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Don’t Think Of It As A Mid-Life Crisis, It’s More A Mid-Life Review!

Updated on July 14, 2009

In speaking with a pal who is also in his forties and recently had to be out of work for a couple months after having a certain medical procedures that caused him to reflect on his life before, during and after the procedure he determined that if he could do anything in the anything kingdom, he’d be hard pressed to know what that would be. We talked about the friends who were in the same age bracket as us who were losing their jobs or dying on the vine at the job they had for a thousand years and when someone else at the table suggested it was a mid-life crisis my pal rejected this idea immediately stating that to use the word “crisis” makes it seem like you’re running around out of control and weak when in fact you’re just doing a lot or introspection to figure out where you want to be next in your life. So after thinking about it for mere seconds, I decided that it really wasn’t a “crisis” it was more of what you have every year at your job, a “review.” Don’t think of it as a mid-life crisis, it’s more a mid-life review! – Don’t Get Me Started!

When I was in theatre we would wait and see what the reviewers had to say about the show. It wasn’t that their opinion was the only opinion that counted but sometimes you need an unbiased person who is merely there to observe and comment. Trust me when I say that I think any actor who tells you they thought it was a great show and were surprised the critics slammed it are lying to you. Even if it’s late at night and they only admit it to themselves, you know when you’re in a stinkeroo. The same can be said for your life at your job, right? I mean, you don’t need your boss to tell you that you need to be better about getting things in on time when your last two projects have been late and yet there are some people who would get defensive and say, “Yeah, well the four projects before that were all on time and the reason the last two were late was because I couldn’t get the numbers I needed from accounting or the marketing people to complete their part of it.” Here’s the deal, first stop lying to yourself and second stop making excuses. Allow yourself to just shut up and take the criticism.

I’m a firm believer that there is no hell when you die. I think the only hell is the one we create for ourselves here on earth. No one else but me could make the choices I’ve made to make myself as miserable as I’ve been and while the reverse is also true, I tend to think that the bad is sometimes easier to see than the good. I also think after talking to this pal of mine that we are a generation that were told we could do anything, be anybody but when you’re in your mid-forties you suddenly start thinking that pitching for the Yankees or even being a boy toy is no longer a possibility. Sure Grandma Moses started painting in her nineties or something but we’re in our forties and if you think I’m waiting until I’m ninety to do something about my life you’re mistaken.

And while you begin to rule certain things out it can sometimes be overwhelming. Once again, using the hell on earth theory, it seems easier to make the list of all the things you can’t do as opposed to the things you can do. I recently looked in the want ads to see what sort of jobs are out there and when I read through all of the jobs I realized that on paper the only one that I might have been qualified for was the one to sell Omaha Steaks. (And I questioned that as I have no idea about the “marbling” and what part of a cow is used to make a filet mignon.) And this my friends is the reason the “life coach” was born. But I say resist these pay for common sense traps and don’t let anyone to tell you to “follow your bliss” or “do what you’re passionate about and the money will come” because while that may work for the woman who created the latest elastic band to make hair creations, for most of us we’re never going to make money sitting on our ass on our couch no matter how much they promise we can make millions from working from home.

I’m not saying that all your dreams have to be dashed and you have to give up the part of yourself that you liked the most, I’m just saying that after living on the planet for a certain amount of years it may not be as easy as it once was to answer the question as to what you want to be when you grow up and I also think the whole mid-life review is something that if we welcomed more than we were afraid of we might be able to realize all the things we’ve done and accomplished. We might be able to see that maybe we’re not a fireman or an astronaut but we’ve lived, loved and created relationships both toxic and terrific. And maybe, just maybe when we looked at what we did that brought us pleasure and what brought us pain we might be able to better see where our feet are headed next. (Emphasis on the words “might be able”) You see life holds no guarantees and while we may not be able to be anything we want, we may be able to be something, something that we’re proud of and makes us feel good about ourselves. So stop beating yourself up, going into crisis mode and start reviewing. Don’t think of it as a mid-life crisis, it’s more a mid-life review! – Don’t Get Me Started!

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    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 6 years ago from Las Vegas

      canadianinvestor - look, there's no magic pill as we all know and sometimes you are going to feel down right crappy but I think the key to the whole mid-life thing is not worrying so much about where you've been or where you're going and to just be thankful you aren't in diapers on either end of the spectrum! Good luck!

    • CanadianInvestor profile image

      CanadianInvestor 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Great hub Scott, nice to hear about your thoughts when you reached mid-forties (as I currently am). Hope I could convince myself to be more positive about things, as you did, but I admit I struggle with that part. Hope time will help me go thru this phase OK.

    • profile image

      wordscribe41 8 years ago

      What a fantastic commentary on life. Wow. I just now stopped wondering what I want to do when I grow up. I just figured out I've been doing it all along. Great hub.

    • MotherHubber profile image

      MotherHubber 8 years ago from Southern California

      Scott, I love this perspective! I'm going to send you a note - look for it. Bravo!!

    • profile image

      \Brenda Scully 8 years ago

      Well enjoyed reading things from your perspective........