Life at Mid-Life

It seems that many unhappy events occur at mid-life: The empty nest, menopause, affairs, financial concerns, a clearer sense of mortality, and a growing unhappiness with the daily grind. No wonder that red convertible looks tantalizingly good. At this point in life, you tally your failures and disappointments, and cannot muster a smidgen of gratitude. Fortunately, the notion that "this is all there is" does eventually give way to "life isn't at all bad." While life satisfaction does tend to wane in one's forties, it then upticks a decade or so later. Interestingly, mid-life is more of an issue in some cultures than in others. While western societies hold on to youth more tightly, eastern cultures revere the wisdom of old age. Perhaps western cultures are too quick to promote the idea that there is trouble in this stage of life, when it doesn't have to be that way.

Attitudes About Getting Older

At this later period of life, there are bound to be concerns about health, stagnancy in a long marriage, physical aging, elderly parents, being neck deep in a child’s college tuition payments, mortgage fees, and anemic retirement funds. These worries are fertile ground for a confounding mind-set that may seem normal at this stage. This attitude may prod mid-lifers to buy into negative thinking and promote a certain self-fulfilling prophecy: “I’m too old to ride a bicycle,” and so a favorite activity ends. While this is a good time to reassess one’s life, it can be argued that a life-altering mid-life crisis is avoidable.



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