I’ve recently concluded that I couldn’t handle a mid-life crisis.
Apart from the fact that I would have had to have had an arithmetically accurate mid-life crisis about 14 years ago, I just don’t think I’m cut out for the role and nor do I want to be, if this list of behaviours is anything to go by.
The NHS describes a mid-life crisis as follows:
“A male midlife crisis can happen when men think they’ve reached life’s halfway stage. Anxieties over what they’ve accomplished so far, either in their job or personal life, can cause a period of depression. In men, this usually happens between the ages of 35 and 50, and can last for up to 10 years.”
So in principle I still have time – I could start at 50 and not finish to 60!
To be serious, I probably had a mid-life breakdown in the late 1990s, picked myself up in late ’98 and then spent the last 15 years or so just getting on with life. I have to admit that I’ve done a few of the things on that list, and would have liked to have done a few more, but I have to say that having gotten to 54 I’m delighted to still be alive, with a job, with a roof over my head and with most bits in working order. I’ve occasionally joked that I’ve been kept on the straight and narrow through life by debt, a sense of duty, lack of imagination and laziness….but seriously, I actually LIKE how I’m turning out as I’m getting older!
I’m something of a fan of Jung, and he had wise words on the subject of aging:
“Jung’s view was that the second half of life must not be governed by the principles of the first half of life; that the afternoon of life is just as full of meaning as the morning, only its meaning and purpose are different.”
This has been a really useful approach for me to take – I have to say that from about 45 onwards I’ve been more inward looking. There have been odd wobbles – I think like most people I sort of think that I might be missing out on more exciting stuff ‘out there’ (I’ve another blog post on that particular topic brewing, so watch this space) – but when I sit down and think about stuff, I actually realise that I am quite content. I’d like a bit more money, and a bit more security….but mainly so I can carry on peering inwards.
Well…peering inwards…and outwards. I’m a trainee reader with the Church of England, and it struck me that I might actually be having my crisis after all. As Christians we’re told to cast our cares on Jesus – and maybe that’s what I’ve been doing.