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Mechanism

Mid-life

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Midlife also touches on themes of one’s 40s, 50s and beyond recounting the fleeting nature of things. It is easy to can draw the connection to CR/longevity/Heath promotion...

I found this NY Times a good read - though I could not personally relate so much to the aesthetic aspect ( my Y chromosome / socialization may play at least some role there), I thought this was quite well written and a good contemplation piece to share:

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/05/04/opinion/sunday/how-to-survive-your-40s.html

There is also a forthcoming book mentioned at the end.

Edited by Mechanism

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"At 40 you should be experiencing a psychological, mid-life crisis which is also very painful emotionally. Your career and family responsibilities are no longer the major issues, but you are now face with the ultimate question: What is the meaning of life? It's the existential question awaiting for all of us as we enter what the great psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, called the second half of life. You might consider it akin to psychological hemerrhoids. It's the often painful inner psychological journey that we need to undertake to achieve the spiritual peace and meaning of life."

 

I'm planning to have my midlife crisis in my 60's unless losing my mind in the jungle with Dean last Summer was it, haha.  I'm ready for another epic adventure.

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Ms. Mechanism and I just watched again The Matrix Revolutions with our boy this weekend ( still have the DVD) -  Was reminded of Agent Smith's interpretation as he saw it of the purpose of life: "the purpose of life is to die."  But that's a rather negative, as well as boring interpretation.  Besides keeping ourselves healthy ( all organisms have a vested interest in maintenance and repair) are we all seizing the day today?

 

For us: Our relationships and the roles we play in our lives, new experiences and savoring the moment, meaning/purpose, accomplishments, and generally doing good.  Living with compassionate and mindfulness. 

 

That, and having fun and experiencing "flow" along the way: hiking/staying active, festivities, and the like...

Edited by Mechanism

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Mid-Life for me

 I am 43. 235 pounds. 6 feet. Had spent the last two months with wicked sciatica up and down my right leg. I am relatively active, I think. I do cardio three to five times a week, play golf once a week, chase my kids and dog and keep on keepin' on, but this sciatica had me crippled. I tried to fight through it (former wrestler that I am), but, when I started to regularly turn in golf scores that were 7-10 strokes higher than normal, I knew I had a problem! After a day at my desk, I literally had to drag my right foot behind me since the glute and hamstring were so tight I couldn't extend them and the nerve pain when I tried to do so was intense.

 I've been start using the inversion table five mornings a week for about 7 weeks now. Initially, because my sciatica was so bad, I was doing a morning and evening session, but that only lasted for two weeks. My pain disappeared and so there was no need for two-a-days. 7 weeks in, this thing is still great and sturdy. I've long since gotten used to the ankle clamps. As long as I have sneakers on, there's no pain there

Edited by Jonnywallter

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I read stuff like this and I wonder if this is really a thing - apparently it is. Why have I not experienced a mid-life crisis, when I'm looking to move into my 60's very soon indeed? I don't believe "what is the meaning of life" hits everyone at 40. It hit me at maybe like, 8 years old. I eventually studied philosophy at the university, so the whole question of "meaning of life" was put in a much, much bigger context, and the question was understood to be not much of a question at all. I dealt with that sh|t as a teenager and in my early 20's and resolved it to my satisfaction. I therefore had no such questions or needs later on. That people have it in their 40's I put down to maybe understanding that whatever goals they might have dreamt of, are now faced with the reality that they will never be fulfilled - or maybe have been fulfilled - and you are now acutely aware that the sand in the hourglass of life is rapidly running out, and you perhaps lash out at grabbing whatever remains of life, love, wine and song... it's how you get the proverbial middle aged guys in sports cars.

 

As to being 42/F (or M) - may I pass on an observation of someone who is much older than you? You're a kid at 42. Trust me, at 60 - or even 50 - you'll look back at 42 and go "what a young thing I was back then at 42". I suspect that at 80 people look back at 60 and go "kid" - at least that's what's been reported to me. You can certainly have kids at 42 (or even 52 these days), so you're childless not because you can't - you don't feel the circumstances are right. And for some of us (myself and my wife as an example), the very idea of having children fills us with horror and we're glad to have dodged that bullet. Who says you'd be happy with kids? What if your kid is born with a significant health problem, or dog forbid dies at some point? What if your kid is nothing but trouble and fulfills no potential - have you read the stats on opiod deaths of young people? All that heartache, for what? So that it never ends, not at 18, not at 30, not at 50 - college debt, poor job, poor housing, maybe a spell in prison (quite plausible in the U.S., given the incarceration rates). Having kids is no guarantee of satisfaction, or indeed a continuing relationship in adulthood (though elder abuse is a thing).

 

Kids are like all dreams - an unknown, a gamble a roll of dice. From my point of view, it's a gamble with spectacularly poor odds, but others strongly disagree. 

 

If I can allow myself another observation - you should never regret anything. It's a mug's game. You can't change the past, so why beat yourself up over it? Total waste of emotional energy. We've all made mistakes and will continue to make mistakes. If there are lessons to be learned from them, then learn, but then let the regrets go and move on as soon as possible.

 

I'm much older than my wife (though not by 30 years). I think about that a lot. One of the reasons I try to take care of myself as best as I possibly can, is that I don't want to be a burden to her in any way. But really, to be brutally honest - I must make sure that I am a very good value proposition for her - as a companion, entertainer, soulmate.  We have a ton of fun. We actively participate in the world - concerts, theater, movies, hobbies, travel (partially because we have no kids, so more money, time, and psychological resources for each other, instead of down the kid rathole). But still, I will die before her... so I calculate. My calculus, is that I have a decent shot at hitting 100+ in reasonable physical, psychological and intellectual shape. I base that on family history and whatever genetic insight I might glean through promethease (I'm not apoE4 etc.), plus being fanatical about taking care of diet, exercise and lifestyle measures that are evidence based. Statistically, given demographic trends, my odds are reasonable. If I do indeed hit 100, then my wife will be in her 80's and hopefully feel that she's led a full life (which I try my best to assure). That's fair enough - and I'll try my darnest not to leave her before she hits her 90's, though that might be stretching it.

 

And then what? Well, I read about all those romances people have in their 80's and 90's - it's increasingly common in these generations. Baby boomers famously matured later and every phase of life has been stretched. For the following generations - certainly you, at 42 - this is even more true. Today 50 is the new 30, and 80 will be the new 50. I have no doubt that I'll be trying new things in my 80's and 90's - I certainly don't plan on boring my wife at any point no matter my age.

 

So being 42 - wow, so young. Dead end job - eh, a job is just for making ends meet. If you really worried about it, you certainly can change that - I personally know plenty of people who started new careers at 50, 60 and even 70. Nothing is forbidden. Don't let others define you with their expectations, or worse, what you imagine society "out there" supposedly expects. When you are lying in the grave, you have no more options. But until then, the sky is the limit - I absolutely believe that. "once you get past 35 and you're female, you are pretty much "out to pasture"-men your age won't even look at you" - lol, no. Like, really, really not true. I was going to say, we live in times where such silly rules don't apply anymore, but actually, these rules were never ironclad, ever - I have two women friends who are older than their husbands (one by 10 years, one by 16). And their husbands are not boytoy losers - btw. have you heard of Emmanuel Macron? What a loser - only the youngest president in the history of that banana republic, France. His wife is only 24 years older, but at least they've been happily married for all that time. And btw., another woman who is an acquintance of my wife, met her husband when he was 30, and she was 52, they've been married for 11 years so far and apparently very happily.

 

The whole point of this board is that it attracts people who believe in living long and rich lives - at 42 you are just starting out. I'd give up all my material wealth in a second to be 42 again - heck, just to be 5 years younger. I'd happily start all over again for that gain of time. Perhaps it's all a matter of perspective. But from my perspective, 42 is ludicrously young and life is FULL of potential.

 

And a final brutal statement - if your husband is not a good value proposition, go get a better one. It's super possible. You're only 42. And one day you'll be only 52, and then only 62.

 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/14/rise-women-age-65-getting-married-avoid-spending-long-retirement/

 

LOL, 42. All IMHO, YMMV.

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And for some of us (myself and my wife as an example), the very idea of having children fills us with horror and we're glad to have dodged that bullet. Who says you'd be happy with kids? What if your kid is born with a significant health problem, or dog forbid dies at some point? What if your kid is nothing but trouble and fulfills no potential - have you read the stats on opiod deaths of young people? All that heartache, for what? So that it never ends, not at 18, not at 30, not at 50 - college debt, poor job, poor housing, maybe a spell in prison (quite plausible in the U.S., given the incarceration rates). Having kids is no guarantee of satisfaction, or indeed a continuing relationship in adulthood (though elder abuse is a thing).

Kids are like all dreams - an unknown, a gamble a roll of dice. From my point of view, it's a gamble with spectacularly poor odds, but others strongly disagree. 

 

 

+1 on that. My kid happened to have serious problems. I would encourage anyone not to have kids at all, enjoy their life, commit to help others but without the likelyhood of being charged a life sentence. And, by the way, after 40 the probability of health problems to the newborn increases a lot.

Edited by mccoy

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Oh, and just to make it more confusing - I'm not anti-children at all! I like kids. I support paying higher taxes for kids - daycare, schools, healthcare, maternity and paternity leave etc. I am very happy to pay for the kids of strangers - this is part of society, without which, civilization ends. So I support kids 100%. I say childless people (such as me) should pay a special "support kids" tax (in addition to all the tax breaks for parents). I never bitch at parents with small kids in airplanes etc. - being a parent is hard, and I will never do anything to make their lives harder. And I enjoy the kids of my friends - we play games, I teach them whatever nonsense (such as chess, ha!), and so on. I just don't want kids myself. Some people love having kids and for them the "sacrifice" is a blessing and the most profound experience, I get that - but people are different. I like interacting with kids, but when we come back to our home, with no kids, we clap our hands in happiness that we don't have kids. To each their own.

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From an environmental perspective not having kids is probably a good idea.  Flip side, kids can be a source of great love and joy in your life.  You are right, its a gamble, it could go well or go badly, studies have shown that having kids does not increase one's happiness (they also dominate your time for decades and come at great financial cost).  All I know is that I love my kids and have no regrets about that, I'll be very sad when they are no longer living with me.  I especially get great fulfillment from seeing other people experience new things for the first time, and having kids makes this almost an everyday thing. 

 

Its funny that I had just finished reading this article posted today on MarketWatch:

Miserable in your 40s? Don’t panic, it’s perfectly normal

Before coming to this forum and finding the above posts...

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...Some people love having kids and for them the "sacrifice" is a blessing and the most profound experience...

 

Some people may need to overcome their egoistical tendencies. But you might as well commit in socially helpful activities, help needy families in need, help other's kids financially as you are doing. And then get back home and have a resting sleep with no cortisol spikes.

 

I think i'll steer clear of kids and marriage for the next 10 lives, if you believe in reincarnation. Absolutely nothing against marriage, but it usually comes with kids.

Edited by mccoy

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At 42, it's hardly too late to start a business or something. If you're passionate about a topic, just write about it and make money that way. Starting a business online is not that difficult these days. You can do it in a few months. :D

 

A little worrying that you married out of fear though of being lonely though. :| 

 

But sure, most guys will want to date younger women. There are exceptions...  I actually dated a girl who was 9 years older than me, but she also looked younger than her age. I think she was around 35 when I met her, but she must be the same age as you now.

 

I think women have way more options than guys at a younger age, some just waste years chasing the wrong type of guy. I also can't blame guys who are still single in their 30s for wanting to date a younger woman. I mean, a guy who looks after himself can get better with age and have way more options later on than in his 20s when he's just starting out. Especially since a woman's strategy is essentially hypergamy.

Edited by Matt

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Nice to see I'm not the only one contemplating the 'meaning of life'.

Regarding children - my wife and I have been blessed with a healthy son and daughter. 

They have certainly required much time, money, commitment and resulted in lost sleep, added stress and massive loss of time that could have been spent in pursuit of my own personal passions; however not unlike our daily circadian rythm it seems part of our 'natural life cycle' to create life, nuture it, watch it grow ...

I feel blessed to have been able to experience this.

 

Luigi Fontana Ph.D. just made a great post on LinkedIn - where we're 'connected' - lol.  He had this to say:

Quote

A human being is part of the whole called by us the ‘Universe’; a part limited in time and space.
He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his conciousness.
The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true religion.
Not to nourish the delusion but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable peace of mind.

 

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On 5/4/2018 at 4:54 PM, Gordo said:

"At 40 you should be experiencing a psychological, mid-life crisis which is also very painful emotionally. Your career and family responsibilities are no longer the major issues, but you are now face with the ultimate question: What is the meaning of life? It's the existential question awaiting for all of us as we enter what the great psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, called the second half of life. You might consider it akin to psychological hemerrhoids. It's the often painful inner psychological journey that we need to undertake to achieve the spiritual peace and meaning of life."

 

I'm planning to have my midlife crisis in my 60's unless losing my mind in the jungle with Dean last Summer was it, haha.  I'm ready for another epic adventure.

Geez I had that existential crisis at 9 years old. I mean isn’t it just obvious!

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By definition, I'm pretty sure you can't have a midlife crisis before you are a teenager ?

 

Edited by Gordo

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It depends what you mean by the term.  In the context used, it means confronting and contemplating the inevitability of death.

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