Am I really having a midlife crisis?

Colin Firth joked about his midlife crisis when he picked up his Golden Globe for best actor.

Firth said: “To get to this stage of your life with your dignity and judgment intact can be somewhat precarious. Sometimes all you need is a bit of gentle reassurance to keep you on track but right now this is all that stands between me and a Harley Davidson.”

On Twitter women swooned.

Colin Firth's announcement is really a strange coincidence. Because I think I'm having a midlife crisis.

A midlife crisis happens between the ages of 40 and 60. (I am young, but I am gifted.) It was first identified by my good friend psychologist Carl Jung (whose theories also are behind the Myers Briggs Personality Test).

But what happens in a midlife crisis? I googled and found a handy guide online.

*Unhappiness with the lifestyle that had provided happiness for many years.
No. I'm happy with my lifestyle. My unhappiness stems from NOT wanting to change my lifestyle. I want to stay home and continue working on the novel that I won't publish.

*Boredom with people who had interested you before.
Yes. This is normal, right?

*Feeling a need for adventure.
Yes. But I've been feeling a need for adventure since I was nine years old.

*Questioning choices you have made in your life.
Yes. Why do I choose the wrong men? What was I thinking when I decided to be an English major? Why didn't I buy more coffee?

*Confusion about who you are and where you are going.
God, yes. But this is not new. I have always been confused about these things.

*Anger at spouse and feeling tied down.
Yes. I don’t blame Adam for my feeling tied down. Just for a lot of other stuff.

*Unable to make decisions about where you want to go with your life.
Sobbing. This is obviously the new tag line for my blog.

*Desire for a new and passionate intimate relationship.
No. Absolutely not. If I am ever released from my marriage, I don't want to be shackled to a man again. Unless he is very rich, has no family, and is suffering from a terminal illness.

To sum up, nobody has a clue. Psychologists especially have no idea about how to live life or what it all means. Midlife crisis fail.

For more self-help, navel-gazing, and use of a blog for therapy, refer to other articles in this series, such as Am I neurotic?


V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios said...

To me what distinguishes a midlife crisis from normal self-searching is a sense of time running out, a heightened awareness of our own mortality and how the choices we've made and the life we've built thus far limit what we can do in the future. It's all about the real or perceived narrowing of possibility and opportunity.

Lisa said...

A midlife crisis is inherently selfish (focused on the self), but can be harnessed. Riding a Harley or taking on a young lover is the stereotype. Realizing that old chains bind tightly and that life is finite can be a good thing. Let go of hang-ups, forgive yourself and others for the past. Then approach the rest of your life with eyes wide open, with a grateful heart, with vigor and with hope. We're lucky for every day we get to experience this life. Discovering that is a good thing ;)...

Fragrant Liar said...

If "midlife crisis" is true, I've been in it for a long, long time. I'm not so sure it's a crisis, but a natural human evolution as one's life continues. We all want to keep moving forward, and that doesn't stop because we hit middle age. So while "midlife crisis" may be the moniker for what some of us feel, I don't think it's a crisis at all. It's just living the life we have.

Suzy said...

Of course your misery made for a very funny post. So stay miserable?

I could relate to so many of those bullet points. SO MANY.

Especially about choices you make in life. I made the one about not being tied to a man and I still bitch about that!

But more important than anything in that post is the new tag line for your blog. Fucking brilliant.

Happy Frog and I said...

Great post, really got me thinking. Perhaps I have been having a mid life crisis all of my life!

CiCi said...

What is the description for people like me who are past mid life? Old people. Later in life crisis? Old people crisis? End of life crisis?

Anonymous said...

"*Boredom with people who had interested you before.
Yes. This is normal, right?"

yes. yes.


I feel horrible about it, but I just feel so disconnected from my friends and have no interest in doing, or talking about, any of the things we used to do. Ugh. Trying to force myself out of it.