you aspire to be seen as having sex appeal? I'm not trying to be smart, just curious about whether this is a factor. I personally find it to be more of a distraction and a problem than anything else - it's got me into difficult situations that I could have lived happily without when I was younger. Overall, I'm just shooting for healthy, clean and tidy these days. ;))

ETA I'm sounding like some deranged femme fatal here - I'm not quite explaining what I mean. I'm just questioning the automatic connection between young and sexy, and whether that's beneficial or desirable.
Not sure when we go from MILF to BARF, but the MILF term just grosses me out b/c I have little kids. Generally, I connect the term w/a 40+ woman doing a guy in his 20s. lol
 

janinegirly

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It definitely exists. It just is more prounouced for some and happens at different times for others. I do think people who marry very young and fall into the routine find themselves wondering when they actually *lived* by the time they hit 40 or 50. The stereotype of the kids are grown and now what? is a real mid-life crisis, especially if you are still full of vitality!

I happen to think those who lived life without restraint/ travelled / fooled around/ had drama to talk about and THEN married and had kids might have a better shot of suriving that crisis, but it depends on the person. One person might feel - been there, done that so what's there to yearn for? Or another might say, I miss that carefree person I used to be and now my life is kinda boring.

For some it is about sex appeal - just as you described boys looking at the 20 somethings - it is a tough shift to acknowledge because a person sees themself one way and your inner view doesn't really change at the same pace the outer does. I often wonder what it feels like when a daugther gets older and she basically is a younger version of you - I always thought that must just suck, but I'm hoping when it happens to me I'll be so old and past being in the game that it won't even come up lol. Also I don't consider myself some great beauty so the loss of looks/vitailty isn't as distressing as maybe it could be. I also have a slightly older husband so that makes me feel younger since it's all relative in the end!

I don't see 50 as being unattractive (as in not a MILF) - I see people turning 50 who look 40. I think 60 is when things turn a bit .
 

Jennifer W

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LOL!

Cute summer tops are a mystery to me. It comes of living in a cold, damp and midge-infested country. Tops with less fabric in summer time will leave me the opposite of sexy (wet to the skin, goosebumped, blotchy and covered in odd looking little bite marks). Perhaps sex appeal is more about regional and national variation than age per se. :bigsmile:


On the midlife crisis point, I have a few friends who have made significant life changes around their late 30s / early 40s. I have wondered about this before - is a midlife crisis really about being mature and secure enough in who you are to change the things that just weren't right for you? I like to think so!

Oops, I meant to quote TGal's last post here.
 

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TravelingGal|1305566115|2923139 said:
I think this is probably true. However, it does beg the question, do you aspire to be seen as having sex appeal? I'm not trying to be smart, just curious about whether this is a factor. I personally find it to be more of a distraction and a problem than anything else - it's got me into difficult situations that I could have lived happily without when I was younger. Overall, I'm just shooting for healthy, clean and tidy these days. ;))
I should clarify...we were talking about sex appeal, partially when it just came to wearing younger clothes. My friends and I don't care for sex appeal to other men - or even our husbands, hahaha. But we do like feeling a bit sexy! We were saying, at what point do we stop wearing cute summery tops (read, not as much fabric because they have spaghetti straps or what not), or butt hugging jeans? At what point do we go from MILFY to BARFY?

I know I'm not being PC here, or for that matter clear, but it was sort of a meandering conversation.[/quote]

I'm not quuiiiiiiite at the midlife crisis stage yet, but I'm at the point where sex appeal is starting to fade, and for me, it's actually kind of a relief. In my teens, I got so many nasty, gratuitous, sexually aggressive comments that I felt like I was living under constant assault: there was not a single day that I can remember that I didn't feel like I had a target painted on my back. I didn't dress revealingly, or anything: I was just a busty girl with blonde hair, and that was enough.

Funnily, in my twenties, I dressed more revealingly (I'd gotten to the point where I, a) felt comfortable with myself and knew the catcalls weren't about me as much as the catcallers, and, b) was pretty heavily armed), but I got less in the way of confrontational attention. It's a sad commentary that a 25 year old gets less harassment than a 15 year old: I doubt I was less sexy, but I'm betting I looked less vulnerable.

And now? OH MY GOD. It is such a relief to be able to walk down a street without feeling like meat. Now that I'm back to my usual weight, I still get some of it, but it's more, "Hey there!" then it is obscene suggestions. When I was 5 pounds heavier? Wow, it was like I was just a normal human being. It was wonderful. I can understand why some women talk about feeling like weight is camouflage ....

As I keep getting older, I'm hoping I'll keep feeling "normal" instead of "invisible," which is I know how it can sometimes be processed. I'm still at the point, I think, where I get "pretty privilege," but without being harassed. I'm hoping society keeps pace with me enough that I keep feeling like it's getting better, and it's not that there's a precipice 5 or 10 years ahead of me that I'm just going to tumble over, all unawares ....
 

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I think a life crisis, in general, is a very real issue. I don't think it's limited to mid-life, and I do think it typically has something to do with people pausing and taking inventory on what they've already done/experienced/learned/owned/accomplished and what they still hope to do/experience/learn/own/accomplish, etc.

I saw my mother go through something that might be considered a life crisis at age 52--her husband of 30 years left her for her best friend, and she ended up feeling like she had just spent 30 years putting everyone else's needs before her own, and for what? She spent a lot of time feeling sad and bitter about it, but then she pushed through it, dyed her hair, and started making things happen for herself. She is an extremely creative and intelligent woman who is finally getting out into the world and doing the things she feels like she should have done all along--she's traveling to Europe on a fellowship this summer, she's been traveling across the states presenting to educators about her field, she's earning another master's degree, etc. For her, the crisis began with a very low point of feeling as if she'd wasted over half her life, and it turned into a catalyst for change to make the rest of her time mean something for her.

I met a wonderful author not too long ago and we were talking about her first book, which she wrote and published at age 30. I asked her if she had been a writer her whole life and she said "Not really. I turned 30 and looked around and realized that all of my friends had already done something with their lives--they were parents, or had established careers, owned homes, or had traveled the world. But I hadn't done anything. I had a wonderful husband, but a crappy job and a crappy apartment. So I decided it was time to do something, so I wrote a book." Her take on that age milestone really made me think about the mid-life (or third-life?) crisis as being a good catalyst for positive change.

Feb03Bride--What you said about having children making life seem to go faster finally made something clear to me! For the last seven years I've felt like life was suddenly moving at warp speed, and now I realize that it's because I'm a teacher and thus my year is broken down into very quick little segments--fall semester, Thanksgiving break, winter break, spring semester, spring break, summer break, right back to fall. I do think the school schedule makes everything seem to go by so fast because you're so busy with making it to the next milestone. Thank you for helping me figure that out! I worked in a normal business environment for a year and it still feels like the longest year of my life, and I actually remember thinking "Oh my gosh, my time here is just spread out ahead of me in one long, uninterrupted sequence of working days, punctuated by short vacations here and there." It's been frightening me lately how fast the time has gone by, and now I think you've really helped me figure out *why* that is!
 

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junebug17|1305563490|2923091 said:
I wouldn't say I'm going through a crisis, but I think I'm experiencing some depression about reaching midlife. I'm reflecting back on my life, second-guessing some decisions and just generally in shock over how the years have flown by. On occasion I feel that I didn't accomplish very much during my life.
You expressed well what a midlife crisis is about at bottom, Junebug. People in their 30s may feel restless, but it doesn't happen in the 30s when you're still "young and green," as Shakespeare said. It can feel like you're not achieving on the timeline you set yourself, but you've still got years & energy to DO things & dream.

Junebug's feelings hit me in my late 40s and lasted about 3 years. The conflict of dreams, ambitions meeting reality head-on. I felt I'd wasted so much of the time & talents I was given. Still feel that, to some extent.

You also realize that the way you're living now is the BEST it's going to be -- can't convince yourself of what you used to: "It may be meh now, but wait till you see me in 10 years, wow!" When you'll be staring at 60 in 10 short years (think how the last 10 sped!), it's hard to buy that anymore. Profoundly depressing. Leads some to go off the rails & prove they're still young with a capital Y.

I did some really deep thinking instead. About my standards, wishes, growth. Okay, I'm not gonna invent a cure for cancer nor write a great book. I'm never going to look like I did at 29. However, life has taught me invaluable lessons I can put to use: patience (boy, is that a gift!), judgment, the incredible gift of humor about the whole barrel of monkeys. And I don't have ANY need to follow the crowd -- I say what I think nowadays -- God, what freedom that is!! But given the above learning, it is not freedom to hurt people, but to tell them what I believe is the truth in a way they'll HEAR, with tact. There's great joy in serenity, or as much of it as we can gather to ourselves.

There's much more but you're probably asleep if you've read this far!

--- Laurie
 

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I think some people do have a mid-life crisis, although when that hits and how severe it is may vary, and some people--like me--have what I like to call "mid-life readjustment."

I'm turning 56 this year, and for the most part life is very, very good. I did go through a period in my early 50's when I looked back over my life and realized that a lot of the things I had wanted to do when I was younger and had deferred for various reasons are never, ever going to happen now. I wouldn't say it depressed me, exactly, but it did really give me that jolt of realization that no matter how long I live, I had already lived more than half my life and some roads and choices are closed to me now. However, I feel no desire to get a face-lift, buy a fast convertible, or hire a pool-boy. I do feel an urge to buy more colored stones and diamonds, my DH and are doing a lot of the traveling that we couldn't do when our daughters were children, and I'm paying a lot more attention to diet and exercise than I used to back in the days when I could eat Mexican food five days a week and never gain an ounce.

The other big thing I noticed about turning 50 is what some of you have referred to as the "sex appeal" thing. Turning 50 confers instant invisibility on a woman. Really. Especially if I walk into a store with either or both of my daughters, who are in their 20's and very pretty. We can all be looking at something in a store, and it is possible for the sales clerk (especially if it is of the male persuasion) to literally never make eye contact with me or speak to me, even as he runs my credit card through the machine. Fascinating, but horrifying, too.
 

junebug17

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Dancing Fire|1305564834|2923115 said:
junebug17|1305563490|2923091 said:
I guess the stereotypical midlife crisis is buying a fancy sports car, or having plastic surgery. Trying to hold on to youth. Now that I'm 50 I can appreciate that it can be scary to acknowledge that you've lived a decent amount of your life, and that things are winding down. I can understand why some people try to hang on to youth by trying to act and look young. I guess I'm too much of a realist for that, though. No matter what I do, I'm still my age and at this stage of my life.
junebug...so when are you gonna buy that RED BMW convertible? wife said she was going to buy one soon and i was...LMAO.. :lol:
:lol: DF, I"m thinking a big rock will take the sting out of getting old! If nothing else, the sparkle may distract me. I showed yennyfire's ring to my dh, but I just couldn't get him to go for it! :cheeky:
 

rosetta

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Is it crazy that at 30, I already feel I've done plenty with my life? :cheeky:

Man its nice being a chronic underachiever!
 

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junebug17|1305563490|2923091 said:
I wouldn't say I'm going through a crisis, but I think I'm experiencing some depression about reaching midlife. I'm reflecting back on my life, second-guessing some decisions and just generally in shock over how the years have flown by. On occasion I feel that I didn't accomplish very much during my life. On occasion I feel as if my life is over. Sometimes I really miss being young. And I fear what's down the road - health issues, dementia. I think a lot of this is fueled by taking care of an elderly parent. Sort of looking at my own mortality right in the face.

I guess the stereotypical midlife crisis is buying a fancy sports car, or having plastic surgery. Trying to hold on to youth. Now that I'm 50 I can appreciate that it can be scary to acknowledge that you've lived a decent amount of your life, and that things are winding down. I can understand why some people try to hang on to youth by trying to act and look young. I guess I'm too much of a realist for that, though. No matter what I do, I'm still my age and at this stage of my life.

I try to combat these feelings by forcing myself to exercise, eat right (or try to), remind myself that I'm healthy (that's a biggie, and a really good thing), and that I'm wasting years by being so down. I've been considering therapy too, but keep putting it off for some reason.

eta: I just realized that I guess I'm past midlife? :lol: But I handled 40 just fine - it's 50 that's thrown me for a loop!
Ditto pretty much all of this. I weathered 40 fine - as a number, but I've felt my mortality since that age also, since at that point I found I had cancer. It turned out fine, with almost no impact - except mentally. It was grim and liberating in a strange mishmash. No matter how you skate by, or dodge that bullet, having the "C" word coming at you grabs you by the scruff of the neck and jams your face into your own mortality real damn fast, I can tell ya. That and taking care of a mother with ALS.

I'm not unhappy or not enjoying my life by any means, I'm doing well with a marvelous husband who I've known since we were children, but there IS an undercurrent of sad poignancy to know in your bones, that there really IS an end to it all. You can know it - we all KNOW it, but it is far different to FEEL it... Is that a crisis? I don't know: I don't have 'crises' really, but it's something, and I'm afraid it will be with me to the end....
 

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ksinger|1305580229|2923379 said:
junebug17|1305563490|2923091 said:
I wouldn't say I'm going through a crisis, but I think I'm experiencing some depression about reaching midlife. I'm reflecting back on my life, second-guessing some decisions and just generally in shock over how the years have flown by. On occasion I feel that I didn't accomplish very much during my life. On occasion I feel as if my life is over. Sometimes I really miss being young. And I fear what's down the road - health issues, dementia. I think a lot of this is fueled by taking care of an elderly parent. Sort of looking at my own mortality right in the face.

I guess the stereotypical midlife crisis is buying a fancy sports car, or having plastic surgery. Trying to hold on to youth. Now that I'm 50 I can appreciate that it can be scary to acknowledge that you've lived a decent amount of your life, and that things are winding down. I can understand why some people try to hang on to youth by trying to act and look young. I guess I'm too much of a realist for that, though. No matter what I do, I'm still my age and at this stage of my life.

I try to combat these feelings by forcing myself to exercise, eat right (or try to), remind myself that I'm healthy (that's a biggie, and a really good thing), and that I'm wasting years by being so down. I've been considering therapy too, but keep putting it off for some reason.

eta: I just realized that I guess I'm past midlife? :lol: But I handled 40 just fine - it's 50 that's thrown me for a loop!
Ditto pretty much all of this. I weathered 40 fine - as a number, but I've felt my mortality since that age also, since at that point I found I had cancer. It turned out fine, with almost no impact - except mentally. It was grim and liberating in a strange mishmash. No matter how you skate by, or dodge that bullet, having the "C" word coming at you grabs you by the scruff of the neck and jams your face into your own mortality real damn fast, I can tell ya. That and taking care of a mother with ALS.

I'm not unhappy or not enjoying my life by any means, I'm doing well with a marvelous husband who I've known since we were children, but there IS an undercurrent of sad poignancy to know in your bones, that there really IS an end to it all. You can know it - we all KNOW it, but it is far different to FEEL it... Is that a crisis? I don't know: I don't have 'crises' really, but it's something, and I'm afraid it will be with me to the end....
The above bolded part...yes, I think that's what I'm beginning to realize...and grasp that it is a real FEELING.
 

diamondringlover

Ideal_Rock
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3,843
Yea 50 really threw me into a depression...life is well half over and what did I do with it, not much :(sad
Then I think about all the health problems, parents passing on and getting older and sickly...dang its not much fun. The only up side to growing older is retirement, I cant wait for that I hate working!! I havent really done much yet in the way of a mid life crisis but the year is not over yet lol, hopefully my year will get better the last couple of really sucked. I am looking forward to having grand babies one day hopefully before my macular degeneration takes my eye sight...sigh...sorry I am a downer, been a rough day for me...I think I need a glass of wine to cheer me up :wink2:
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
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junebug17|1305572052|2923231 said:
Dancing Fire|1305564834|2923115 said:
junebug17|1305563490|2923091 said:
I guess the stereotypical midlife crisis is buying a fancy sports car, or having plastic surgery. Trying to hold on to youth. Now that I'm 50 I can appreciate that it can be scary to acknowledge that you've lived a decent amount of your life, and that things are winding down. I can understand why some people try to hang on to youth by trying to act and look young. I guess I'm too much of a realist for that, though. No matter what I do, I'm still my age and at this stage of my life.
junebug...so when are you gonna buy that RED BMW convertible? wife said she was going to buy one soon and i was...LMAO.. :lol:
:lol: DF, I"m thinking a big rock will take the sting out of getting old! If nothing else, the sparkle may distract me. I showed yennyfire's ring to my dh, but I just couldn't get him to go for it! :cheeky:
yup!,a big rock and a red sports car should do the trick.. :lol:
 

soocool

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Messages
2,827
I am 54 years of age (I refuse to use the word "old").

I went into menopause at age 47 and felt liberated, not old. DD is graduating high school in about a month and again I am feeling liberated. I can do all the things that I have put off for a while....for fun, for me. I am looking forward to enjoying the rest of my life and not having to be a taxi service or a chief cook and bottle washer all the time. If I am lucky enough to become a grandmother someday, I get to enjoy and spoil them and give them back afterwards. I get to be a kid again!!
 

Tacori E-ring

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Joined
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Messages
20,038
I think a mid-life crisis is a very real issue. Most people seem (in my experience) are fear-based. Death of peers (or just fear of death), divorce/relationship struggles, health issues, career stalls, the good ole meaning of life question, all can trigger a change in behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. Many people live in denial. Once something happens to shift the balance it can be unsettling. I am sure people use a mid life crisis to cover bad behavior, but for the most part I think they are very real.
 

Selkie

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Jan 11, 2006
Messages
2,876
I think I'm having one. I've always felt about 4 or 5 years "behind" my actual age, emotionally speaking, and now that I'm staring down the gullet of 40, I'm sort of starting to panic that I'm not as far advanced in my career as I should be. I'm also getting more and more antsy that I'm not in the geographic location and surroundings I've always preferred. I don't have kids, and have never really wanted them, but realizing that it's getting ever further out of the question has given me a few seconds pause. Luckily, I have a new nephew to get a kid-fix from...but he's on the other side of the country too. So although I am married and own a home, and have a good job, I guess I just feel like I've failed to live up to my potential in several ways. :(sad
 

GingerP

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Messages
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At the rate I'm going, it seems I'll be in for a perpetual life crisis. :tongue: I don't know what mid-life really is, but from a mathematical standpoint, I'm guessing that would be 39? (Last I read 78 was life expectancy for a woman. I don't know if that's changed.) I remember when I was in my 20's I was spouting off about a quarter-life crisis that I think has yet to end. As I'm getting farther away from that "milestone" and closer to mid-life I'm finding this thread very intriguing.

I'm guessing whether mid-life is real varies per individual and depends upon expectation, perspective, and introspection. I think at some point everyone takes stock of their life and checks their progress on some kind of continuum--some people compare it to their visions/plans, some people compare it to others, some people measure according to societal norms, some do all. I'd guess that the time (and frequency) in which it occurs varies but occurs most commonly with expected milestones, or the winding down thereof. I'd also guess that the intensity of the reaction to such depends upon a person's general disposition (optimist/pessimist), the level of introspection one has done throughout the continuum, and whether one adjusts their expectations in tandem with the introspection. I also think that people who ride a whirlwind life made up of a lot of impulse and quick thinking possibly could come crashing down harder than those with realistic expectations and thoughtful decision-making. That's not to say that life can't wallop you in the head with something unexpected and earth-shattering, but I think that's out of the realm of the discussion of a more "predictable" mid-life crisis.

Truly though, I have no clue. I'm just postulating. I think too much and reflect upon my life quite often, to the point where I can become paralyzed. I, myself, learn at a...relaxed...pace and have little clue as to what I want, but mentally I'm always antsy for the next step. I'm not an optimist and not very self-assured, and I often compare myself to my peers (in the areas that I value) and where I am in life. By that token I can get a little down about my accomplishments or lack thereof. I definitely think that has to do with my not-so-positive perspective. I also think I'm different in the severity of my assessment, but I can't imagine I'm alone in taking an assessment. I have noticed a trend, though, that I tend to reach low points when I'm unclear of my next "step" in life--when all of the established/expected goals have passed, and there's no clear mission ahead of me. Maybe that's what any "crisis" is about--mid-life or not?
 

GingerP

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Another thought came to mind. I think people who live by labels, or define themselves by a sole concept, are particularly susceptible as well. If you think of yourself largely as a mother, or a CEO, or master of the universe, it can be particularly upsetting when your reign is up. What's left when you think you've hit your high point?

Conversely, what's next when you think you've missed your opportunity to hit that high point? When you think life has passed you by?

I don't mean to sound so depressing, but I just think these are valid thoughts that occur for many when going through life stages.
 

JewelFreak

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GingerP|1305591315|2923529 said:
What's left when you think you've hit your high point?
Conversely, what's next when you think you've missed your opportunity to hit that high point? When you think life has passed you by?

You try for a new high point, Ginger. So you're the top hitter for the Yankees & retire at 40. Time to find new satisfactions, new directions to go. The "getting there" counts more than the arrival.

Similar if you think you missed it. Maybe you didn't reach it because it wasn't right: did you genuinely want it or think you should want it? Did you ever have a true chance for it -- willing to sacrifice what it required to achieve it? Did you honestly have the ability? Maybe you are much happier not having gotten that specific high point. Hard thought might show you that you realized high points you were not aware of. (Generic "you" here, not anyone in particular.)

It's never too late. In her late 50s a friend of mine resumed painting, just for fun, which she gave up after college. Now, 5 yrs later she's had several one-woman shows at galleries in the NYC area & has a long waiting list to do portraits. Another put several years into making a documentary on North Korea, starting in her 50s. It has won prizes, gotten rave reviews in national newspapers & been seen all over the world. A 3rd friend is an actress who has not let...ahem..maturity...lock her out of parts. She's put on one-woman shows, channeling Golda Meir, Talulah Bankhead, etc., giving of her wisdom & experience to audiences worldwide. You don't need to succeed even to that extent. I LOVE the time in retirement to read & learn. Have studied the American Civil War for almost 10 yrs & gained SO much knowledge about much more than the War itself. Also learning about gems, a lifelong passion about which I knew little -- may still know little, but more than before & I'm having a BALL. Met great people here, too.

As long as you have your brains, it's never passed you by. You only need to widen your vision sometimes.

--- Laurie
 

Kaleigh

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For me if you had asked me as I turned 40, I would have been like puhlease it's not a big deal. But now that life has thrown me a curve ball, it's a real issue. September we will celebrate our 25th anniversary. I am very happy about that.. But there are times like when I was diagnosed that I felt like ...Why me ...why now?? And what the heck am I to do?? I have so much life to live. But sadly since I was diagnosed I haven't lived my life as I would like to. I take each day as it comes and do my best but find that life is passing me by. I wish it wasn't the case but for me , I can't stop how I feel. It's real, and it's very hard.

I pray for better times ahead, but when you know what is down the road for you... And it's not a road you want to travel, it sucks..

But today I had both kids home... Ash is turning 23 and my son will be turning 21.. I have raised great kids and hope to see them thrive for many years to come. Lord willing.
 
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