Midlife Crisis

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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby SpaceCommander » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:52 pm

backofbeyond wrote:
stemikger wrote:
SpaceCommander wrote:I also read that article about this being a myth, but I think there comes a time in your life where you think about all the things you didn't do right or wish you could have went a different direction.

I have a wonderful wife but a few years ago I had a major crush on a girl half my age. I never acted on it but I had a very strong emotional attachment to her. I felt guilty and ashamed about this and when I think about it being around her made me feel young again and I think that was the main attraction for me. I felt just like Kevin Spacey in American Beauty.

When I was in my 20s and would see a young girl with her Sugar Daddy it would get me disgusted and could never understand it. Now here I was in my mid 40s and I was wrapped up in fantasies about being with this 20 something girl.

This relationship lasted two and a half years and although I no longer see her I still loved how that feeling of being in my 20s was a great feeling. So there you have it that is how I dealt with my mid-life crisis.

Although nothing physical happed I do feel guilty about being so emotionally invested with her and in many ways I felt like I cheated on my wife and marriage.


Stem, what you described is what is known as the Kobayaski Maru of Mid Life crisis, referring to the no-win scenario depicted in Star Trek. There are atleast 3 possible outcomes of an older married man falling for a younger woman:

1. He acts on it, she accepts. Whether it works or not, his life becomes much much more complicated. As he ends up taking on the additional burdens of her life plus the heartaches that he causes his family, most of all his wife. To tie it in with a financial posting, just about anyway you look at it, the standard of living plummets for just about everyone involved, except maybe the young thing.

2. He doesn’t act on it, but wonders, would he have been happier if he had? And this goes on for years, maybe the rest of his life, that is, being tormented by the “what could have been”.

3. He doesn’t act on it, glad he didn’t, but feels guilty for even thinking about it. That would be you.

Having gone through every one of those scenarios, trust me, you got off lightly. My only advice is whatever you do, never ever, tell the wife about it. You may think it will get the guilt off your chest, but it really will only open up a whole can of suspicions on her part. Best to tuck it away and call it a hard lesson learned.


Somehow the quotes got mixed up. Let's be clear: that was Stemikger's story, not mine. I don't know how I got tagged with that.

BTW, I think backofbeyond gives some good advice here (for what it's worth).
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Jazztonight » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:23 pm

nisiprius wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midlife_crisis

In my mid-fifties one day I happened to refer to myself as "middle-aged," and my wife said "Well, if you think you're middle-aged, then you must be expecting to live to 110."

I don't quite get the bucket-list thing, "what things do I need to do while I'm young/alive," either. You can't do everything. Every day you get at every age is one more day, and it gets filled with whatever you put into it.

It does seem to me as if purchased one-time packaged experiences--concerts, ski trips, vacations--and things, tend to be low in meaning, particularly if they are experienced passively. Going to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (which I've never done) is probably a great thing to do; singing in a local chorus of some kind is probably more nourishing.

The things that fill a life involve work-like activities, developing skills, building up something. And I sometimes think they have a natural rhythm--they last, oh, about five or ten years. There are lifetime avocations, but I don't think there's anything wrong with doing something for five years and then moving on and trying something else.

The problem with low-nourishment junk experience (let's go to a movie! let's take a cruise! let's sign up for a guided ascent of Mt. Everest!) is that they don't relieve boredom very thoroughly and the effect doesn't last. The problem with high-nourishment experience is that you may not be bored, but you do get frustrated and stressed...


Unlike another person responding to this (edited) post, I DO agree with Nisiprius.

My wife pulled the "you're not middle aged anymore" line on me too. Okay, I'm not in the "middle," I thought, but I feel like I'm entering the second (perhaps shorter) half!

And I do believe that an activity such as singing in a choir is far superior to one's life force than attending a choir concert, although certainly there are times for that too. When I was in my forties, I started saxophone lessons and met a guy in his sixties who had just started clarinet lessons. I asked him what motivated him to get started, And he replied that he had always wanted to play the clarinet. I had the greatest admiration for him, and still do.

In my 50s, I went back to college and got an additional degree in music composition. Many friends made a big deal about it, but to me it was the most natural thing in the world.

Four or five years ago, I decided I wanted to get in better physical shape. This morning I did a 40 minute workout that included 64 pull-ups and 80 push-ups. Again, people make a big deal about what I can do, but I reply that it took me four years to get to this point, and they could do it too.

I am 66, and when I look in the mirror I look 66! But many people tell me that I look much younger. I don't get that.

But obviously it has something to do with how you interact with the world, and how you view life. I believe that a person needs to do whatever it takes to nourish his or her soul.

I sometimes feel that I am in a constant mid life crisis. It never ends. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I have no idea, but I continue to encourage my friends to try new things, take care of themselves, and not be afraid of failing.

If I felt like buying a Porsche, I could probably afford it. But I know from experience that it would not satisfy whatever it is that I am going through. And why should it?
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby protagonist » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:37 pm

Jazztonight wrote: Going to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (which I've never done) is probably a great thing to do; singing in a local chorus of some kind is probably more nourishing.


Sort-of-quoting Woody Allan: "Playing great music poorly is more fun than listening to great music played well". Your post made me think of an old B. Kliban cartoon, with a guy and his wife standing on their bed in their nightclothes pounding on the ceiling with a broom handle. The caption read "Downstairs at the Mormon Tabernacle".

Jazztonight wrote: When I was in my forties, I started saxophone lessons and met a guy in his sixties who had just started clarinet lessons. I asked him what motivated him to get started, And he replied that he had always wanted to play the clarinet. I had the greatest admiration for him, and still do.


I picked up the sax in my fifties. Mostly tenor but soprano as well. Are you still playing? Where do you live?

[/quote]
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby stemikger » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:50 am

Posted by backofbeyond
Stem, what you described is what is known as the Kobayaski Maru of Mid Life crisis, referring to the no-win scenario depicted in Star Trek. There are atleast 3 possible outcomes of an older married man falling for a younger woman:

1. He acts on it, she accepts. Whether it works or not, his life becomes much much more complicated. As he ends up taking on the additional burdens of her life plus the heartaches that he causes his family, most of all his wife. To tie it in with a financial posting, just about anyway you look at it, the standard of living plummets for just about everyone involved, except maybe the young thing.

2. He doesn’t act on it, but wonders, would he have been happier if he had? And this goes on for years, maybe the rest of his life, that is, being tormented by the “what could have been”.

3. He doesn’t act on it, glad he didn’t, but feels guilty for even thinking about it. That would be you.

Having gone through every one of those scenarios, trust me, you got off lightly. My only advice is whatever you do, never ever, tell the wife about it. You may think it will get the guilt off your chest, but it really will only open up a whole can of suspicions on her part. Best to tuck it away and call it a hard lesson learned.


Thanks for the advice. Yes I know I got off lightly. I thank God she never tried to do anything with me because quite honestly I don't know if I would have been able to stop her. I knew I would not initiate anything, but at the same time I would probably have acted on it if she did. So Thank God it went the way it did and I learned a very valuable lesson and like you said, telling my wife serves no purpose at all.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby ronnie » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:05 am

I think as long as one does not call it crisis, there is none. Everything today is called a crisis - but after all that's just the buzz of life. Think positive.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby investingdad » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:12 am

I'm 39 and am still too young to plan for a mid-life crisis. So I'll revisit the topic in another 10 years or so.

In any case, as far as an expensive sports car goes...I used to think I wanted one. Back in 2004 I bought a turbocharged Miata. I still have it though I don't drive it as much. When I first got it, I spent a lot of time washing it and stressing about whether it would be vandalized, stolen, etc. I eventually realized that this was stupid and, while fun, the allure of having a car with a little bit of zip can be a real psychological liability if I was constantly worried about what would happen to it out in public.

So I think I got past that whole thing.

I think it's important to have some hobbies and outlets for your free time. I tend to move from experience to experience, once I've explored it to my satisfaction I tend to move on. I brewed beer for a while and then decided I'd rather just buy the good stuff I like and sit on my deck drinking it. I've stuck with golf since I was in my 20s though I don't play as much as I used to. Now that my kids are interested I'll play more down the road.

My new fun diversion is electric helicopters and quadcopters. I'm sure it'll pass as well and I'll be looking for the next fun diversion.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Munchkin Man » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:13 am

Greetings To All:

The Munchkin Man has discovered that the best way for the Munchkin Man to avoid a midlife crisis is for the Munchkin Man to remain continuously connected to the Munchkin Man's inner child.

Good luck to all.

Best Wishes,

Munchkin Man
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby swaption » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:39 am

protagonist wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
nisiprius wrote:The sitcom/joke "midlife crisis" in which one suddenly does reckless things is denial of aging and/or denial of mortality. I don't think it's inevitable, and I don't think it is helpful or adaptive.
I don't disagree with you, but...


In my opinion, it's far more rewarding to try the things one wants to try and hope not to fail. A blind man climbed Everest, a man on prostheses ran in London Olympics; why should not we aspire to similar fits? And when we do fail, the reason is frequently insufficient dedication or insurmountable physical constraint or just not being as smart as we think we are--not the age per se.

Here is a web site about people's accomplishments at various ages. Look at these!
Web site about accomplishments at various ages wrote:At age 100+:
- Alice Porlock of Great Britain published her first book, Portrait of My Victorian Youth, when she was 102 years old.
- At age 100, Johannes Heesters was the oldest guest in a Saturday night show, Wetten dass.
- At age 100, Fauja Singh became the oldest person to complete a full-distance marathon. This was his eighth marathon - his first was at age 89.
- Mary Hardison, 101, became the oldest woman to do a tandem paraglide.
- Manoel de Oliveira (age 103 in 2012), is the oldest film director in the world and continues to make about one film a year after the age of 100.
- American composer Elliot Carter was still doing commissions until his death at age 103.


I wonder if these people had midlife crisis at the age of 100 {hopeful smile}.

Victoria


Nisi, with all due respect, this is one of the rare instances that I disagree with you. The examples Victoria gave are inspiring examples to all of celebration and embracing of life, not of denial of aging and mortality. Here in el Yaque, Venezuela, among my friends and acquaintences are a one-armed carpenter and welder, a windsurfer who has lost almost total use of one arm and leg in an old motorcycle accident, and several kitesurfers and windsurfers in their 70s and 80s, some of whom are doing more daring things than I. I find these people inspirational. Thinking of it as denial of aging and mortality is merely seeing the glass as half-empty rather than half-full.


Have to support Protaganist and Victoria on this one. It's a view that has surprisingly emerged as I have aged into what is traditionally viewed as the heart of mid-life. In the rare occurrences where I have come across older people like those mentioned above, they uniformely come across in a way that is more engaged. We have knowledge of the fact that life is finite, but what are we supposed to do with that knowledge? To some extent it depresses me, not because I have any problem with life ending, but due to the implication that in some way those years are less meaningful than prior years. It doesn't have to be that way.

To some extent, I think there is a mismatch with society's norms and what our mid/body is saying. There is this convention of life's conveyer belt taking you through education, prodictivity, reproductivity, nurturing, and on your way to a nice calm retirement. I think this reflects hubris, implying some level of control that rationalizes being able to take your foot off the gas of life. But I also don't think a 40 something person is supposed to think this way. I hate concepts like bucket lists. Twenty year olds don't have bucket lists. It's almost like life's nostalgia tour as opposed to life in it's genuine form.

I guess I can summarize it all with the observation that whenever I act or think in a way that is consistent with life being infinite, the outcome is never bad. Perhaps the whole sports car/young girlfriend thing is the same forces at work, but viewed through the lens of life as being finite.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Default User BR » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:41 am

Munchkin Man wrote:The Munchkin Man has discovered that the best way for the Munchkin Man to avoid a midlife crisis is for the Munchkin Man to remain continuously connected to the Munchkin Man's inner child.

Ha ha. You are CORRECT sir.


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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby VictoriaF » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:01 pm

swaption wrote:I guess I can summarize it all with the observation that whenever I act or think in a way that is consistent with life being infinite, the outcome is never bad.


An excellent observation.

Thinking and acting on the finality of life leads either to the bucket-list philosophy, or what nisiprius describes as "purchased one-time packaged experiences--concerts, ski trips, vacations--and things, tend to be low in meaning, particularly if they are experienced passively;" or to depressed idleness, to watching TV until the lights go off.

Thinking and acting as if one's life is infinite makes a nice delusion, but acting is quite necessary, because this delusion eventually ends. Acting on the non-ending life means pursuing nisiprius's "things that fill a life involve work-like activities, developing skills, building up something."

Victoria
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby leo383 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:50 pm

bengal22 wrote:The whole concept of planning a mid life crisis is a hoot. A true mid life crisis needs to be a spontaneous burst of energy directed in all the wrong directions. Its a knee jerk reaction to the realization that you are not going to play for the Chicago Bulls, pilot a F-15, or play lead guitar for the Stones. Its a childish attempt to hold back time, or deny death. Its not something you can plan or develop a mission statement with a set of objectives. If it happens it happens.


It is very Boglehead to plan and save (at very low cost) for things.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Random Musings » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:06 pm

Since I don't know exactly when my demise will come, I was not able to appropriately time my midlife crisis itenerary.

Is the phrase "midlife crisis" just another way of saying being selfish?

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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby SpaceCommander » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:10 pm

No RM, the phrase "Midlife Crisis" is just an excuse to sell the wife the idea that I need to buy a new Harley :P
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Dulocracy » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:48 pm

I am going through an early midlife crisis of sorts. My wife and I have agreed that we will soon start a family. I started to panic about the change in life. I am closing the door on a part of life that I enjoyed. What did I do? I am in the middle of squeezing every last moment of quality time with my wife. I realized that it was her, not the partying, that I enjoyed. Before I have to share her with children, I want to spend a lot of time with her. It may not be the same thing as what may happen later, but she is enjoying the side effect of having more time together.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby protagonist » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:42 pm

Dulocracy wrote:I am going through an early midlife crisis of sorts. My wife and I have agreed that we will soon start a family. I started to panic about the change in life. I am closing the door on a part of life that I enjoyed. What did I do? I am in the middle of squeezing every last moment of quality time with my wife. I realized that it was her, not the partying, that I enjoyed. Before I have to share her with children, I want to spend a lot of time with her. It may not be the same thing as what may happen later, but she is enjoying the side effect of having more time together.


Probably a good plan. Having children opens your heart to unconditional love, which is something totally inconceivable until it happens.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Random Musings » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:44 pm

protagonist wrote:
Dulocracy wrote:I am going through an early midlife crisis of sorts. My wife and I have agreed that we will soon start a family. I started to panic about the change in life. I am closing the door on a part of life that I enjoyed. What did I do? I am in the middle of squeezing every last moment of quality time with my wife. I realized that it was her, not the partying, that I enjoyed. Before I have to share her with children, I want to spend a lot of time with her. It may not be the same thing as what may happen later, but she is enjoying the side effect of having more time together.


Probably a good plan. Having children opens your heart to unconditional love, which is something totally inconceivable until it happens.


With respect to unconditional love, well, let's say 95% of the time. :wink:

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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby SnapShots » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:44 am

rocket wrote:A woman told me that a man's mid-life crisis is shown by getting a motorcycle and/or a girlfriend. I'm 66 YO and did not have a mid-life crisis.


I'm a woman. Took motorcycle lessons and got a motorcycle at 62. (now 65) Kept the husband and he got one, too, at 65. (now 69) Yamaha 200 & 250 crossover dirt bikes. We love hauling them to the mountains or national parks and riding them along lonely lonely dirt roads. Recommend keeping the spouse. They get better with age.

I think I've had a mid-life crisis every decade. There's always something new to learn or try.

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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby SnapShots » Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:56 am

nisiprius wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midlife_crisis

I don't quite get the bucket-list thing, "what things do I need to do while I'm young/alive," either. You can't do everything.


I like the idea of every time you do something and think: That was great fun! I'm glad I did that. Put it on your bucket list. :D
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Barefootgirl » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:17 pm

Ready any and all books of James Hollis, Jungian analyst.

Midlife Crisis is his specialty and he is the master of soothing the midlife soul - i.e. - helping to awaken the soul without crushing it.

Be well, BFG
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Barefootgirl » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:24 am

Wrote that last comment last night when I was in more of a philosophical state.

Whenever I hear the term "midlife crisis", I often equate it with an existential crisis.

I think many find themselves with a growing sense that their lives have little to no meaning and the time remaining to resolve this "existential crisis" gets ever shorter and so we end up with something that feels a bit panicky, so we do things that are impulsive.

The trouble with this, as some have stated here, is that external attempts at resolution don't really help much except in the very near term. The new lovers at midlife are fun, pop psych conferences, the trips, new shiny vehicles, etc. - but at the end of the day, the dark at the end of the tunnel is still staring you in the face. They don't resolve the inner conflict.

I believe it can be resolved, but the journey is an inside job - not easy for many.

This is an interesting discussion and I especially enjoy reading the male point of view, however stereotyped. I have always lived my life as if there were no differences between the sexes in possibilities and experiences...so it's like a window into the male club for me, lol.
The movie "Moonstruck" had a great scene in this regard. Olympia Dukakis's character gives an explanation as to why husbands cheat on their wives: "because they fear death."

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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Barefootgirl » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:50 am

Wow, thoughts on this topic keep rolling through my head:

I also find it great fun and inspirational to hear of people bungee jumping for the first time at 80, writing a great novel at 90, etc. (anybody remember Grandma Moses from my neck of the woods?)...however, aren't these examples simply the outliers?

The average is quite different, hence the sooner wake up call for most. I think.

BFG
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Scott S » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:50 pm

protagonist wrote:In retrospect, I think the first fifty years of childhood are the hardest.


That's a great line. :D
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby protagonist » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:53 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:Wow, thoughts on this topic keep rolling through my head:

I also find it great fun and inspirational to hear of people bungee jumping for the first time at 80, writing a great novel at 90, etc. (anybody remember Grandma Moses from my neck of the woods?)...however, aren't these examples simply the outliers?

The average is quite different, hence the sooner wake up call for most. I think.

BFG


Yes! Creativity is, I think, an "outlier's" pursuit, barefoot...and yes, a wake-up call (inspiration) for the masses.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Fallible » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:19 pm

protagonist wrote:
Barefootgirl wrote:Wow, thoughts on this topic keep rolling through my head:

I also find it great fun and inspirational to hear of people bungee jumping for the first time at 80, writing a great novel at 90, etc. (anybody remember Grandma Moses from my neck of the woods?)...however, aren't these examples simply the outliers?

The average is quite different, hence the sooner wake up call for most. I think.

BFG


Yes! Creativity is, I think, an "outlier's" pursuit, barefoot...and yes, a wake-up call (inspiration) for the masses.


Ah, but who is the outlier, the "creative" one? You may not know - can't know, really - until you pursue your dreams and inspirations to the end.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ~Aristotle
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby hicabob » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:21 pm

Fallible wrote:
protagonist wrote:
Barefootgirl wrote:Wow, thoughts on this topic keep rolling through my head:

I also find it great fun and inspirational to hear of people bungee jumping for the first time at 80, writing a great novel at 90, etc. (anybody remember Grandma Moses from my neck of the woods?)...however, aren't these examples simply the outliers?

The average is quite different, hence the sooner wake up call for most. I think.

BFG


Yes! Creativity is, I think, an "outlier's" pursuit, barefoot...and yes, a wake-up call (inspiration) for the masses.


Ah, but who is the outlier, the "creative" one? You may not know - can't know, really - until you pursue your dreams and inspirations to the end.



Indeed - creativity, like most worthwhile pursuits, requires practice.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby jdb » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:25 am

"I never thought about a midlife crisis and never had one. Life was complicated enough." Agree with this, though did think about it in my late 30's and 40's. Fancy sports car, girlfriend on the side, it was tempting. Missed this, with no regrets. In retrospect, though trite, focus on yourself to extent of health, finances (this site helps a lot) and hard work to do best at your job or endeavour. But for happiness, focus on happiness of those close to you, such as spouse and children. Get involved in not for profit community group or religious group etc. Easier to avoid mid life crises when not self obsessing with one's own happiness. And that leads to one's greater happiness. Just thoughts from someone beyond midlife crisis. But I guess there could be a laterlife crisis.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby protagonist » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:33 am

Barefootgirl wrote:Wrote that last comment last night when I was in more of a philosophical state.

Whenever I hear the term "midlife crisis", I often equate it with an existential crisis.

I think many find themselves with a growing sense that their lives have little to no meaning and the time remaining to resolve this "existential crisis" gets ever shorter and so we end up with something that feels a bit panicky, so we do things that are impulsive.

The trouble with this, as some have stated here, is that external attempts at resolution don't really help much except in the very near term. The new lovers at midlife are fun, pop psych conferences, the trips, new shiny vehicles, etc. - but at the end of the day, the dark at the end of the tunnel is still staring you in the face. They don't resolve the inner conflict.

I believe it can be resolved, but the journey is an inside job - not easy for many.

This is an interesting discussion and I especially enjoy reading the male point of view, however stereotyped. I have always lived my life as if there were no differences between the sexes in possibilities and experiences...so it's like a window into the male club for me, lol.
The movie "Moonstruck" had a great scene in this regard. Olympia Dukakis's character gives an explanation as to why husbands cheat on their wives: "because they fear death."

BFG


Barefootgirl makes some EXCELLENT points.

Curious from your journeys into the male psyche....shiny vehicles for the men vs pop psychology conferences for the women???
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby gatorking » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:07 am

I feel like I'm going through a mid-life crisis too that involves getting rid of stuff and simplifying my life. I can see how this is more a "Isn't there more to life than this?" crisis.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Fallible » Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:18 pm

gatorking wrote:I feel like I'm going through a mid-life crisis too that involves getting rid of stuff and simplifying my life. I can see how this is more a "Isn't there more to life than this?" crisis.


I think the question whether there isn't more to life than this can come at almost any age depending I guess on one's outlook on life. For me, it came when I was in my late 20s and the existentialist song, "Is That All There Is?" sung by Peggy Lee became popular ('69). I obviously was neither in mid-life nor crisis, but the lyrics (some of which I did not like) and even the rather haunting melody made me suspect that what I'd seen thus far of myself, the world, and my fellow humans probably was basically all there was. There would be many, many more experiences, of course, and tons more to be learned, but at that point I at least seemed to have learned the outlines of how life worked and now it was time to stop exploring and get in there and start making whatever contribution I could to society. My midlife crisis probably came in my early 50s, but overall it really felt less like a crisis than just a sea change coming on and I needed to figure out what it was and move on and I did. The tough part, probably what's called the "crisis" part, is that sort of unsettling, limbo period of determining what the new path is and how to get on it. Once on it, you probably won't even look back on the so-called crisis.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby protagonist » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:09 pm

Fallible wrote:
gatorking wrote:I feel like I'm going through a mid-life crisis too that involves getting rid of stuff and simplifying my life. I can see how this is more a "Isn't there more to life than this?" crisis.


I think the question whether there isn't more to life than this can come at almost any age depending I guess on one's outlook on life. For me, it came when I was in my late 20s and the existentialist song, "Is That All There Is?" sung by Peggy Lee became popular ('69).


That song immediately came to my mind when I read gatorking's post as well. Ï love it, and despite being recorded in '69 it is sooo philosophically fifties/James Dean/ Marlon Brando/ Jack Kerouac, Eddie Cochran. Poor Peggy...wonder what was her ultimate fate. I almost posted the link to the youtube video, but then I thought, Nah. This is an investment forum, not Facebook.


Fallible wrote: The tough part, probably what's called the "crisis" part, is that sort of unsettling, limbo period of determining what the new path is and how to get on it. Once on it, you probably won't even look back on the so-called crisis.
"

That can also be the most exciting part. Change might be the only true constant in the universe.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Fallible » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:25 pm

protagonist wrote:
Fallible wrote:
Fallible wrote: The tough part, probably what's called the "crisis" part, is that sort of unsettling, limbo period of determining what the new path is and how to get on it. Once on it, you probably won't even look back on the so-called crisis.
"

That can also be the most exciting part. Change might be the only true constant in the universe.


It can be exciting. You just have to first survive that limbo period when the old path has ended and the new one is not yet in sight.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby protagonist » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:06 pm

Fallible wrote:
protagonist wrote:
Fallible wrote:
Fallible wrote: The tough part, probably what's called the "crisis" part, is that sort of unsettling, limbo period of determining what the new path is and how to get on it. Once on it, you probably won't even look back on the so-called crisis.
"

That can also be the most exciting part. Change might be the only true constant in the universe.


It can be exciting. You just have to first survive that limbo period when the old path has ended and the new one is not yet in sight.


Those are the periods that keep us alive.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Fallible » Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:01 pm

protagonist wrote:
Fallible wrote:
protagonist wrote:
Fallible wrote:
Fallible wrote: The tough part, probably what's called the "crisis" part, is that sort of unsettling, limbo period of determining what the new path is and how to get on it. Once on it, you probably won't even look back on the so-called crisis.
"

That can also be the most exciting part. Change might be the only true constant in the universe.


It can be exciting. You just have to first survive that limbo period when the old path has ended and the new one is not yet in sight.


Those are the periods that keep us alive.


I think my original comment here may have been misunderstood so I'll gladly delete it and say these midlife transitions can and do lead to new, rewarding, and challenging careers and lives. That's the best way to look at them.
Last edited by Fallible on Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Barefootgirl » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:14 pm

Repeating myself, but it helps to get yourself squared away on the inside, then the rest of it fades away and you just begin to live.

BFG

PS - I realize these are luxurious problems to have
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby backofbeyond » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:36 pm

Btenny, I’m with you….

I get the impression that many posters view the Midlife Crisis as always being a bad thing, that one must get thru and then reflects back on it years later in a negative light.

That isn't always the case. While some of the things I did during mine were not universally accepted, I have to admit most of it was a blast. And yes, very selfish.

Would I do it again? Not on your life. Do I regret having one? Absolutely positively no.

There are all sorts of “worlds” out there that Joe Sixpack, is never even aware of. Let’s face it, the financial world that we talk about every day on this form is alien to many (most?) people. Similarly, these other worlds aren’t often broached by those who follow the straight and narrow. To have had an opportunity to explore them have made me a deeper person with a much wider band of experiences to draw from. And as such, a person that can relate to much more in life than had I not gone through it.
The question isn't at what age I want to retire, it is at what income. - George Foreman
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby btenny » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:08 pm

You know Back that is another wonderful thing I learned during my early retirement. IT IS NOT NECESSARY to have TONS OF MONEY TO HAVE FUN or TO WORK YOUR BUTT OFF TO ENJOY LIFE....... I have met dozens of young and middle aged and old people who make really minor duckets but have learned how to live wonderfully and have a ball. The ones I know live in the mountains around Tahoe and ski a lot and have 2-4-6 jobs that they string into careers. But most just have lots of fun. They are not planners and don't seem to need a lot of things to enjoy life so they don't have much money. But they live in small apartments or small homes in fun places and resort towns all over the world so they can play for next to nothing. They work as waiters or ski teachers or mechanics or some other blue collar job but really they live to play. Their lives revolve around when it is going to snow next or when their kid is going to race in motocross next or other fun things like that.

So more power to all those here who are great planners. But remember to enjoy life when you are doing all that saving and postponing fun to fill your 401K because life is short...

Bill
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby traineeinvestor » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:32 am

btenny wrote:I retired for my midlife crisis at 52. Was not even thinking about retiring but was very unhappy with my job. Things were not going well. Then the company I worked for offered a company wide early out retirement deal for lots of long term employee classifications. I fit the requirements. So I studied it for 2-3 weeks and took it. It scared my wife and all my friends and made my boss mad as he**. Yep one day I was working and then the next week I was quitting. Two financial planners told me I needed more money. Then I got into good physical shape and became a ski bum for 5 years. I worked teaching skiing but made next to nothing and loved every miniute of it. I was lucky I kept the same wife and then discovered Bogleheads and that I really did have enough money to fully retire. Wow was it fun. It was the best thing I have ever done.

Bill..


I'm retiring later this year for my mid-life crisis (age 47) ... at least I think it's a mid-life crisis - the loss of interest in my work and belief that it is impeding my freedom to do other things that I would like to do, awareness that I will eventually reach an age that makes doing some of the things that I want to do harder ... possibly too hard in some cases.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby protagonist » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:19 am

Fallible wrote:My midlife crisis probably came in my early 50s, but overall it really felt less like a crisis than just a sea change coming on and I needed to figure out what it was and move on and I did. The tough part, probably what's called the "crisis" part, is that sort of unsettling, limbo period of determining what the new path is and how to get on it. Once on it, you probably won't even look back on the so-called crisis.


Yes. Destruction is the seed of creation...it's a familiar cycle. Galaxies explode to create countless new galaxies- perhaps even new universes. The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs made way for proliferation of new life forms (and, ultimately, us). The last ice age paved the way for humans to move out of their caves and create what we now call "civilization". This fundamental truth is evident at every scale of existence. Those resourceful enough to make it through a crisis find new worlds opening to them that they could often not even dream about before.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Fallible » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:36 pm

protagonist wrote:
Fallible wrote:My midlife crisis probably came in my early 50s, but overall it really felt less like a crisis than just a sea change coming on and I needed to figure out what it was and move on and I did. The tough part, probably what's called the "crisis" part, is that sort of unsettling, limbo period of determining what the new path is and how to get on it. Once on it, you probably won't even look back on the so-called crisis.


Yes. Destruction is the seed of creation...it's a familiar cycle. Galaxies explode to create countless new galaxies- perhaps even new universes. The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs made way for proliferation of new life forms (and, ultimately, us). The last ice age paved the way for humans to move out of their caves and create what we now call "civilization". This fundamental truth is evident at every scale of existence. Those resourceful enough to make it through a crisis find new worlds opening to them that they could often not even dream about before.


Great perspective, isn't it? Reading this, it appears a midlife crisis is built into us. The only variations, relatively minor in this scenario, are the individual cases, how a crisis happens to each one of us, affects us, to what degree, and how we respond. I'm feeling quite small.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Barefootgirl » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:50 pm

Built into us? I'd say so....and we've been writing about it for...over a thousand years.

As evidence, I present Dante's Divine Comedy:

In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself, in a dark wood, where the direct way was lost. It is a hard thing to speak of, how wild, harsh and impenetrable that wood was, so that thinking of it recreates the fear.

BFG
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Fallible » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:15 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:Built into us? I'd say so....and we've been writing about it for...over a thousand years.

As evidence, I present Dante's Divine Comedy:

In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself, in a dark wood, where the direct way was lost. It is a hard thing to speak of, how wild, harsh and impenetrable that wood was, so that thinking of it recreates the fear.

BFG


Just off the top of my head, having last read "Inferno" many years ago, I don't quite see his midlife as what we call a midlife crisis. His was more straying from what might be called a 'right' path and trying to find a right and moral one (ghastly oversimplified I know). A midlife crisis is not necessarily straying from a correct path.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Barefootgirl » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:30 pm

Regardless, may be semantics, but most references consider his work arising from midlife "crisis"

Many, many references to this...so it's widely considered.

Here's but one, if you scroll on down:

http://renaissance.academic.ru/148/Dante

BFG
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby VictoriaF » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:01 pm

I think some differences in opinion in this thread are due to the differences in the interpretation of the "midlife crisis" concept. For some, the crisis is triggered by a sudden realization of the meaninglessness of their routine life. In more severe cases, the crisis is caused by the internalization of one's mortality. People undergoing this type of a crisis demonstrate it by introducing changes. Some of these changes are superficial, e.g., men (and women) purchasing sports cars; other changes are intellectual, e.g., Dante writing The Divine Comedy (as suggested in the article linked by Barefootgirl).

For other people, a significant change creates a crisis. The change could be a result of some tragedy; or a crisis could be triggered by a beneficial change that creates havoc in one's life.

This classification of midlife crises, however imperfect, identifies at least four types of crises, each of which calls for a different judgement and call for action (or inaction).

Victoria
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby protagonist » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:22 pm

Fallible wrote:. I'm feeling quite small.


I like feeling small, fallible. It is only when we realize our true relationship to our universe that we can laugh at ourselves. And, imho, that is the first step towards giving our lives meaning.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Fallible » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:25 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:Regardless, may be semantics, but most references consider his work arising from midlife "crisis"

Many, many references to this...so it's widely considered.

Here's but one, if you scroll on down:

http://renaissance.academic.ru/148/Dante

BFG


Here's the passage with the mid-life mention in your link:

"Dante's crowning achievement, however, was his epic The Divine Comedy. The poem, written in three parts, describes the spiritual journey of Dante himself, caught in a mid-life crisis of despair. In it he is rescued from an aimless and worldly existence and guided through Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise), the three states of soul defined by medieval theology."

The question is whether it is about mid-life changes, or of despair that happened to occur in mid-life. It's not clear. When I read it, I don't remember thinking "mid-life crisis" but his journey from an errant path back to a moral one.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby protagonist » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:27 pm

VictoriaF wrote: Some of these changes are superficial, e.g., men (and women) purchasing sports cars;


Thanks for answering half the question I posed to barefootgirl. I still wonder who goes to pop psychology conferences.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Barefootgirl » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:30 pm

protagonist (like your screen name) - I heartily agree and recall the common joke about teenagers/young people who know *everything*.

Maybe one of the wisest short speeches I've ever been honored to witness was made by a college professor who walked into our classroom one day and pronounced, "the more I know, the more I realize I don't know".

BFG in perpetual shock and awe lol.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Barefootgirl » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:35 pm

Personally, I don't know who goes to pop psychology conferences as I've never been, but as a professional negotiator, I often receive invitations to attend, although my specialization is business psychology and not personal conflict per se, lol....but I guess they think it's a crossover.

Nevertheless, my point is that the ads all feature men and women with grey hair and wrinkles - their demographics appear to be "midlife seekers".

BFG
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby Fallible » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:35 pm

protagonist wrote:
Fallible wrote:. I'm feeling quite small.


I like feeling small, fallible. It is only when we realize our true relationship to our universe that we can laugh at ourselves. And, imho, that is the first step towards giving our lives meaning.


My first remembrance of feeling "small" was being told when I was a child that Earth revolved around the Sun, not the other way around. My second was learning in high school the estimated number of stars and universes. The third, that I recall, was the first photo of Earth shot by the astronauts from the moon. I framed that one and look at it fairly often to maintain or regain perspective. Feeling small seems to be the right perspective.
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Re: Midlife Crisis

Postby VictoriaF » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:37 pm

protagonist wrote:
VictoriaF wrote: Some of these changes are superficial, e.g., men (and women) purchasing sports cars;


Thanks for answering half the question I posed to barefootgirl. I still wonder who goes to pop psychology conferences.


I was not familiar with the term pop psychology, and so I looked it up.

Wikipedia on Pop Psychology wrote:The term popular psychology (frequently called pop psychology or pop psych) refers to concepts and theories about human mental life and behavior that are purportedly based on psychology and that attain popularity among the general population. The concept is closely related to the human potential movement of the 1950s and '60s.
...
The term is often used in a dismissive fashion to describe psychological concepts that appear oversimplified, out of date, unproven, misunderstood or misinterpreted; however, the term may also be used to describe professionally produced psychological knowledge, regarded by most experts as valid and effective, that is intended for use by the general public.


Considering the breadth of situations this term covers there is probably a corresponding breadth of the conference attendees.

Victoria
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