Here we are. I’m 45 years old and according to the stats, men in their mid 40’s should be right in the middle of a midlife crisis and they should be one wave short of a shipwreck. Heading for a fall.
My first thoughts were: do I need professional help? The male midlife crisis is often made fun of, and believe me I do like making fun of myself but for many men it is a distressing experience. I tend to think I’m a special case as I was bald by the time I was 30. Ha! It looks like I was already one step ahead of becoming middle-aged whilst I was in my twenties. I am convinced that I went through a midlife crisis in my thirties when I started clubbing and dating. I gave that up completely before I turned 40. It looks like I was ‘converted’ after I’ve met Michael and I started to settle down.
I’m fully aware of the already notable changes such as decline in eye sight. Last year I had a panic-button moment and it was time to face a full eye examination at Boots in Brighton. It proved to be the right thing to do. Now I’m wearing specs whilst I read and write. I’m still in denial about my declining hearing. I blame the noisy traffic or I blame a group of people talking loudly if I can’t hear what you. “Sorry, I didn’t get that”. “Did you just say something?”. Next point of action on my list will be a hearing test. It’s the joy of getting older.
The midlife crisis symptoms are visibly notable too. If I can see it in the mirror, everybody can see it. My beard is going white, I can see wrinkles on my hands, wrinkles underneath my eyes and the osteoarthritis has kicked into my hips. I need a make-over! Whenever it’s necessary I’ll be having plastic surgery, skin-corrections and a hip replacement. The future is looking bright.
Let’s google anything that is related to the midlife crisis. What else can I expect according to the results? A decrease in height and in testosterone levels between ages 45 – 50. I mean a little bit of weight loss would be great and it would also mean that I can buy myself a wardrobe full of new clothes. There are boosters available to influence the testosterone levels. Always look at the bright side of life!
We’re nearly there. You can expect changes in your dietary. Yes, I’ve been there and done that. Since 2013 I’m a coeliac eating gluten free food. There are substitutes for pasta and bread. Only eating out can be tricky at times but they’re all doing the best they can to tailor my needs. It’s not the end of the world.
What else can I expect to happen? Aha, there’s morning fatigue. I seem to suffer from this quite a bit recently but there appears to be a remedy. I could resolve this by going to bed earlier. Google also warns me about vague pains, dizzy spells, hot flashes, chills, sweating, & headaches. I’ll simply have to coop with that. Creative crisis may occur: an individual may burn out creatively. I’m not sure about that one. Perhaps a writers-block? The results also tell that you could literally die as well. For the latter, that’s one thing we all know for sure in life, so my advice is: make the most out of it!
Most people manage to work their way through a midlife crisis without too much trouble, but others struggle to find balance in their life again. Some people struggle to say goodbye to their ‘youth’ and are reluctant to welcome or accept the beauty of aging. I asked myself if this is the right time to buy a Harley Davidson, become a hipster and head of towards the Carribean for a three month cruise? Do I withdraw all the money from my bank account, buy bling, having Botox injections done and move to another country? Or, shall I disconnect from my old friends and replace all of them with new and younger friends?
My answer is simply no. I’m going to do something else instead. It’s a master plan. I have decided to start an ‘adult-revolution. It’s me against the midlife crisis!
The first thing I would like to do is making a career-change. I want to set up my own company or working on a number of freelance and contract projects. A life-work balance that includes sitting at desks, regular walking and using my creativity. Managing my own working hours, being in control by not having a comfortable permanent employer. One of the opportunities I consider is participating in local indoor and outdoor events to sell my books. It would be great to meet the people who are genuinely interested in my writing skills. I love this idea and it definitely can be done. Free-lance writing is on the list too and I’m investigating all options. Go for it Richard. You can do it!
Recently I received a letter from my GP practise. I’m due for an MOT, a ‘Mandatory Older-people Test’. It’s a full health screening offered by the NHS. All I need to do is contact my GP and they’ll book me in for a ‘service’. OMG, it feels like I’m a person who is at high risk. The earlier that any problem is detected, the more chance you have of being able to treat it effectively and recover. I like the idea and totally agree with that statement. I’m convinced they’ll instruct me not to return to the Doctor’s Practise again until I can demonstrate that I’ve joined a gym and can manage to run 10 miles per day. Instead of spending time at the gym, I go out for walkies with the dog. These are low key excersises and it keeps my body moving. The GP advised me to keep on moving in view of my sciatica, prolapsed disc and osteoarthritis in my hips. I also use the hoover twice a week and I walk from my car to work. I can tell the GP I’m doing my excersises.
I also follow a healthy ‘mediterranean’ diet including a variety of freshly cooked vegetables, chicken, fish, tomatoes, salads, fresh herbs, olive oil, garlic and meat all taken in moderation. I am the cook and enjoy making and eating home made food. I feel good and I’m happy with how I look. I only wished that my hairs were not turning white but I don’t think there’s a remedy for it. I’ll accept it. White hairs are beautiful!
My family lives in Holland and I intend to visit them once or twice a year. It’s close enough and very easy to get to by plane or by car. I use the telephone and email to compromise for not physically being with my family. I’ve got my new family in the UK which consist of Michael’s family and my friends. My family at home is with Michael and our dog Buster. Nice and settled.
Now I’m officially middle-aged it’s time to concentrate on the area where I live and start to engage with the community. Neighbours, local shops, dog walkers, landscapers and cafe owners. I’ve never been in contact with the local community before until we got a dog. It’s a new world. Dogs need lots of walking, outdoors in local parks, along the cliffs and in the hills. Dogs love meeting new dogs and people. Since I have started taking the dog out for walkies I’ve built up a new network of people and I have met lots of exciting dog-breeds. My plan is to connect more and more with the community and become part of it. I want to meet the people who live in my community to find out what they’re doing and I would like to tell them about what I’m doing. Please say hello when you see me in any of the parks in Brighton, Hove, Peacehaven, Rottingdean, Saltdean or Seaford.
Finally, the midlife crisis check list.
Are you spending more time in the bathroom checking for white hairs? Are you thinking of doing a sky-dive? Are you jet-flossing your teeth with water? Are you thinking of getting a tattoo done?Are you thinking of getting a personalised number plate?
Just think, you’re only middle aged once 😉