NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mid-Life Crisis

Have you ever wondered where all the mid-life crises come from? I figure it has to be a recent phenomena. I mean, how often did you hear about a turn-of-the-century farmer shaving the family mule into something rakish and ambling off into the sunset to find himself?

According to Wikipedia, the term was first used in 1965 (the 60s—why am I not surprised?) as a time “where adults come to realize their own mortality and how much time is left in their life.” Some attribute the concept to Carl Jung, while others say it all goes back to Freud.

Most often, a mid-life crisis includes making significant changes—career, work-life balance, marriage, romantic relationship, large expenditures or physical appearance. Reassessing your goals and priorities from a more mature perspective sounds like a good idea, doesn't it? So why does “a mid-life crisis” smack of selfishness and immaturity? 

Much as we enjoy laughing at the old dude in the hot red sports car chasing a long-faded youth, research shows about 10% of 40 – 60 years-olds have a true psychological crisis. 

The rest? Well, maybe it's best described as overwhelmed by one too many of life's daily stressors.

It seems the Western culture of youth may play a role in the situation and that it hits men longer and harder than women. I can't help but wonder if part of that statistic is due to the age of the study—the 80s--when fewer women were far enough along in their careers to have big regrets...but I digress.

In For Love or Money, Holly Price's dad followed the all too typical pattern—dumped his spouse, walked away from career and responsibility, and basically did whatever he wanted, without thinking about the impact on the people affected by his decisions.


Ouch. That was harsh.


How about: Holly's dad questioned the life choices he made and the validity of decisions he made years before.

Either way, Holly took a sabbatical from her career and came home to run the family business, staging it to sell. The last thing she expected was to face her own career choices and have to deal with her own emotional baggage—a six-foot hunk of testosterone, AKA her former fiance--and a friend's murder.  

So what about you? Are you ready to toss in the towel and try something else? Know someone who got trashed in the wreckage of a mate's crisis? Or is it all a pipe-dream?


For Love or Money recently released by Entangled Publishing and is available at online outlets. 

9 comments:

Anne Marie Becker said...

Fascinating look at that stage of life. I've always wondered if the crisis is when, realizing we're actually getting old, panic sets in - "I must fix this NOW or there will never be another chance" or "I'm not who I thought I'd be at this age."

I'm hoping regular self-reflection will avoid such a crisis! LOL

The book sounds great, Cathy!!

Elise Warner said...

I guess I've reinvented my self three times. 1.Singer/actress/Show Business 2.Stage Manager 3.Writer A new me each time.

Rita said...

I think the crisis comes when the kids leave and you can't decide how to spend all the extra money.
Today reinvent sounds like too much work. I'll think about it tomorrow.

Marcelle Dubé said...

My, don't you ask interesting questions! I've known people who went a little crazy at that stage in their lives, but mostly, no. I do understand the sudden realization that, holy cow, I may die, too! Which prompts a look back and may change some decisions.

Wynter Daniels said...

For Love or Money sounds like a terrific read! I've know a few friends whose husbands exited around the 45 year mark. Rarely seems to be the wife!

Cathy Perkins said...

Anne Marie - I do wonder if that's a lot of it, wondering "is this is?"

Elise - Wonderful re-inventions. I've done some re-inventing, too. Is that a saner approach? Setting out to do something new without ditching the rest of your life?

Cathy Perkins said...

LOL Rite - when they leave and go to college the money goes with them.

You have a point, I do think a lot of women put all the emotional energy into the kids and forget to nurture the relationship with their husband. When the focus (the kid) is gone, so is the marriage with nothing sustaining it.

You can reinvent yourself tomorrow :)

Cathy Perkins said...

Interesting perspective - and what are friends for if not to ask questions to make you think. Well, other than that drinking buddy business... or dancing at the Harlequin party... but I digress.

Cathy Perkins said...

Thanks Wynter :)

I'm wracking my brain, trying to think of any woman I know who went off the deep end like this and can't think of one.

Hmm... if the stressor are what precipitate the crisis, does that mean women handle all those balls in the air better.

Head smack - why am I even ASKING that question??

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