I think I’m having a mid-life crisis

If men go out and buy sports cars or motorbikes, and trade their partners in for younger, blonder models, what do we women do to demonstrate our midlife crises. I’ve heard that each time a woman turns 40, a cougar is born. I quite like that 🙂

I did get my first tattoo at 39… does that count? My 40th birthday is looming and I’ll no longer be a single-thirtysomething… I’ll be a single-FORTYSOMETHING. Eeek. When I started this blog I guess I assumed that I’d lose my single status before I lost my thirtysomethingness.

I am very, very aware that my 30s are nearly over. What have I achieved? It’s been over two decades since I left school, two decades as an adult. Shouldn’t I be more grown up by now? More secure in what and who I am? Don’t all adults have life sussed out? Erm, no… most of us don’t.

On my 39th birthday, I made a list of ‘things to do before I’m 40’. Exciting stuff, worthy stuff. A list to make my 40th year a fun and exhilarating one. Things to take my mind off this big birthday that’s approaching. Well, 6 months later, I can tick off very few of those things. Which makes me feel like a bit of a failure really. Sheesh but there is so much pressure, so much *expectation* for us to be inspired, motivated, run marathons, climb mountains, reach for the stars, etc. etc. I’m all for having goals and working towards them but if I see one more motivational poster in my Facebook news feed, I will not be responsible for my actions.

Is 40 such a big deal? Is it really the new 30? Women certainly look a lot younger at 40 these days that they did a generation or two ago. Or perhaps that’s all relative, and I look pretty ancient to 12 year olds.

How much more time do I have left? If I’ve got 40 years, of how many of those will I be healthy and fit and able to do the things I want to do? What do I want to do, achieve, give, find, explore and accomplish in the second half of my life?

I worry that the next 40 years will go by as fast as the first 40 have and at 80 I’ll be saying, “Wait!! What happened to my life? I still want to…”

Sigh.

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5 thoughts on “I think I’m having a mid-life crisis

  1. I think women having midlife crises get belly rings and liposuction. For men, they’re proving their virility and sex appeal; for women, the way we do that is by becoming Paris Hilton. I know, bad example. But still.

    Don’t worry about the “achievements.” It’s funny how so many of the people who’ve done the things and visited the places you aspire to are no happier than when they started. The “miserable at the top” corporate warrior is a stereotype, but think of backpackers who reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and think, “What the h*** did I do that for?” Or people who reach millionaire status and still live the humble lives they had before. Sure, people run marathons, but they do it because they enjoy it, not because they feel they should. If their motivation is the latter, they drop off long before getting to the starting line.

    At the end of the day, very few things are really important. Those include spending as much time as you can with the people you love, enjoying as many of the simple pleasures that you can afford, and doing the things you’re passionate about. These are most important whether you’re Mark Zuckerberg or a person on welfare. As a matter of fact, Mark Zuckerberg, in my understanding, spends his time on exactly these pursuits. Running a company you’re passionate about is following a passion. Racing sports cars is a pleasure. Spending time with his wife and friends is connection.

    Don’t focus on “achievements.” Those don’t matter. Focus on doing the things that will give your life meaning, that will bring you pleasure. On your deathbed, that’s what’s going to matter. Remember, you can’t take it with you, not a fortune, not a business, not a boob job, not a husband. Focus on what makes you feel warm inside. That you’ll never regret pursuing.

  2. I just found this so we are about the same age now. I handled turning 40 ok (trip to Europe, triathlon) but now I’m 42 and the years just keep on ticking. A friend of mine did journaling to help figure out her next big step in life (go back to school, move across the country) and I’m thinking of trying it as well. I’m wondering what I need to do to have a more meaningful life. As they say, the days are long but the years are short. Another year has gone by and I’m still alone. Hoping some soul searching & journaling will help me get my priorities in order and work towards the life I want to have. If you’ve come across any revelations, please share. 🙂

  3. I like your post. I have been searching for people who are going through the same thing that I have. I have been struggling with personal issues for 10 years and have found reaching out online to seek the advice of others has helped me through the good and bad time. I had a ton of issues with my midlife crisis and have started to follow the advice of Dr. Robi Ludwig. I saw her on a tv show once and I really appreciated her take on current psychological issues. She has written two books but my favorite book is with Your Best Age is Now I have read it and loved it! I highly recommend it to anyone out there struggling with dealing with midlife. I got hit hard during my 40’s and this book really helped me to become a better version of myself.

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