Mid life crisis?

For problems with mental or emotional well being.
Forum rules
NEW USERS HAVE TO WAIT FOR THEIR FIRST POSTS TO BE APPROVED BY AN ADMINISTRATOR. Rules | Essential Information | FAQ | Support | Twitter
Post Reply
Mrs242
Just Landed
Just Landed
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:56 pm
Gender: Female

Mid life crisis?

Post by Mrs242 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:15 pm

I can't remember the last time I felt truly excited about something. I'm 38, I have a husband and small child. I have a university degree and a great job. I have a nice house. So why do I feel so low? Life seemed to be a series of celebrations for so long ...things to aim for....passed exams, got into uni, got a degree, got a great job, got engaged, got married and had a baby. Perhaps now there is no more of that and I'm not about to have a second baby to give me something to do... I only ever wanted one and she's the most amazing little girl. So maybe thats it....I've reached the end of my road and its all about my daughter now. My job is good but I'm not getting any big promotions or payrises any time soon. Sometimes I enjoy my art hobby more and wish I could just do that all the time because people say I've got talent but now I'm trapped in grownupsville and that is just a pipe dream now.I did want to go to art school after school but my parents wouldn't let me. I just feel I have lost who I am. Life is no longer interesting. I am just going through the motions. I think why did I bother with the exams and the uni...I have just ended up bored in suburbia. Everything I've done has led me to this. I feel so mediocre....

reckoner
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 739
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:20 am

Re: Mid life crisis?

Post by reckoner » Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:19 pm

I think what you have described is the goal-orientated way we're all generally led to think about the progress of life: get a degree, a job, get married, buy a house, have kids etc. These are the all the firework moments in life. The older you get, the fewer and further these firework moments become, instead it becomes about landmark birthdays which just remind people that they're getting older.

I don't think this is a helpful approach to life. No wonder people have mid-life crises. When we're kids, we're all excited about the wrapping paper that the presents come in. The older we get, the more sophisticated our tastes become, the harder we become to please, and I think the goal-orientated approach teaches us to need those firework moments in order to feel excited about life, like a kind of existential consumerism.

Imagine you've been on holiday with the family and you come home to find an invading country has reduced your neighbourhood to rubble (please excuse the drama and bear with me). I don't think it's those firework moments in life that you're going to miss. I think it'll be the everyday luxuries of having a nice home and comfortable routine that you've been able to take for granted. You know the expression You don't miss it until it's gone; I think the trick of life is to appreciate what you've got without having to lose it to realise its value.

I think your child should be a great help in achieving this: she is your own personal miracle, growing up so fast, changing every day, and you need to pay close attention because these early years are gone in a flash. I think these are the special moments you'll never get back that the goal-orientated approach causes us to look over.

Everything you've achieved is wonderful and very far from mediocre, especially in these times of austerity. But in a way, I think that's the easy bit. Now comes the tricky part: appreciating it.

User avatar
brendo
Regular Visitor
Regular Visitor
Posts: 34
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:51 pm
Gender: Male

Re: Mid life crisis?

Post by brendo » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:55 pm

It sounds to me like what you might be looking for is a new direction to excite and challenge you. But you are lost right now. Passing your exams, getting your degree and finding a solid job were all big goals where you had everything to gain and little to loose 10+ years ago. Now that you have a family and a more comfortable life, taking a gamble on a new goal comes with higher stakes. Quitting your job, moving closer to the city or pursing your artistic desires are more logistically challenging now than when you were in your early 20s. But change is not impossible. You just need a solid plan.

Spend time weighing up what it is you want to do and if a major shift is required is important now. Weigh up your options and calculate the costs of any decisions before making them. It doesn't have to be a big goal, sometimes a small change is enough to break that stifling feeling. Have open discussions with your husband as much as possible, you'll need his support and agreement to follow through on any changes, big or small. From your post it is not clear if you know what your next move should be and that's fine. So test the water initially, there's no need to make major changes right away.

If it's a career change you desire, I would recommend you look at the assessments and exercises in the book 'What Colour is My Parachute' by Richard Bolles. Perhaps a new hobby is all that you need, one that comes with a new social circle? Join a choir, a kayaking group or a running club for example? Volunteer at a local homeless shelter or education centre? If wish to devote more time to your art, is there a possibility of reducing your hours at work to allow more time for your creative projects?

Once we pass our early 30s, there are no prescribed goals for anyone to pursue. You have to forge your own path and figure out your own route. Seek out the people you want to follow and find out how they got to where they are today. It's likely going to take time and careful planning but it sure beats "going through the motions". Good luck :)
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” -Albert Einstein

Mrs242
Just Landed
Just Landed
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:56 pm
Gender: Female

Re: Mid life crisis?

Post by Mrs242 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:54 pm

I really appreciate you taking the time to listen to my senseless ranting. I think these pages are a great place to vent your problems. I am feeling a lot better today. I managed to get away for the weekend to the seaside and it was a brilliant way to clear my head and reflect on my life so far. I really am fortunate. I definitely do need more friends and to get away from it all sometimes. So I have signed up for some weekend art classes to improve my skills and meet new people. I've also joined a gym....exercise is making me feel a lot brighter! Suddenly things don't seem so awful...because they are not. Mid life crisis' are real....I never would have believed I'd get it at 38.

Post Reply