Emulating J Lo on the Bakerloo Line must be one of the lowest points in my midlife crisis. There’s J Lo dressed in spangles gyrating around a pole. By contrast, I was travelling between Kilburn to Waterloo with the window blowing my hair a mess. Somehow, I didn’t end up looking like a Hollywood gal or, come to think of it, a Bollywood gal.
Wanting to try something different is what motivates me in my midlife, even if I end up looking like a dork. Some people buy things to boost their midlife self-esteem. I bought a cat. Some buy a dog.
I previously blogged about having a midlife crisis. What mystifies me is how so few people are willing to allude to it. Given the reorientation in society towards being more open about anxieties and dips in life, only Boris Johnson has been brave enough to use the words ‘midlife crisis’ and, let’s face it, he isn’t the prime model to look up to is he? Boris says that he has bought a motorbike.
The midlife crisis was ‘invented’ in London. Not many people know that. In 1957, in London, a paper on the midlife crisis was presented by a Canadian psycho-analyst called Dr Elliott Jaques to the British Psycho-Analytical Society. The paper was met with silence and an explanation for this was that the society couldn’t cope with the theme of death. Dr Jaques never wrote again about the midlife crisis but it stayed in theories and studies about midlife.
Viewing midlife as being equivalent to death is rather illogical given that people are living for longer than our predecessors did. Yet, there is something that happens in midlife (to some people, not all) that makes one stop and wonder what is it that lies ahead? I find myself in the annoying situation of having regrets over decisions that I took in my younger days, unfilled dreams of my younger self but, yet, looking ahead with some sense of excitement at what I can still accomplish.
Never being one to shy away from personal introspection and extrapolating this to help others in any way that I can, I have launched a radio show/podcast.
It feels like a revolutionary phase in my life. It feels good to be doing something different in my 50s. While so many midlife podcasts ‘celebrate’ being in the middle phase of life, very few mention the ‘crisis’ period. In my opinion, you can’t get to the good without tackling the negative.
Aiming to take a holistic view, I will be discussing the myriad of issues associated with midlife. It’s not just about having a crisis, it’s about reaching a stage in life where you may be supremely happy with your achievements or you may be looking to take a complete break and do something wild like go kayaking in South America.
By sharing stories and experiences, I am hoping to make it acceptable to turn the ‘midlife’ from being a joke about ‘crisis’ (especially about men) to being a reflective stage in life.
Join me on my journey. I am eagerly looking for midlifers who wish to appear on the show on a panel. Do email me on firstname.lastname@example.org with the word ‘panel’ in the subject.