Jim Butler
November 2017.
276

As a man approaching middle age how can I avoid the classic midlife crisis?

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In one sense, you can't avoid a midlife crisis because you can't avoid reaching middle-life - and this tends to prompt thoughts of ageing and loss. Thoughts along the lines of "There are now possibly fewer years ahead of you than I've already lived".

Yes, your face gathers wrinkles. It is also difficult to avoid feeling worn down by the routine setbacks of career and family, whatever their benefits. And we often feel there's a monotony or sameness about what we do because we have established very long-term routines. However, you can push your thinking and behaviour into full survival mode despite these pressures. 

"The key strategy is to accept the impact of ageing without a futile struggle"

As we know from biology and psychology, we remain adaptive creatures. The key strategy is to accept the impact of ageing without a futile struggle. Instead of monitoring every deficit, or botoxing your facial identity - appreciate what remains. 

"It really doesn't matter if you have less hair on your head because it says nothing about your brain or mind or personal character"

How many brain cells got up with you this morning? Use 'em without worrying about those that didn't. It really doesn't matter if you have less hair on your head because it says nothing about your brain or mind or personal character - and these are what will determine if people like or love you. 

"Find some new passions. If you are sensible, these will not include overpriced classic cars or immature girlfriends"

At the same time, you need to find some new passions. If you are sensible, these will not include overpriced classic cars or immature girlfriends. But you should ask yourself this simple question: "What really gives me pleasure?" And bloody well do more of it.  

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