mid life crises…

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by alecstilleyedye, 18 Jun 2008.

  1. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    …seem to be going on around me at the mo. i'm yet to see my 40th, yet people i know (both a year or so younger than me) seem to be bursting headlong into that cliché.

    case one is a chap i used to work with. had an attractive wife (bit of a joni mitchell look about her), a daughter (for whom they'd been trying for a long time) with one more on the way. leaves wife for an affair with a colleague, whom he dumps for someone else.

    case two is the husband of a friend of mine. married, obviously, with two kids. is constantly wanting new, expensive stuff (tag heuer watch (for telling the time?), top spec macbook pro (for surfing the net) and £1k+ bike (to get started with cycling)). as they are not rich and each purchase would be a big one for them, for him to want them when they are way over and above what he needs them for, i can only assume it's the mid life thing. he's already had (and sold) an audi tt.

    am i allowed some smugness at not feeling the need for such superficial things to feel good about myself, or should i be looking over my shoulder for when i decide to buy a £2k bike and cancel the kids' activities to pay for it?
  2. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    I guess it is a fact of life for many people, best to just let them get it out of their systems. One day they will wake up and think "What the fuck was I doing?", until then...
  3. Paulus

    Paulus Getting older by the minute

    I think it is more of the case that you get to a certain age you think, I want to do this or that, and at the age of 40+ you may well have the money and the inclination to do it.
  4. Night Train

    Night Train Maker of Things

    Greater Manchester
    Thing is, it is often not so much an age thing as an indication that something else if wrong in life. Sadly, as is often the case, the person affected doesn't know what the cause is because they are too close to see it and too preoccupied to hear any warnings and advice offered.

    When it happened to me it was due to a need to change careers, a divorce coming through, a stalker ex girlfirend and being more and more alienated at work. Didn't realise it and so bought a Harley Davidson instead. Then I changed employers while doing the same type of work and a year later I walked out and decided to slum it a bit before returning to college to study furniture making.

    Didn't have the affair though but did make a few bad choices of girlfriend, fortunately they were very short lived relationships.
  5. ChrisKH

    ChrisKH Veteran

    Do not ask for whom the bell tolls.

    Or so they say.

    I got to 40 and thought the same, but five years on I suspect given the inclination I could have a fully fledged mid-life crisis if I had the correct catalyst. Wifey (and in-laws) think I'm already having it as I prefer to cycle 32miles home from work rather than take the train. And they may have a point.

    It's not just age that prompts a need for change sometimes but something else major. I could have gone over the edge when my Mum died for example.
  6. OP

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    i'm not sure an expensive purchase is in itself a mid life crisis thing, after all if you have plenty of money and can easily afford a £2k bike that will see plenty of use that's just economics.

    similarly, a marriage can come to an end for many reasons.

    it seems to me that the mid life crisis is characterized by over the top purchases, and illogical behaviour such as chucking a good marriage away for a fling that will have the longevity of an asda sparkler on november 5th.
  7. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig New Member

    North Lanarkshire
    As long as it's not too hard and dosn't clash with my afternoon nap...
  8. ChrisKH

    ChrisKH Veteran

    I think there is an element of spending the first part of your life doing the family, house, university, etc. (delete as appropriate) thing and then at a certain age you think life doesn't have to be about conformity. Life's too short and all that. Why not be illogical? Uncharacteristic behaviour ditto. I think rather than a sign of crisis that this can be a sign of someone who has come to terms with their mortality and is comfortable with their (illogical/uncharacteristic) decisions and doesn't feel the need to justify or explain them anymore.

    Maybe. ;)
  9. About 10 years ago I was on the receiving end of a colleague's mid life crisis. He was in his mid forties and I was about 27 - I don't think he realised he was having it. It was mortifyingly embarrassing. There wasn't a chance I was ever going to go there, and I had to repeatedly laugh off his advances in a way which didn't hurt his feelings. I actually thought he was quite a nice person but it was awkward trying to avoid him sometimes!

    Psychoanalysts say that the mid life crisis is about renegotiating your relationship with death...ie realising your own mortality as ChrisKH says. It can be something healthy as it enables people to cut out the crap they've been carrying around with them for years, but only if its done in a way which isn't destructive for other people. It's a tough one ... I definitely think it's something which is real and tangible ie is a phenomenon.
  10. Chris James

    Chris James Über Member

    Possibly. I feel a bit that way and I am only 37! Will I get worse??

    However, one thing I do know is that if I want to be illogical and do daft stuff I want to do it with my wife.
  11. Sh4rkyBloke

    Sh4rkyBloke Jaffa Cake monster

    Manchester, UK
    ... obviously only if she's into *that* sort of thing though! :angry:;)
  12. Chris James

    Chris James Über Member

    I just hope she can be persuaded!:angry:
  13. walker

    walker New Member

    Bromley, Kent
    I am seeing far to many old boys driving around in Evo's and Scooby's these days.
  14. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    'kin hell! I agree with Dom here!

    There is a lot of prosperity in Scandinavia, and although I have nothing against 'wealthy' people, there seem to be far too many people (IMO), particularly men, who have a need to show off their success. Older men wanting to re-live their youth and buy big fast motorbikes, or the most expensive golf clubs/clothes etc., although they are shite.

    If you're not hurting anyone else (especially your spouse or family), sure, go ahead and do it; be a prick, but sooner or later they'll realise that the latest, most expensive purchase is just an indication of their insecurity/lack of knowing themselves.

    I have no 'expensive' possessions, but what I do have is valuable to me, and I'm happy with that.
  15. tdr1nka

    tdr1nka Taking the biscuit

    I'm with the belief that 'mid life crises' are born of a realisation of mortality shown thru a need to 'live life over again' before old age and decrepitude encroaches.

    For a lot of men the aquisition of 'trophies' becomes a polarised agenda. Having accomplished most of the 'social standards', good job, wife, family, mortgage there can arise a need for an edge of danger and a chance to
    exercise 'cunning' or prove 'masculine assertiveness', eg: having affairs.

    There are a great many things men fear in getting older and there will always be things one will have hoped to experience or achieved.

    I have a lawyer friend, in his mid to late 30's who has found, after several years in a very well paid job, with a nice Merc. and a couple of good properties, that he is incredibly unfulfilled with his lot.
    He keeps wanting greater challenges when what he really lacks is a rewarding and challenging outside interest or, dare I say it, hobby.
    Instead he goes out on works 'benders' and keeps making entirely the wrong choice in girlfriends and usually it is someone from work.

    His basic problem is that he has reverted to his student days, doesn't see that it then conflicts with his view of his present self and so the circle begins.

    I was lucky in the sense I had my crises at 30 after having been married, divorced and a father for some ten years before I had a chance to be a 'free(ish) man' once again. I then made some very bad life choices, took on more work than I could handle, and started to become nothing like the person I had once set out to be, more to the point I became someone I really didn't like.
    This resulted in my suffering a huge attack of nervous exhaustion and a breakdown.

    Thankfully as I head towards 40 next year, I have made changes, choices and although nothing like my previous life I am happier now, with less, than I've ever been.

    And I still feel no urges to buy a cardigan! :angry:
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