Anyone who’s close to 40 and writes a title like that certainly has it, right?
Jokes aside, my oldest kid is about to turn 10 and that is just so weird. I mean I just had him. It was summer (he was born in Australia) and he came on a hot but rainy day a few days after his Valentine’s Day due date.
The last 10 years have in a way been so long – the places we’ve lived, the countries we’ve visited, the things we’ve done and been through – but at the same time it doesn’t feel long at all and I can’t help but think that the next 10 years are going to fly by as well and then the next 10 and the next 10 and before you know it I have a panic attack.
I recently Googled “midlife crisis symptoms” and the lists that I found were all pretty much similar to this one from Personal Tao (and apparently Googling symptoms of medical conditions is also a sign of a midlife crisis):
1. Looking into the mirror and you no longer recognize yourself.
True. So true. It’s weird-looking in the mirror. I’m especially scared to do that first thing in the morning. Every morning.
Some days I’m not startled by what I see. Some days I am and I really miss my cheeks.
2. Desiring to quit a good job.
Nah. I know a good thing when I see it.
3. Unexplained bouts of depression when doing tasks that used to make you happy.
Not sure about the tasks bit but I am taking Citalopram so I have to say yes to this one.
4. Changing or investigating new religions, churches or new age philosophy.
Does Crossfit qualify? I want to preach about it every second of every day, so it must.
5. Change of habits. Activities which used to bring pleasure now are boring. Unable to complete or concentrate on tasks which used to be easy.
Can’t think of any pleasurable habits I had that I now find boring and I’m able to concentrate on tasks just as well as I ever have. So maybe not a total oldie yet.
6. It feels good to get hurt.
No. Pretty sure the answer is no.
7. Wanting to run away from everything.
Sometimes for sure. Ask any parent and they’ll say the same thing.
8. A desire to get into physical shape.
9. Irritability or unexpected anger.
Oh g*d yes. I have no patience or compassion for people who spit in public or file their fingernails on the tube.
10. Change in allergies.
I eat sugar and boom — 6 months pregnant belly.
11. Desire for physical -free flowing- movement (running, biking, dance, fast red sports cars, sky diving, etc).
/ Running – yes, biking – yes, dance – no, fast cars – NO, sky diving – NO.
12. Exploring new musical tastes.
Does ‘silence’ count as new musical taste?
13. Sudden desire to learn how to play an instrument.
I bought a piano last year.
14. Sudden interest in drawing, painting, writing books or poetry.
I dug out my old diaries. I am going to write them up into a book. I will. One day. Seriously. A total nerd from ex-Soviet union arrives in America at the age of 17 and all that follows in the next decade…
15. Shifting sleep patterns (typically to less).
16. Thinking about death, wondering about the nature of death.
Yes. It doesn’t help that the kids talk about it all the time. Kids are curious about big concepts like that.
17. Changes to the balance of vitamins you take. Or taking dietary supplements for the purposes of extending life.
I don’t take many vitamins these days, but I took a lot last year. Now it’s just zinc to keep the colds away and probiotics and sometimes Spirulina and B-Vitamin. I guess that’s a lot more than I took when I was 25.
18. Extreme changes to what you eat.
You could say that.
19. Excessively buying new clothes and taking more time to look good.
No. Although I have started to blowdry my hair. A couple of times a week. As opposed to once a year for a wedding or similar.
20. Hair changes. (Natural changes in thickness, luster, color or assisted changes in dying hair suddenly or shaving your head bald)
Yes. My thick curls are gone. I’m finally accepting that they’re not coming back.
21. A desire to surround yourself with different settings.
Yes. I want to move. But then again I have lived on 3 continents and 5 countries already so moving is not exactly new to me.
22. Hanging out with a different generation as their energy and ideas stimulate you.
My Crossfit crew looks like this:
23. Restarting things, which you dropped 20 years earlier.
Not that I can think of. I didn’t actually have any exciting hobbies 20 years ago. I either got drunk at parties or went to church – those are not very exciting hobbies and I want to return to neither right now.
24. Upset at where society is going. Experience a desire to change the world for the better.
Big time weltschmerz happening on a daily basis and inability to read newspapers or watch the news.
25. Feeling trapped or tied down by fiscal responsibilities.
/ Yes and no. Mortgage is gigantic but we’re chipping away at it and most of the time I don’t feel stressed about it.
26. Leaving (mentally or physically) family or feeling trapped in current family relationships.
Other than really enjoying the couple of weeks every summer when my kids are on holiday with grandma and occasionally wanting to run away after they’ve been moaning the whole day, I’m ok with my family.
27. A desire to teach others or become a healer.
I’m blogging about health & fitness.
28. Desiring a simple life.
Yes, give me the veggie patch and the chicken coop!
29. Excessively looking back to one’s childhood.
Excessively – I don’t think so. Although it was fun at times.
30. Playing again just to play!
31. Keep re-asking yourself: “Where am I going with my life?”
No. I’m more asking “Why the heck is life going by so FAST??”
32. Getting fixated on new “wonder” solutions to problems.
Yes. I do tend to do that but awesome blog posts like this bring me down to earth.
33. Recently experiencing something extremely stressful.
My FIL’s quick but slow death 2 years ago definitely started something.
34. Doing things that get you into trouble when it surprises everyone as being out of character.
Everything sporty surprises all my old friends as being “out of character” for me.
35. Someone unexpectedly exclaims: “You are going through a midlife crisis!”
Not yet. Whew. Maybe I’m keeping my condition well hidden?
Looking back at the list I see that I have more yes-es than no-s. Does it mean that I do have it?
I see a lot of 20-somethings also making drastic changes in their life when it comes to food or health or fitness or relationships or simplifying their life – maybe these are not the symptoms of a midlife crisis – maybe they are just symptoms of growing up into a responsible and balanced adult?
What do you think? Do I have it? Do you have it? Is it bad to have it??