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Since You Asked: Midlife Crisis

How do you know if you're in a midlife crisis? And is that term event relevant? Since you asked, Susan, Rob, and David weigh in.

David
Welcome to Since You Asked. Great to have you with us today. Let’s check in with our fabulous advisors today. Mr. Rob Angel, how are we doing?

Rob
Doing fabulous today. I’m doing great. Life’s just, just keeps getting better. The older you get, the better.

David
No jails, no hospitals? Everything’s good?

Rob
I drove past a hospital the other day. I didn’t have to go in. Felt good.

David
Okay. All right. Susan, how are you today?

Susan
I’m doing great. No jails, no hospitals. I am in my wonderful state of bliss.

David
Wow. Excellent. All right. So let’s move on to this week’s question. This is from a woman. This is how it goes. She says, “I’m still married. I recently bought a Porsche, colored my hair, revamped my wardrobe. Is this a midlife crisis?” So there’s a lot there. There’s a lot. Susan, you go. What do you think?

Susan
Oh, okay. So, I’m going to talk from experience. And that’s usually the place that I come from. When I got divorced — now, granted, I was married to a man who was, you know, gay — I did get a Porsche. I got a red Porsche. I got a Porsche because my whole life, my dad and I had fixed Volkswagens together and he had said, you know, a Porsche was nothing but a glorified Volkswagen.

And he had gotten cancer. And when he got cancer, I had said to him, “Daddy, if you had to do it all over again, what would you get?” And he said, “A dog and a Porsche.” And all of a sudden, this sort of moment of being able to acquire this thing that I had admired with him, and I got the most beautiful red Porsche and I got a boob job.

And I don’t know if it was midlife, but it may have been prompted by the fact that I was with a man who didn’t see my sort of, perhaps, sexuality or see me for the person that I was. I didn’t feel like it was tied to an age so much that one, I could afford a Porsche at that point, and I guess having new breasts made me feel more attractive to the opposite sex. But it was wonderful while I had it. I had that Porsche for 20 years. I no longer have the breast implants. I loved it. I didn’t think it was a statement of rebellion or anything. I just wanted to have something that I didn’t have while I was a young mom.

Rob
I think there’s a misnomer here. First of all, a woman going through this is so unclear, right? If it was a guy, this question would be easy to answer: Yes, you are. And for the woman, yes, you are going through a midlife crisis, but you know what? You know, it’s okay. It’s okay. Midlife crisis really is just another word for change.

You’re changing. You’re just changing. You’re trying something new. You’re feeling different. And that’s okay. So embrace it. Embrace it. You know, the word midlife crisis has got a bad rap. It’s got a bad rap, right? It could happen at 30. Could happen at 70. It could happen tomorrow.

So, yeah. So, enjoy that. Enjoy the pause. You know, if you’re still married, take your husband, put him in the frickin’ car. Maybe he’ll like the new you. Maybe he’ll like the Porsche. Maybe he’ll like the ride. Who knows? So just take him along with you. Just enjoy it, right? There’s enough things to worry about. Embrace the change.

David
I see this as a validation of life. Absolutely. Like saying, like, “I’m alive. I’m here. I’m still at it.” I see a lot of this in the town I live in. The not married, recently divorced. I see this and I think it’s fine. I think it’s great. You know, it says, like, “I’m alive. I matter. Look at me like I’m not invisible.” 

Susan
I think it’s the invisibility that all of a sudden, sometimes you wake up and, like Rob said, it could be at 30, where all of a sudden you thought: I’ve always wanted to do fill-in-the-blank and I haven’t done it. I didn’t do it because I was a mother. I didn’t do it because we didn’t have money. I didn’t do it because I was worried what other people thought. And I think, like Rob said, for the first time, screw what people think. You know, go do the thing that you’ve always wanted, you know?

And for me, at that time in my life, the push was something that my dad had always wanted to do. And in a way, it was sort of like: Look, Daddy, if you couldn’t do it in your lifetime, I’m going to. And I never regretted a minute of it.

Rob
And, you’re not supposed to regret anything. We’ve got to take care of other people, and we’ve got to make sure that we’re not mean and assholes and all the rest of it. But you know what? If you want to buy a Porsche, go with your hair 100 miles an hour, their hair on fire, then frickin’ do it.

And that’s what it’s all about right now. It’s what it’s all about. So, I’m all for it. So, you enjoy your midlife crisis. You enjoy whatever you want to call it. You just keep going, baby.

Susan
Is it a crisis? Why?

Rob
You know, it’s not. David, we have this mutual friend, commonly known as The Modern Elder, and he says: it’s not a crisis, it’s a chrysalis. I love that. You’re not in crisis. You’re morphing, you’re changing all your DNA. Whatever you are, it’s just change. You’re still you until you come out as a butterfly.

But just keep going with the change and see what comes out the other side. It’s a chrysalis. 

David
I think that this may be I hate the word crisis. I think it’s like, I don’t know who invented that. To me, this is about somebody inhabiting their authentic self, that perhaps they had been, you know, kind of wild in high school and college and then it’s like, oh, married, kids, I’ve got to, like, sort of ratchet down and be this other person, but I’m really this other thing. And okay, kids are gone, like, okay, game on. This is who I authentically am. I’m going to inhabit this and go forward. And if not now, when? Like, when are you going to make this jump off the side of a mountain? 

Rob
You know, you don’t buy a Porsche, that’s okay. But I love the wardrobe and the color, the hair change. Those are simple. Those are easy. And if you don’t like it, change your hair color again. Change it tomorrow. Just keep going.

Susan
And who are you when you’re shifting those gears? Like, who is that person that you always wanted to be? You know, driving 70 miles, you know, now we’re down the highway? I don’t know. There’s just this. And again, it sort of, crisis keeps this narrative: there’s a certain age where you can’t do things, you know, because you are old. And I hate that; you know, at any age you can do anything. And if we label it as a crisis, you know, “That’s because I’m having a meltdown.” No, you’re not. This is something you’ve always wanted to do, and car seats don’t fit. No.

Rob
They don’t? Grandkids?

Susan
No, I tried it.

Rob
You know, you put a grandkid or two in the backseat, careful.

Susan
They did not say no.

David
Thank you so much, guys. We’ll see you all next week for another episode of Since You Asked and if you’ve got a question, send it in to us. Yeah, we’ll answer for you.

See medical disclaimer below. ↓

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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

 

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