I’m 42 and my wife is turning the age that can not be said. We’ve crossed over the threshold where we are attending more funerals then weddings. It’s depressing but not at mid-life crisis levels. This week is the 3rd anniversary of my dad’s death. He was 62. Attending funerals of guys passing in their 60’s forces you to think about how you are going to “play your back 9.” I find this reflection becoming a regular, if not daily occurrence.
Reflection is healthy but whats an acceptable frequency before it drives you crazy? I can totally empathize with those stereotypical guys who go to defcon 5 levels where they feel the need to blow up their lives out of resentment for everything they missed in their first 40 years. You now the guy who somewhere in his 40’s goes out and trades in his Camry for the convertible red Corvette muscle car that he’s been pining for since he was 17. Or the dude who impulsively leaves his family and heads out to the desert to attend Burning Man for some ‘soul searching.’ I love thinking about those caricatures of what it means to be in mid-life crisis.
I’ve written about how lucky I am in my Feeling Lucky post a while back. I am humble and appreciate my good fortune. Yeah, i can begin to list out all the things I havent done or places I havent been, like…
I am not saving the world or lives
I am not famous or an industry mogul
I don’t have f#%k you wealth
I was never the popular kid in school
My achievements in life are not significant
I wish I did XYZ when I was younger
This kind of thinking is what will drive you crazy and to crisis level. I am just Howie, a simple man with simple needs. I aspire to do things and get things but I dont want for much. I look at guys like Lance Armstrong who have lived a complete lie for 40 years. Now that is an example where a guy should be going through a serious mid-life crisis! How do you correct for all those misguided actions? I wonder if a lot of ordinary guys are living smaller lies as well? They may not be famous but but they are chasing the next new shiny object and will do anything to get it. Here is a funny infographic about 10 Purchases that may indicate a Mid-Life Crisis.
Daily reflection in your mid-life period can be a purgatory of sorts where you beat yourself up over all the negative things you havnt done or things you dont have etc. I’d be lying if I said these type of negative thoughts don’t enter my mind. It often happens when I see fancy sports cars that I will probably never own or I meet a fireman who saves lives and whose job provides an invaluable public service. Anyway when those thoughts enter, I do everything in my power to focus my attention on all the simple things I do have. I can find that stuff right in front of me and around me everyday.