Everyone knows that 40-year-old Harry isn’t wired any longer for 22.
But that doesn’t stop Harry. He’s trying anyway. Over time, we can sit back and watch him overload and burnout.
Of course, there are a multitude of other ways Harry may act out a mid-life crisis.
Harry may also try a toupee, a fancy sports car — red, of course, change jobs, buy expensive toys like bigger boats and electronics, charge his credit card to the max purchasing impressive clothes — just to mention a few.
Dealing with mid-life can be a very difficult phase of life, especially for men.
Men are the brunt of many mid-life jokes because, in reality, men act out mid-life issues in more ridiculous ways.
As laughable as some antics of men in their 40s and 50s may be, they often reflect a profoundly sad struggle — a struggle that often determines the direction of the second half of a person’s life.
The degree to which an individual may struggle with a mid-life crisis is most directly related to what has taken place in the first half of life.
If an individual feels reasonably content with the first half of life, if he has accomplished some of his more important goals, if his relationships are good, if he feels reasonably satisfied with the overall direction of his life, then the mid-life crisis is minimal.
In fact, mid-life for this individual will be mostly positive. Although natural anxiety comes as a result of knowing that at least half of life is over, this anxiety is not overwhelming.
Supported by the knowledge that the first half of life has been reasonably good, the mid-life crisis is nothing more than a mild corrective for this person.
Appraising the first half of life, this individual makes minor adjustments to increase the likelihood that the second half of life will be at least as good, if not better than the first.
More focused attention is given to pursuing the most important goals and less attention is devoted to giving time (now more precious than ever) to activities that are not in sync with whom the person is or what he really wants to do.
If, on the other hand, an individual feels discontent with the first half of life, if he feels that he has not accomplished many of his goals, if his relationships are poor, if he feels dissatisfied with the overall direction of his life, then the mid-life crisis is likely to be major.
Fueled by overwhelming anxiety that at least half of life is over, the individual is likely to start grasping for any opportunities that might allow him to get a “second chance” at life.
Because not achieving what one really wanted to achieve during this first half of life is the underlying issue, this grasping often is acted out in vain attempts to reclaim one’s youth.
Ridiculous attempts are made to look half one’s age and act in ways more appropriate for someone in late adolescence.
Like Harry, if this crisis is not resolved on a positive note, such individuals may find that they no longer fit in either world — the world of youth or the world of their peers.
How do you prevent a major mid-life crisis? Live your life in accordance with who you are and what you really want.