Midlife crisis is a term coined in 1965 by Elliott Jaques stating a time where adults come to realize their own mortality and how much time is left in their life, as noted in Wikipedia. Men tend to experience this event at the ages of 40 and 60 and women experience their version at the ages of 30 and 50.
For a few people the fear of an impending death approaching sparks this crisis; for most it is actually a moment when the past becomes real in the present and how that reality is perceived to project life continuing from this point. This is often coupled with regrets and gratitude but mostly with fear; fear that the future has already been compromised by the many poor decisions of the past.
The outcome of this personal crisis and reassessment is either that nothing really changes and the past really does predict the future, for better or worst; or there is a positive transformation beginning to take place and the person can become sufficiently objective to undergo a personal re-alignment and re-affirmation of honored values but in a more specific and defined way. In other words, this mid-life crisis produces a focus that begins to crystallise a better reality and therefore a better person emerges out of this process.
Then there are the regrets that make people temporarily insane. You know, the sports car, the younger sex partners to make up for lost opportunities to proliferate the seeds of their youth (now almost gone). The financial realities that retirement saving preparations have not adequately been undertaken tends to shake a person up some.
So we see individuals reacting (over reacting) initially and then gradually responding in a more responsible way (or not) as the result of this reassessment period. Since people are living longer and physically able to work longer it is found that many people experience more than one mid-life crisis; one near the age of 40 and yet another near the age of 60; the latter touching closer on the fear of death and financial desperation.
How did you survive your mid-life crisis?
Yours in Life,