How to survive a midlife crisis?

I (Mr. CF) might need your help. As of this year I will have left my thirties and entered my forties. I know, the horror! 2020 is an awful year indeed. But this brings up more than horror alone. It bags the question, how to survive a midlife crisis?

My early midlife crisis

I think I already had a midlife crisis in my early thirties actually. Albeit I hope that’s not actually the mid of my life, but that’s a different story. Anyhow, I already has a sports car (sort of) in the form of a Ford Focus SVT. It’s not exactly a Porsche convertible, or muscle car or other high end sports car (or frugal replacement). But it was fun, fast and handled like a dream.

Besides the sports car, I also already had a motorcycle. Initially it was a naked bike (Yamaha Fazer FZ6), but that was rather uncomfortable for the longer distances. So I switched to this beast, with Cobra chrome pipes (gosh, where they loud). So, been there done that.

How to survive a midlife crisis? The Motorcycle cure?

Guess the only thing left is to trade in Mrs CF for a younger model. But something tells me that’s not the smartest move to make, for many reasons. Oh, and because getting a divorce is very expensive. We both don’t like expensive. So that’s that.

FIRE midlife crisis?

I still believe that finding out about FIRE and everything that happened since, was kind of like my midlife crisis (in my mid and late thirties that is). The whole trigger for FIRE was me being stuck in a job/position that I didn’t like.

After a nudge from Mrs CF, I dove right into the whole FIRE thing. With big success I might add. I mean, I have not had a 9-5 in years now, and have zero stress. It kind of was a very productive midlife crisis, full of personal development and fun. Now that this journey is well underway, it’s time for the next step. Enter my forties…

The Official midlife crisis?

So what is a midlife crisis anyways? Let’s check with Wikipedia!

“A midlife crisis is a transition of identity and self-confidence that can occur in middle-aged individuals, typically 35 to 55 years old. The phenomenon is described as a psychological crisis brought about by events that highlight a person’s growing age, inevitable mortality, and possibly lack of accomplishments in life. This may produce feelings of intense depression, remorse, and high levels of anxiety, or the desire to achieve youthfulness or make drastic changes to their current lifestyle or feel the wish to change past decisions and events.

How to survive a midlife crisis? What crisis?
How to survive a midlife crisis? What crisis?

The term was coined by Elliott Jaques in 1965. More modern research has shown this is not a phase that most middle-aged people actually experience, and some have questioned the existence of this phenomenon.”

Oh, so it does not actually exist?! Well then….. Never mind, don’t need your help. Thanks for reading though….moving on!

Or might there still something to a midlife crisis?

Whether or not you call it a “crisis”, it’s normal I guess to look back at your life and (occasionally) be disappointed. But I guess the whole point about looking back is that you learn from your past mistakes and make better decisions going forward. Drastically changing your life around for the better might not be a bad idea! It can do great things for your personal life, health and finances.

But before you dump you spouse and buy that boat or convertible sports car, you might also want to think about the (financial) consequences. You might be just fine, but you might also scar yourself for life. Change is generally good, rushing into things purely on what your heart tells you, might not be. Use that mushy thing in your scull!

Couple exceptions to that rule:

  • Get more exercise/be more active
  • Eat healthier (read: more fruit, vegetables, nuts & seeds, legumes, whole grains. Less/no animal products, alcohol, processed foods)
  • Go outside more
  • Spend/consume less
  • Cycle more/drive less
  • Be kind to others

Oh, and looking back with remorse is a complete waste of time. Past events are done, live with the consequences and make sure they make you a better person. Hard as that might be.

How is your “midlife” crisis coming on?

2 Comments

  1. I have often felt that FIRE for many of the originators of the concept is a type of midlife crisis – and for the followers who came along later like me it’s preempting the crisis – never let a good crisis go to waste – and if you have saved and invested wisely you might just have enough money to not need the 9-5 with all the accompanying stress.
    With freedom comes responsibility for your own time, decisions and actions – you can no longer just be told what to do by your boss.

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